homemade plant pots, advise needed

amber_m(5)June 30, 2012

hi everyone, so i was drinking my usual cup of coffee this morning and a thought dawned on me... i usually buy around 6 cans of coffee each month if not more (yes im a crazy coffeeholic) and im sick of throwing out these perfectly good cans every time i empty one! so i was thinking that with a coat or two of spray paint that they might make some nice plant pots (with drainage holes poked into them of course), i was just wondering what you guys thought? i was a little worried for a bit because they are metal so there might be a possibility of rusting out, but at the same time they wouldnt be sitting in water all the time so i dont think i see that happening... i just thought this might be a cool way to reuse something that i basicly have for free, i really hate throwing them out! oh and any other ideas for some homemade pots would be great! im trying to figure out cheaper ways to reuse stuff or make my own instead of buying them.

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I've used just about anything that holds dirt as a pot over the years. Coffee cans are not the best, but they do in a pinch. Just remember that rusting cans will change the pH of the area near the edge, (eventually throughout the soil), plants that like sweet soil will decline once their roots approach the can area. Another thing is that the dirt will stay wetter, but for many plants that won't matter. I think the cans lasted about 3 years before it started coming apart. There's not much you can do when the seam opens. I wouldn't bother painting them.

Maybe you should switch to plastic "cans". Now, those are some plant pots a-waiting.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 11:27AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I'd be concerned w/ rust & sharp edges; I recently cut myself on a soup can before I even knew what happened. Also, the proportions of the cans are wrong, they're too deep, at least for my plants.

I too drink lots of coffee & I reuse the cans all the time to store soil amendments & different mixes. Cans of perlite, peat, long sphag (that has a plastic bag in it so I can moisten it w/out rust concerns), leca stones.

Keeping cans of different mixes (if one uses different ones as some of us do) is very useful especially for an emergency repot. I grow succulents, Hoyas, Sans. & a few holiday cacti, for which I use different mixes, so I keep my mixes prepared for each, stored in labeled cans. That's my coffee can recycling.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 11:33AM
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ok so maybe i will start switching over to the plastic cans, its a different brand of coffee but i dont really care as long as i get my caffeine and as long as it tastes good. i dont really store enough stuff to use them as just storage, when i mix my own soil i get stuff that comes in resealable bags and i mix everything up in a recycling bin and then put it all back in the bags and seal them up... just did this about a month ago and i already need more homemade soil. PG now that you mention getting cut i had forgotten about a year ago i cut myself really bad on a can of veggies and i really dont want to relive that so ill stay away from using metal cans. is there anything else from around the house that you guys sometimes use as pots? more than anything im gonna be pretty much just potting stuff up for the winter, next year we will have a little more money available so that i can start switching everything over to clay pots (i just love the look of clay pots and that they let the soil breathe and also you can tell if the soil is still damp by the color of the pots).

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 12:11PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

For all those Hoyas you recently got cuttings of, if it were me, I'd still want plastic. I only use clay for large, top heavy Hoyas, of which I do have a few.

Small cups for small Hoyas, pudding cups (punctured), Solo drinking cups. For stuff I'm potting up for other people, maybe yogurt cups, the bottoms of which I've punctured.

I don't use it, but some folks use margerine tubs or those from whipped butter.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 12:53PM
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yea maybe ill do solo drinking cups, any idea if these a decent spray paint or other paint that would stick good to plastic which i could paint them with so they might look a little nicer? then next year i can little bit by little bit buy nicer pots to move them into.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 2:14PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

If you cruise over to the frugal forum, you should find enough reading and ideas to keep you busy. Basically, if it's plastic and you can cut a hole in the bottom, it's fair game. Even if it's the wrong shape, you can just cut it off when repotting time comes. Something like a solo cup or plastic water or soda bottle with the top cut off works too. OT but also handy for making decent-size cooler ice too.

They make spray paint specifically for plastic.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 3:34PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Do you have access to outside Amber? You have small kids right? I'd be careful painting plastics around small children if it were me.

(If I'm confusing you w/ someone else, then apologies in advance.)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 4:27PM
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yes i have access to outside so any painting would be done far away from the kiddos. we have a nice size garage and a sun room where i can do all of my work and be able to keep the kids away from it. ive been thinking about decorating wine glasses as holiday gifts and would probably do this in the garage or sun room so thats where i would do any other painting too. i would never do any painting inside unless it was with a small paint brush and somewhere where the kids couldnt get to.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 4:41PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Rust will not alter pH....just wanted to mention that. Dzit had said something about that.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 5:49PM
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