How To Clean Mold Off Terracotta Pots?

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
15 min read

There are three ways to remove mold from terracotta pots in this article. There are a few ways to accomplish this, but hydrogen peroxide is by far the most convenient. Continue reading to learn about all three approaches!

Why do I have mold on terracotta?

Because of the ideal conditions provided by clay pots, mold thrives. Because the pores of terracotta absorb moisture from the earth, it’s an ideal environment for fungi to flourish. The fungus multiplies even quicker if the pots are kept in a dimly lit, humid environment with minimal air circulation. A pot’s rim or sides will be covered in white fuzzy mold, or it will be completely covered in black mold. Keeping plants in poor light or watering them too regularly might also have a negative impact. Plants photosynthesize less under low light, absorbing less water from the soil and keeping the soil and the pot moist for longer periods of time.

Recycle By Cleaning Your Container Pots | Gardening in the Panhandle

How do i distinguish between mold and mineral deposits?

Mold can be identified by the presence of fuzzy growth. You can generally remove the mold by simply scraping it with your finger. No, not the deposits of minerals. You can see the difference between mineral deposits and mold by looking at the Instagram video a few paragraphs below.

Can I leave the mold on terracotta? Is it harmful?

Despite the presence of mold on the outside of your pots, your plants will not be affected by it. Mold, on the other hand, can be extremely detrimental to human health, especially when exposed over an extended period of time. Inhaling mold spores can result in serious health problems. Asthma and allergy sufferers, as well as those with impaired immune systems, may be more sensitive to mold and have more severe reactions. As soon as you find any mold, get rid of it immediately.

Cleaning method 1- using Hydrogen Peroxide – without taking the plant out

Hydrogen peroxide is the simplest and most effective way to get rid of mold. Spray the outside of your pots with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to get rid of the mold.

Spend some time letting it sit. As hydrogen peroxide interacts with the mold, it will emit a sputtering sound. Remove as much mold from the pots’ exteriors as possible by giving them a good wash with soap and water. If necessary, use a brush to scrape the terracotta’s outside. I prefer to finish by sprinkling the pots with hydrogen peroxide.

Take a look at the entire cleaning process in this video.

The mold will not be killed if hydrogen peroxide is exposed to light, so be careful.

Cleaning method 2- using bleach

To get rid of the mold, you might use a bleach solution. One part bleach to twenty parts water in a spray container and shake well. Before using bleach, I recommend removing the entire plant, including the rootball, from the pot. Bleach should be sprayed on the terracotta’s outside and scrubbed.

Clean water can be used to eliminate any residual bleach after removing the mold. To ensure that all bleach has been gone, repeat the process a few times. Before re-planting the plant, let the pot to air out for a few days to remove any bleach scent. In the interim, you can keep the plant in a temporary pot.

Preventing Mold on Terracotta

Direct sunlight is a fantastic strategy to keep mildew from forming on pots and plants that can tolerate it. If you expose the mold to direct sunlight, the mold will be killed. Using a fan to circulate the air will also assist. Hydrogen peroxide is something I use on a regular basis to clean the outside of my clay pots.

Why You Should Soak Terracotta Pots Before You Use Them

According to New York-based plant stylist Maryah Greene, Terracotta pots have become a standard in gardening since they’re basic and easy to work with. Before putting any plants in them, it’s vital to soak them in water for a few minutes to get rid of any odors.” Unless you do, you run the risk of the pot sucking up a lot of water and leaving the soil extremely dry.

containers - How to avoid clay pots from turning white and moldy outside? - Gardening & Landscaping Stack Exchange

How to Pre-Soak a Terracotta Pot

It’s as simple as submerging your terracotta pot in water for a few minutes and watching the magic happen. You should ideally soak your terracotta pot in a sink or bucket overnight (or bathtub if you have more than a few pots to prepare). You can soak them for a few hours if you’re pressed for time, but it’s preferable to soak your pots overnight if you can.

A pot that hasn’t been properly soaked will not receive adequate hydration from the water you add. In addition to keeping the soil from drying out, a good soak keeps the pot from cracking in cold weather or during periods of prolonged drought.

To ensure appropriate drainage for your plants, Greene advises, “You want to make sure there is a hole at the bottom of the terracotta pot,” she says. In order to avoid problems like root rot, keep your plant out of the water.

If you want the best results, soak your terracotta pots thoroughly and keep them free of standing water.


How do you remove black mold from clay pots?

Mildew can be removed by following these steps:

  1. In a container of your choice, mix equal amounts white vinegar and water to create a solution.
  2. Make sure the planter’s sides are covered in the mixture.
  3. Spraying the planter with mildew killer may be enough to get rid of the problem if the mildew coating is only a few inches thick.

How do you remove green mold from clay pots?

  1. Get rid of any stray dirt from the pot. Make sure to thoroughly clean the clay pot with the pot brush.
  2. Vinegar and water can be used to soak clay pots.
  3. Use your dishwasher to clean up any dirty dishes from Step 3. I use my dishwasher’s short wash cycle to clean the terracotta pots.

