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How to Clean a Planter

Whether you have just bought a new planter or want to repurpose an old one, it is vital to sanitize the planter before using it. New planters often contain chemical residue; old planters may harbor traces of mold, insect eggs, fungus or diseases that could harm new plants. Ideally, at the end of the growing season, planters should be emptied and cleaned and put away in storage.

However, if you have plants and soil outside through the winter, it is a good idea to replace the soil for the spring. While it can be time consuming, plants love brand new, nutrient-rich soil. Old soil sometimes contains nasty diseases, weeds and insects. Old soil also becomes compacted over time which restricts the air flow to the roots; new soil allows plants to breathe easier.

Before you put new soil in that planter, clean it!

Items you need:

            Concrete planters – water, a brush with stiff bristles, bleach and gloves and goggles

Clay or Terracotta – water, mild soap, or bleach (optional) and a soft brush         

Fiberglass – water, mild soap and a scrub brush with soft bristles

What you need to do:

1.       Empty your planter of any dirt and dead plant material

2.       Rinse the planter with a hose to remove dirt sticking to the sides

3.       Clean and Scrub!

When cleaning a concrete planter, mix a little bleach into the water. About 3 cups of bleach to 1 gallon of water should properly sanitize your concrete planter. Always wear gloves and goggles when handling bleach. If you have a spray bottle, spray the insides of the concrete planter. Using a brush with stiffer bristles to scrub the insides will allow you to penetrate the pores of the concrete for a thorough cleaning. Allow the planter to completely dry before you put any soil in it.

If you’re cleaning a terracotta or clay planter, use a mixture of water and household dish soap or a mixture of water and bleach. Use a softer brush to clean the insides. Let the planter dry before planting anything in it.

For fiberglass planters and resin planters, utilize a mixture of soap and water with a soft brush to scrub the insides.

Regular cleaning of your planter will not only extend its overall life, but also allow your plants to grow healthier. You will be happy with the outcome for many seasons to come.



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