Leaching Your New Hypertufa Pot - The Fast Way
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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?  I will tell you how I do it and show you how.

(This is an update to an old post from the past. 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 My New Hypertufa Pot - Fast

 

[su_box title=”Leaching means: ” style=”soft” box_color=”#85f56d” title_color=”#054f19″ radius=”20″] 1.to dissolve out soluble constituents from (ashes, soil, etc.) by percolation. 2.to cause (water or other liquid) to percolate through something[/su_box]

Due to the alkalinity of Portland cement, it is necessary to leach your new pot to make an environment acceptable for your  plants .  Most gardeners feel 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.

image of new rectangle hypertufa pot ready to leach

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 (dianthus)
  • 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.

Spritzing with vinegar helps to leach new hypertufa

 

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.

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

Leaching the Alkalinity from Your New Hypertufa Planter

My YouTube Channel - Kim's Gardens

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? 

Leaching New Hypertufa Planter

Here is that large hypertufa planter I made. 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 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?  Do you have any experience where you felt that your pot’s alkalinity caused a problem?

Now go make some hypertufa planters!

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6 Comments

  1. Hello
    Thank you for your informative article! Please can you clarify your process a little further for me (am new to cement pot making).

    Do I understand correctly:
    * Fill pot with water / vinegar mixture for a couple of hours each day.
    * Drain water / vinegar mix & let it stand “dry” overnight
    * Next day, repeat liquid mixture fill for a couple of hours, drain, let stand
    * Repeat process for up to 7 days

    1. That sounds right. You can leave water/vinegar mix in trough if you like and then next day drain it all and start again with new mix. It doesn’t have to “dry” overnight. But it will still leaching if you do let it dry. If you are anxious to pot it up, it doesn’t have to go for more than 3-4 days. Just rinse really well when you are ready to pot up your plants. Thank you so much for reading my post. I appreciate your comment so much.

  2. I was unaware that hypertufa had to be leached so I did not treat the planters I made; however, the succulents I put in them did not seem to suffer, or if they did it wasn’t noticeable to me. I also attempted to use hypertufa to make large ornamental garden rocks. When my husband said they looked like elephant turds I gave up that project.

    1. That is great that your plants survived. You did a great job anyway. That is too funny about the elephant turds. LOL

      1. Hi! New to this process and confused as to WHEN should I start leaching the pot. How many days from when I first made them? I made them on Wednesday, unmolded on Thursday, and have them wrapped in plastic.

        1. I would leave them wrapped in plastic in the shade for a week or 10 days. After that, start the leaching process. Many people feel that they should be left wrapped for a month or more, but I haven’t had any bad experience with doing it sooner. Congrats on your hypertufa and have fun planting them up!

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