I got a call from a distressed homeowner the other day. It seems she’d watered her lovely potted plant that was place in a decorative basket. A couple of days later, she discovered the stain from the basket was now on her new nylon rug – her $38-per-yard nylon rug.

Now, I realize I’m supposed to be an expert. I realize I’m supposed to have all the answers, but there are some things that go beyond any expert’s “expertise.” And so it is with planter stains.

My profound advice to this distraught homeowner? “Don’t let it happen in the first place.” Impressive, huh? Remedy once it happens? Rug repair by a qualified technician.

How can this frustrating situation be avoided? First, let’s look at the cause. When water is in contact with any stained materials, such as wood (especially redwood) or clay planters, eventually that stain is going to transfer to the rug or carpet. Then, if that stain transfers to fibers that are easily contact dyed, such as nylon and wool, voila! Permanent discoloration.

An Ounce of Prevention

“Well,” you say, “I’ll just use a protector under my plants that can’t transfer color to the rug.” Great start, but that isn’t the whole solution. You see, if you don’t also exercise care when watering and somehow water gets under your colorfast plant holder, then bacterial action with the water will cause dye loss in the carpet.

With a little extra care, your plants and carpet can live together for years without one being sacrificed for the other.