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Care for Cast Iron Planters

By Traci Joy ; Updated September 21, 2017
Cast iron planter
iron planter image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

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.


Things You Will Need

  • Rag
  • Mild liquid soap
  • Warm water
  • Steel wool
  • Anti-rust primer
  • No rust paint
  • Paint brush, if necessary
  • Car wax


  • 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.

About the Author


A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."