Why is there white mold on my soil?

A harmless saprophytic fungus is most likely to blame for the white fluff on the plant soil. Fungal problems (mold) on the plant soil can be caused by excess water, poor drainage, polluted potting soil, and a lack of sunlight. White mold on house plants thrives in moist, low-light conditions.

What is the white stuff growing on my plant?

Fungus spores produce white mold on plants, which appears like fuzzy material. Powdery mildew, commonly known as spores, quickly grows on the leaves and stems of the plants, forming a white fuzz. Both indoor and outdoor plants can be affected by this white fuzzy mold, which thrives in warm, moist, and humid environments.

Can you use clay that has mold?

You can also remove the mold by slicing it or wedgeing it in. Potters claim that adding a thin layer of mold to their clay makes it more malleable and hence more useful in the firing process. Getting rid of the mold isn’t the goal for these people. As soon as they put it in the clay, they start manufacturing pots.

Is mold in clay dangerous?

Mold reactions to mold-contaminated clay are real. Several potters we’ve spoken to regarding mold in clay have suffered an allergic reaction. A bag of moist clay that has been sitting about for an extended period of time will usually cause it to rise to the surface.

Why are terracotta pots bad?

It’s the look of terra cotta that many other materials aspire to emulate. The disadvantages of this material include its weight, fragility, and susceptibility to freezing temperatures. Baked clay is used to make terra-cotta pots. It can also fracture and flake during freezing conditions if water is left in the clay.

Why is mold growing on my terracotta pots?

Minerals in the water are to blame. In addition, you may notice a white, fuzzy mold. It’s safe for your plants and won’t affect them in any way. Spray the pot with hydrogen peroxide and clean it off with a tooth brush if you are allergic to all molds.

What is the white stuff on clay pots?

They’re made up of calcium and other minerals that we get by drinking water or from fertilizers. Their buildup on the outside of the pot is protected from injury by the clay’s wicking action.

What does vinegar do to Clay?

As a way to raise the acidity of clay bodies, vinegar is also used. Deflocculating the clay is made easier by adding acid to neutralize sodium ions in the water (from leaching feldspar). Over-acidification of feldspar and other minerals may have the opposite effect, since it dissolves more of them.

Black, grey, fuzzy mold (not salts!) on terracotta pots

Is white mold dangerous?

White mold, as well as other varieties of mold, can cause health issues. To avoid health hazards and structural damage, it’s critical to get rid of any white mold as soon as possible. Allergies, respiratory infections, eye irritations, dizziness and nausea are just a few of the symptoms that can be caused by white mold.

Does vinegar kill mold?

In addition to its cleaning properties, white vinegar also deodorizes and disinfects. On both porous and non-porous surfaces, it can destroy 82% of the mold species, including black mold, with ease. It’s safe to use on most surfaces, and the strong smell it leaves behind rapidly dissipates. Spray a bottle with pure white vinegar.

How do you keep mold from growing in clay pots?

Houseplants that are prone to white mold or powdery mildew need to have their humidity levels reduced, their air circulation improved, and their soil allowed to partially dry out before watering in order to avoid this problem. Plants with serious damage may need to be re-potted in fresh soil and re-checked for sufficient drainage.

Can mold grow on clay pots?

Is it possible for mold to grow in clay pots? Aside from sealing the pots inside and out, there is no effective method to prevent the mold from growing. Plants can be placed in plastic containers, which can then be placed in terra-cotta containers. Because of this, the decorative pot will remain dry and mold-free.

Does cinnamon kill mold in soil?

Any leftover Fungus will be killed by Cinnamon’s natural fungicide. Before watering again, allow the top soil to completely dry out. If possible, only water from the bottom up. The ground Cinnamon does not need to be applied to the soil any longer once the fungus is gone.

Do plants grow better in clay pots?

Plants thrive in clay pots because they have a nutrient-rich habitat. Clay’s porosity allows moisture and air to pass through the pot’s walls. Plastic is preferable for other gardeners who want to wait for their plants to show signs of withering. Clay pots are ideal for plants that require a well-drained, dry soil, such as cactus.

Why is there mold growing on the soil of my plant?

Saprophytic fungi that develop on the surface of potting soil are usually harmless. There are many factors that contribute to the growth of saprophytic fungi, including overwatering, a lack of drainage and polluted potting soil.

How does vinegar affect clay?

Vinegar’s acidity breaks down the clay a little bit and makes it stick to the spoon. A few artists choose to use vinegar straight from the bottle, or to substitute it for water in the making of a jointing slip in clay. All of these techniques work together to produce a joint that is more durable than one made just of water or slip.


Plants may be naturally infested with mold. It’s also important to know how to remove mold from terracotta pots.

To prevent the clay pots from losing their monetary value due to surface deterioration. Make sure to remove mold from your pots, as it can cause health issues for you as well!

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.