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How to Sterilize Your Flowerpots

by | Updated: Sep 30, 2021

How to sterilize flowerpots

Here are the key items you need to sterilize your flowerpots:

Supplies needed to sterilize flowerpots: gloves, a brush, a bucket, a dish soap and sponge and bleach or vinegar.

Here’s how to sterilize your flowerpots:

  • Wear clothes for cleaning. For example, put on rubber gloves. You also may want to put on old clothes.
  • Place your pots in a sink or tub (if you can).
  • Wash your pots in soapy water.  I use dish soap. When you’re done, empty the water.
  • Partially fill a bucket with a mixture of 90% water and 10% bleach. (For every 1 gallon of water, you’d add about 1-3/4 cups of bleach.)  If you’d like an alternative to bleach, you can use vinegar. Just know it isn’t quite as effective at sterilizing. You also can ask your local garden center whether they carry any organic agricultural products that are good alternatives to bleach.
  • Use a sponge to wash the mixture over the inside and outside of your pots. If you can soak your pots in the mixture for a few minutes, great, but this can be tough to do with big pots or heavy pots.
  • Rinse your pots with clean water. If your pots are terracotta, soak them in clean water. (Terracotta is very absorptive.)
  • Let your pots air dry.

If you set up a tub or plastic container outside to wash your pots, you may want to set up in your garage. Keep all of this away from your lawn and plants.

Related tips that may interest you:

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Ann from Go West Gardener with her flowerpots and garden

Hey there, I'm Ann

I’m a Certified Colorado Gardener, dog mama and Midwesterner-turned-Colorado girl. I help budding gardeners in the intermountain west get more confident with flower gardening, so you can create an outdoor space you love. More about Ann >>

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