Leaching Your New Hypertufa Pot | The Hypertufa Gardener

Leaching Your New Hypertufa Pot

Get your hypertufa pot ready for planting?

Once you have waited for your hypertufa pot to cure, (and it seems to take forever when you are waiting), then you have to wait for the alkalinity to be leached from the pot.  More waiting? I am too impatient for that!

How about we speed up the process? And I will tell you and show you how.

(This is an update to an old post from last year. I wanted to show you how well the plants behaved even when we speed up the leaching process. My opinion is that you don’t have to wait for such long periods of time to plant your hypertufa pots. In my case, this was a large landscape hypertufa planter, and I will show you how well the plants did.)


Leaching means:
1.to dissolve out soluble constituents from (ashes, soil, etc.) by percolation. 2.to cause (water or other liquid) to percolate through something

Due to the alkalinity of Portland cement, it is necessary to leach your new pot to make an environment acceptable for your  plants .  It is felt that the planter needs to be “neutralized”  for your plants to grow their best.
Many hypertufa makers feel that leaching your new hypertufa pot needs to be done over a prolonged period of time, such as a few months or even over the winter.  I don’t feel this is necessary

…..and I have never had a plant give me problems relating to alkalinity.

In fact, many plants prefer a slightly alkaline environment!

Yes, that is true.  Check out this list of some of those plants.

  • Woolley Thyme
  • Soapwort
  • Sweet William
  • Saxifrages
  • Oregano
  • Pasque Flower
  • Hens and chicks…yep!
  • Pinks and Alpine Pinks
  • Dwarf Baby’s Breath
  • Candytuft

I advise leaching your hypertufa pots by: Hosing down 3-4 times a day for about 5 days, while intermittently misting with a weak dilution of vinegar and water and rinsing with a garden hose.




For smaller pieces, you can immerse them underwater in a tub, draining & refilling 3 to 4 times over a week long period. Use a mild solution of vinegar in that soak, and use an amount of vinegar in whatever size tub you are using to get a mild vinegar dilution.

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Here’s a short video of the process where I just fill and dump.

Do you have any solutions for leaching? Have you had any experience which makes you think that it cannot be done quickly as opposed to waiting all season? 

Here is the large hypertufa planter above. It was leached and planted quickly. Do you see any problems with how these plants grew? It was first planted in June/July and these photos go to Oct/Nov when I covered them with netting to protect them from squirrels and chipmunks. They grew like gangbusters! I think they did awesome! Watch!


Let me know in the comments if this quick leaching has worked for you. I am just too impatient and I want to get things planted up and on to the next design. What about you?

Now go make some hypertufa planters!

Kim, The Hypertufa Gardener

Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.

Of course, I have some recipes and some random family concerns which I hope interest you too! Please page through the Magazine and find what you like! and Subscribe!

I also have a YouTube channel called Kim’s Gardens where you can see my hypertufa as I make them. ( See My About Page)


15 thoughts on “Leaching Your New Hypertufa Pot

  • March 28, 2017 at 7:50 pm
    Not a good idea to grow food in concrete. Lear about fly ash, the toxic component in cement. Reply
    • March 29, 2017 at 5:15 am
      We are making hypertufa with Portland cement, not making concrete. Ref:http://flyash.com/about-fly-ash/ "The most common use of fly ash is as a replacement for portland cement used in producing concrete. Concrete made with fly ash is stronger and more durable than traditional concrete..." We are not making concrete. I haven't grown food in my pots anyway. Reply
  • March 26, 2017 at 7:54 pm
    Have you tried to use masonry? As it has lime in it ti help make not so alkaline .? Am hoping to try this with my Mom .Thank you so much. Reply
    • March 26, 2017 at 8:45 pm
      I make mine with the hypertufa recipe mentioned. A lot of plants are ok with a little alkalinity, so it's not been a problem. Reply
  • August 14, 2016 at 10:30 pm
    I watched one video, then two, etc.. and now I'm hooked! You are so patient and I've learned so much. Thank you! Reply
    • August 15, 2016 at 10:58 am
      Thank you for watching them. I hope I am getting better explaining as I make more and more. It is fun. Reply
  • October 3, 2015 at 7:13 pm
    Hi.i have been making concrete pots for some years now but use fine white cement, perlite and sand so strictly speaking not hypertufa! I let mine cure for a week wrapped in plastic and intermittently spraying with water.i am in Australia so it's warm most of the time.i then soak in a big tub for 24 hours and plant pretty much straight away. Never had any problems except with ferns which I have given up on. Reply
    • October 4, 2015 at 5:45 am
      It sounds like you have got it going. I love the concrete creations too. If my pots are small enough, I can soak them in water. But I mostly go for the bigger ones. Thanks for your visit. And I wish I were warm all the time. It is starting to get cold up here. Reply
  • August 3, 2015 at 10:25 pm
    How fun. I love all the pictures. You did a great job! Thanks for sharing! Shannon Gauger recently posted...Food and Fitness FridayMy Profile Reply
    • August 4, 2015 at 6:04 am
      Thanks for visiting. Come on over anytime. Reply
  • June 28, 2015 at 12:57 pm
    I have done the 3 day soak and have had absolutely no problems . Great post and very good instructions! Reply
    • June 28, 2015 at 2:32 pm
      Thanks, and I am so glad you had no problem. Reply
      • June 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm
        Thanks for reading and for your comment. It is a shame so much is not disposable when it is slyly recommended as such. We must be vigilant. Reply
  • June 7, 2015 at 1:35 pm
    This is so fascinating............we are remodeling right now and will build a large deck with a pergola on top. I have started getting succulents. So I will have to make some hypertufa pots. Thanks for posting. I've learned a lot. Regards Reply
    • June 7, 2015 at 5:48 pm
      That sounds like a nice remodeling project. I have always thought to enlarge our deck but never have done that.( Needing to make room for more hypertufa. LOL) Reply

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