The decisions you make when selecting plant containers for your commercial design project have a major impact on the care your planters will need during the winter. An important consideration to keep in mind is that containers made of porous materials, such as ceramic, terracotta and concrete, tend to crack when temperatures drop below freezing. That’s because porous materials absorb water, which freezes and expands in cold weather, damaging the planters.
Therefore, if you intend to keep hardy plants in containers outdoors all year round, ceramic, terracotta and concrete pots might not be the best options. The planters intended for year-round outdoor use must be sturdy enough to withstand cold weather. It is for this reason landscapers recommend materials that can survive winters outdoors, such as fiberglass, metal, wood and plastic. To understand why fiberglass planters are the first recommendation for outdoor use, let’s take a closer look at the aforementioned planter materials and their characteristics.
Fiberglass planters come in a rich assortment of colors, shapes and sizes that can fit different design requirements. Furthermore, fiberglass is a lightweight material, which means not only can fiberglass planters be moved around easily, as needed, but also that they have a lower shipping cost per unit, particularly compared to metal and wood planters.
From a maintenance perspective, fiberglass containers can make planter gardening much easier. In a nutshell, a high-quality fiberglass planter can remain where it is, as is, throughout the year. Thanks to the weather-resistant characteristics of this material, fiberglass planters can tolerate extreme heat, frost and seasonal thaw cycles without sustaining any damage.
Although fiberglass can survive freezing conditions, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your fiberglass planters get through the winter. The first thing you need to do is buy fiberglass planters that are meant for outdoor use. High-quality outdoor fiberglass planters, like the planters we make available at Jay Scotts Collection, are made of commercial-grade fiberglass and have a durable finish that is achieved through the application of top-quality marine- or automotive-grade coatings.
As these coatings provide excellent protection against UV radiation, fiberglass containers don’t degrade over time. Besides maintaining their beautiful colors for many years, our high-quality fiberglass planters don’t become brittle, so they won’t crack when exposed to low temperatures. Nowadays, only the top-grade fiberglass planters have excellent UV protection. To use the same planters year after year, you should never compromise on quality when buying fiberglass planters for your design.
It’s also very important to check if the outdoor fiberglass planters you intend to purchase have drainage holes. As drainage holes allow excess water to seep out, they prevent water accumulation in the potting soil. Because water may freeze together with your plant’s roots during freezing temperatures, any excess water in the potting soil could kill the plant.
As well, water expands as it freezes, which means that it exerts pressure on the planter’s walls. Since most fiberglass planters are made from sections that are joined together, significant pressure applied to the walls of a fiberglass planter could cause the parts to separate.
Just like fiberglass planters, metal planters are capable of handling tough outdoor use, including freezing temperatures. But one of the problems associated with metal planters is that they can get very hot in the sun. Consequently, they can cause the soil to dry out too quickly and even burn your plants’ roots.
Another important consideration is that metal planters corrode due to repeated exposure to water or wet soil. As a result, they may require regular cleaning more frequently than fiberglass planters do. Additionally, most metal planters come in metallic colors, like silver and bronze, and the large ones are also very heavy. These two aspects can significantly limit the flexibility in your design’s layout.
Wood is another material that can withstand freezing temperatures. However, wood containers can crack if they are subjected to recurrent freeze-thaw cycles. Therefore, wood planters should be kept out of the elements during the winter months. If not cared for properly, wood planters may also rot in a relatively short time.
Most plastic containers can tolerate cold weather well, but they often fade and become brittle in the sun. This makes them susceptible to cracking in extreme cold. Even new plastic planters, which have never been exposed to UV radiation, can crack if they’re left in freezing temperatures. That’s because certain types of plastic lose their molecular mobility when they become too cold, which makes them prone to shattering.
All things considered, high-quality outdoor fiberglass planters aren’t only the best weather-resistant container options for outdoor use; they also deliver instant beauty as well as incredible practicality and versatility. To learn more about how you can use our outdoor fiberglass planters to enhance your outdoor decor in any season, please contact our friendly professionals today!