Prep Pottery For Colder Temps

For those of you who don’t want to put your pottery away during the fall and winter months, we’ve got the secret to keeping pieces safe AND outdoors year round and of course, stylish.


Do not leave pottery in the grass or in the garden (dirt) as moisture will collect in the pot and cause it to crack and break. To winterize, dig a hole, at least 6-inches deep, and anywhere from 16 to 18-inches wide depending on the size of the bottom of the pot.


Fill the hole with a layer of gravel. On top of the gravel, place cement pavers making sure the pavers are sized to support the base of the pot and level. The gravel should be at least 2-inches wider than the pavers.

If the pot will be sitting on concrete for the duration of the season, no gravel or paver is needed.

Moving on to the inside of the pot, if the contents are “annuals” (meaning you will replace them in the spring) and you’re not going to replant until then, you can dispose of the plants and cover the pot with a combination of plastic and burlap. The plastic will prevent precipitation from collecting in the pot and the burlap will dress up your pieces.


For two different looks, turn the pot upside down and cover the entire piece in a layer of plastic and then burlap, or leave as is and simply cover the opening with burlap secured with jute twine! Measure the opening and add an additional 8-inches to ensure the burlap wraps around the lip of the pot.

If you plan on keeping perennials in your pottery, we recommend boxwood—any variety, they’re hearty and should last through the winter.

Make sure each pot has a drainage hole to prevent water from accumulating and freezing and thawing, which will cause the pot to crack. If the pot does NOT have a drainage hole, you can add one. You can find step-by step instructions here.


If you’re like us and live in the Midwest, you may want to spare perennials, even boxwood, from the harsh elements. If so, simply place bamboo stakes in the potting soil so they come to a point at the top and wrap burlap around the stakes almost making a teepee. The burlap is pretty and will let the plant breathe through the winter.

TAGS:  boxwood, burlap, frost resistant, In The Studio, pottery,


Leave a Comment

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  1. arhausblog   September 16, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

    Yes, boxwood should survive the winter months—but we can’t guarantee that. Keep in mind, some of us had an unbelievably cold and terrible winter last year and yes, lost boxwoods. 🙁 Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee but this will definitely help!

  2. Lissa Volk   September 12, 2014 @ 7:22 am

    This was a great idea! I loved it!

  3. val ticea   September 11, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

    if all that to be done to the boxwood can I still keep it outside?