Planting in Cast-iron pot

Gypsy_NC(Zone 7b)March 28, 2011

I have a cast-iron pot about 18" or so across that was used in the bath house on my mother-in-law's farm when she was a child. Would really like to successfully turn it into a container but there are serious drainage issues. I cannot drill holes in a family heirloom. I would appreciate info from those more knowledgeable than I about container gardening. The pot has a rounded bottom. Thanks so much!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Even if you try to use it as a cache pot, you'll likely have problems unless you have some way to physically pump/dump/dip/soak accumulating water out of the pot. The water level in the iron pot needs to always be below that of the pot you're growing in. You COULD use it indoors as a container if you used distilled water, but you would absolutely HAVE to stay right on top of monitoring water needs. Watering in excess would be a much worse proposition in a pot with no drain hole(s).


    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 3:21PM
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If you don't want to damage it, I'd use it as a cache pot, inserting a slightly smaller pot inside that contained the actual plant. I'd lift the plant out to water, and place it back when it finished draining. That's how I'd handle a family heirloom, such as you describe.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 5:21PM
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Cast iron rusts very quickly when wet.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 12:21PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone,

Gypsy girl....sounds like you have a treasure on your hands...why not bring it inside and place some other indoor plant/arrangement inside the pot...this way you can admire it and not worry about rust damage...

Those are so hard to come by and sounds very sentimental..

Take care everyone...

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 7:01PM
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You should be able to set a deep enough saucer inside the cache pot to avoid getting any water on the metal. You could even place a paper towel in, under a saucer... then place the plant pot in the saucer. Or, nix the plant idea, and use it for a flower arrangement... a vase that's a bit shorter should do the trick.

Like Laura says, you wouldn't want to ruin a sentimental family heirloom.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 10:17AM
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Gypsy_NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks ya'll for all of the good advice - the main reasons I wanted to use the pot outdoors was because of space limitations indoors (well, exactly, having too much STUFF inside to find a place for it)and because it looks so good by my back steps. You're right, though - I am very fortunate to have such a treasure and others too,such as my grandmother's old butter churn. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with that one after 20 years, but it won't be going outside! Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 1:00PM
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Hi Gypsy, I'm not a regular in this forum, but I agree with other posters. It WOULD look amazing but I don't think it's worth ruining such a beautiful, old, family piece.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 9:53PM
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I have a old flower/fruit design enamel 5 qt pot with brass handles that I hated to throw out after it started to chip inside . Hubby drilled a hole in at work and planted chives in. Been hanging in the beggie patch for about 5 years now and chives love it , their roots grow right through the hole, can also just rip up and put some place elese in garden anytime I feel like it. Go to a Garage sale and buy yourself a old pot of your choosing and try. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 8:22AM
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