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


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 .  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.

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.

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!

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)

20 thoughts on “Leaching Your New Hypertufa Pot

  • May 19, 2017 at 10:18 am
    After curing my tufa pots in the bag , I remove them from the bag and while still wet place them and a 50 gallon garbage can stacking them if I have more than one. I fill the garbage can with water and add 1 gallon of white vinegar to the mix and leave the pots soaking in the vinegar for about one week. (I keep the garbage can next to the drain in the drive to make emptying easier.) The white residue on the pots which is easily rent stuff with the hose and I place the parts in a shaded location not covered to dry. Filled with soil and use for whatever planting you like. I have never had an issue with the alkalinity affecting the plants and it only takes one week to leech the alkalinity out of the pot this way. Reply
    • May 19, 2017 at 7:52 pm
      Gary, it sounds like you have a great method going on! Reply
  • April 29, 2017 at 7:49 pm
    Hi, I love your articles. I want to make a big one as I have some small hostas that I want to show off. Can I make it right on the ground and leave it where I make it and not move it? We do not want to move something so heavy. Does it need a bottom or can I just make 4 sides? Can I make 1/2 a bottom with a large hole in the middle? 2-3 foot long is the biggest I would make. Thanks Judy Reply
    • April 30, 2017 at 6:35 am
      Thanks, Judy. Yes, you can make it & cure it right where you want it. I have a huge one that we only moved once to place it and that was a hard job! And I have two bottomless ones right now for some plants with long taproots. That should work fine for you. Reply
  • 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
    • February 17, 2019 at 10:22 pm
      Lime is the alkaline component in the cement, the vinegar is what lowers the ph to a more plant friendly level. Most plants flourish better in a slightly acidic (ph7 or lower) environment unless they have evolved in a high ph area like limestone cliffs for example. 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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