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White Ring Around My Terracotta Pot? Help!

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by calicojackk on October 24, 2006 05:24 AM
Hello,

I'm new at herb gardening this year. Since it's getting cold here, I brought my rosemary and sage indoors. They're both in terracotta pots.

This morning, I noticed a white ring had developed at the top of the pot containing the sage. I was wondering if it's sick or if I should change the soil.

Thank you for your help in advance!
by Deborah L. on October 24, 2006 06:09 AM
If you mean that the white ring is on the pot, it is mineral deposits. You can scrub it off with white vinegar and a wire brush.
You must have hard water as we do here.
Although, sometimes here we get a white crumbly film on the top of the soil of potted plants, which is mineral deposit too.

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by joclyn on October 24, 2006 06:46 AM
yup, sounds like mineral deposits...rain water (which is probably what fed the plants during the summer) doesn't have any additives to it like the tap water.

you could try to let your water sit (preferably overnight) and see if that helps. over time, you'll still see that ring, tho. easy enough to scrub it away tho...a toothbrush and some baking soda and/or vinegar should do it. if you let the ring sit too long, it'll harden up and it will be hard to get off...
by Deborah L. on October 24, 2006 07:46 AM
Joclyn, letting water sit 24 hours removes the chlorine but not the minerals.
I know that muriatic acid will also remove hard water deposits, but I don't know if it will harm plants.
Maybe someone will come along and tell us.

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by Deborah L. on October 24, 2006 07:47 AM
I have tried Lime Away on pots, but all it did was foam up and didn't even budge the white stuff.

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by comfrey on October 24, 2006 09:26 AM
Vinegar in my opinion works the best for removing mineral build up. If you are trying to clean an empty pot the best thing is to use denture cleaning tablets in water and let it soak over night before giving it a little scrub...they work great to remove most anything from posts.

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by Deborah L. on October 24, 2006 11:33 AM
Hey......... I heard that too, Comfrey, glad to meet someone who can say that it really works.

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by joclyn on October 24, 2006 01:10 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Deborah L.:
Joclyn, letting water sit 24 hours removes the chlorine but not the minerals.
I know that muriatic acid will also remove hard water deposits, but I don't know if it will harm plants.
Maybe someone will come along and tell us.

yes, i know the main purpose of letting the water sit is to let the chlorine dissipate...i

i've found that using water that's been sitting at room temp, rather than using it straight from the tap, doesn't leave that white ring.

i've got really hard water here, so it's a big issue for me now that i've got more things that need to be in clay pots.

they were doing fine (no white stuff) until i got busy (and lazy) and started using water straight from the tap. after just 3 doses straight from the tap the clay pots have those white rings starting.

i've had these plants since march, so if it's just the hard water, i'd think the rings would have appeared much sooner - not after i stopped using water that had been sitting for a bit.

dunno what it is about letting it sit (besides the chlorine issue) before using. i have seen a difference tho.

guess i should have clarified my earlier statement and explained why i was suggesting that.
by Deborah L. on October 24, 2006 03:05 PM
Oops, did I seem rude or like a know-it-all?
I don't want you to apologize-ya didn't do a darn thing wrong !! [kissies] [wavey]
Besides, we prolly have different water and different experiences with it ! [Wink] [wavey]

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by joclyn on October 25, 2006 12:41 AM
no, biggie, deb!! i should have explained properly the first time 'round! [Wink]

the thing is, all water has some amount of minerals in it...hard water more than usual...so, anyone will potentially have the issue of the white ring on the clay pots.

my usual is to keep water for the plants ready/waiting in gallon jugs (because there is SO much chlorine in my water and it is so hard). i just didn't explain myself clearly enough as to my experiences recently.

oh, and thx, comfrey! i'm going to try the denture cleaner trick!!
by myndful on October 25, 2006 01:02 AM
Hmm, I wonder...my clay pots and soil-tops started getting the white deposits just about the time I started getting the eczema...could that be related? As in, something happened to the water earlier this year?

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http://myndfulmeanderings.blogspot.com
by Deborah L. on October 25, 2006 04:30 AM
Thanks, Joclyn !
Myndful, I have eczema too, but my doctor says it's stress.
I do notice that it pops up when I'm raging over some current issue.
Like wondering if I offended Joclyn..... [Embarrassed]

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by rainie on October 25, 2006 04:40 AM
actually, I think it looks totally cool - adds a "worn" look to the pots [lala] In fact, I used to buy the ones that were artificially aged... Maybe I aught to have ya'll send me some pots [thinker] [Smile]
by Deborah L. on October 25, 2006 07:08 AM
Clearly, we have someone here who does NOT have hard water..... [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

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by joclyn on October 25, 2006 07:26 AM
rofl!!
by Deborah L. on October 25, 2006 08:09 AM
[Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [wavey]

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