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Care for Cast Iron Planters

iron planter image by Alison Bowden from

Cast iron planters are plant holders or plant stands. Rather than putting a plant directly into the planter, the plant is in another pot that is then set into the planter. Many cast iron planters are used outdoors, and exposure to the elements such as rain and polluted air can present some challenges when it comes to taking care of the planter. Fear of the elements shouldn't stop you from enjoying the look of cast iron planters. By following a few tips, you can take care of the planter and make it last for years.

Clean your planter before use by washing it with a rag and warm, soapy water. Rinse well and dry thoroughly.

Coat the planter with liquid car wax at least two times per year. This will help protect the planter from water and the elements, much like wax protects your car's finish. Pour some car wax on the planter, spread it out and rub it in with a clean rag.

Sand down any chipped areas with steel wool, wipe them clean and touch up with an anti-rust primer, followed by matching all-weather enamel paint. Allow it to dry completely and apply a clear sealant. Check the paint labels for drying times.

Do not allow the iron planter to sit in puddles of standing water, because this will promote rust.

Cover the planters or bring them into a garage or storage area when they are not in use.


Achieve the look of rusted iron by letting the planter rust naturally. Once it has rusted to your liking, wipe clean any loose debris or rust and then cover the planter with a weather resistant clear coat.


Never plant flowers or plants directly into an iron planter. The soil will take up iron, and the moisture from watering the plant may cause the planter to rust.

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