Terracotta pots are a popular variant and alternative to ceramic, stone or plastic pots. They enable plants to be kept for decades, as they can be used again and again with proper care and attention. Since terracotta is also a sensitive material, it can break when the pots fall over. Here you can find out how to glue and reuse terracotta pots.
Plants are often kept in terracotta pots. The natural look and the good properties for keeping a wide variety of plants make terracotta pots so popular. With the right care, they can be kept for decades and bring a lot of pleasure to the garden, balcony or inside rooms. Due to the manufacturing process of terracotta, the material is quite susceptible to cracks or fractures as it is not glazed.
For example, accidental pulling over the floor or an impact can cause spots to break off or cracks to appear. Older terracotta pots in particular suffer as a result. Fortunately, it is easy to glue terracotta on your own.
Materials and tools
First of all: Every terracotta pot can be glued to itself if you have patience and the right material at your disposal. Since terracotta is fired clay, it can be put together again very easily, as long as the fractures are not too severely removed or changed in shape.
Even heavy pots can be repaired in this way, as the adhesive used adheres strongly enough and holds the pieces together after application. The following list gives you an overview of the materials and utensils needed to repair terracotta pots.
Adhesive (two components), eight to ten euros for about 30 grams
waterproof clear lacquer, four to five euros per 100 millilitres
The two-component adhesive is recommended for pots due to its strong adhesive effect. However, as these are skin irritating, you should never forget the gloves so that you do not injure yourself. If you are particularly sensitive to vapours, it is also advisable to use protective goggles. Why do you have to use the two-component adhesive despite these negative characteristics? In addition to the adhesive performance, it is above all the weather resistance.
Even frost resistant, this glue is ideal for terracotta. Alternatively, you could use tile adhesive, but it is much harder to apply. At the same time, the two-component adhesive fills gaps that can no longer be glued. This makes it even more effective for your project. When choosing the brush, you should use a fine model so that you do not damage the terracotta. The fractures of the pot can be sensitive and can be removed, which can have a negative effect on the adhesive performance.
Tip: Superglue is also recommended if you need to repair small terracotta pots. Since the fractures of smaller pots are also much smaller, superglue is often sufficient if you apply it thoroughly.
Bonding terracotta | Instructions
Terracotta sticking is not difficult, but depending on the size of the pot and severity of the fracture quite time-consuming. Since you have to treat all fractures with glue, larger pots can sometimes consume a lot of time, which is important to keep in mind. If several pots have been damaged, a helping hand can significantly reduce the time required. However, you should only involve children to a limited extent in the process.
Terracotta can be sharp at the cracks and the glue should generally not get into the hands of children. Poisoning can occur very quickly. Once you have all the necessary utensils and materials together, follow these instructions to glue your terracotta pots.
1. start by removing the plants or plant pots from the terracotta pots. While you are repairing the terracotta pots, no form of weight should be placed on the material, otherwise the glue will not dry properly. If you have terracotta pots, the top layer of which is chipped off, you do not need to remove the plants, as you can simply stick them on.
2 Start by working on the individual fractures with the brush. If the brush is very dry, moisten it and dry it again so that the bristles are softer. Now carefully move the brush over the broken areas to remove any excess dust that has accumulated after the break. Use the brush on all cracks as well, as dust can accumulate there as well. Do this very thoroughly, as the dust can greatly limit the effect of the adhesive.
3. Start with the cracks. These are easier to repair than whole fragments, as you don’t have to put anything together or fix anything. Put on the gloves and start filling the glue into the cracks.
Do not use too much glue as it is quite difficult to remove after drying. Filling the cracks takes a little tact, but it’s done pretty quickly. If the crack has already progressed so far that a fragment threatens, fix it as a precaution with sufficient adhesive tape.
4. you should not glue fragments immediately, but check them for suitable fractures. Particularly with a large pile of broken glass, it is important that you first assemble all the broken glass and can thus get an idea of the damage. In this way, you do not accidentally glue the fragments together incorrectly.
5.As soon as you have large or only a few fragments, it is perfectly sufficient to apply the adhesive first. Apply glue to the fracture, press on the shard and fix it additionally with adhesive tape. The adhesive tape holds the broken piece in place when it dries. This way it does not slip and you do not have to hold the fragment yourself until it has dried. Continue in this way with the other shards.
6. if the pieces or fragments are small or present in large numbers, use another method. Place the individual fragments on an even surface and assemble them correctly. Here you must proceed exactly. Now stretch adhesive tape over all the pieces of glass. The stretched adhesive tape keeps the pieces in place without you having to use adhesive until now.
Now turn the pieces over and bend the tape a little. The breaks should now be exposed and can be covered with the adhesive. Once the adhesive has been applied to all the fractures, bend the tape back and allow the adhesive to dry. Fix them again with adhesive tape.
If you had to use step 6, remove the tape after drying. You now have a larger piece of glass from numerous small pieces, which you can connect to the pot as described in step 5. Be careful not to accidentally break the assembled body.
When all the fractures are completely dry, the pot is in place and can theoretically be used again. Now it is time for finishing, because excess glue can still be seen after drying. Remove excess glue with the knife, which should be sharp.
Since the glue is very strong, this step can be carried out without great problems. Be careful not to damage the terracotta with the knife, only the glue. Above all, never stick into the pot or glue, as the risk of breakage is much higher this way.
To make the pot weatherproof and resistant to moisture, finally apply the clear varnish. Here already a little is enough. If you have pots made of glazed terracotta, you have to help with a little glaze, which is kept in the same colour as the pot. Let it dry and you are done with the terracotta.
Tip: If you don’t like the visible cracks on the pots after gluing, you can decorate them to embellish them. This can be done with mosaic stones, stones, acrylic paint, lacquer paint or other decorative elements that you can attach with the help of an adhesive.
Alternative | Planting
In rare cases it can happen that your terracotta pots are irreparable. Reasons for this can be, for example, very large pieces that fall out of the pot and then onto the floor and break into numerous small pieces. If this is the case, you would first have to glue the small pieces together again and glue the finished piece to the pot or glue the individual pieces one after the other to the terracotta pots. This is a lot of work and, unfortunately, it does not guarantee much safety, as the structure of the pot has suffered greatly from the breakage.
In this case there is another alternative: planting. If you have a rock garden, Mediterranean concepts or a naturally embossed green oasis, you can plant broken terracotta pots with the following plants.
These have an excellent effect in the pots, even if a large piece is broken out of them. The colour of the pots harmonises with these plants and so you can enjoy numerous cactus species, as well as plants such as rosette thick leaves (bot. Aeonium), echeveria (bot. Echeveria), the real aloe (bot. Aloe Vera) and fat hens (bot. Sedum), which are decoratively waking up from the pot.
The design possibilities are limitless and in combination with ornamental gravel they blend even better into the natural ambience. You should only treat the fractures with sandpaper as a precaution, so that you do not cut yourself at the sharp edges when caring for the plants.
Tip: You can also plant the broken pots with herbs or ground covers and arrange them like in a “fairy garden”. In this way, even the smallest pots can still be used without any problems.