Metal Plant Containers: Growing Plants In Galvanized Containers

metal container
metal container
(Image credit: marilyna)

Growing plants in galvanized containers is a great way to get into container gardening. The containers are large, relatively light, durable, and ready made for planting. So how do you go about growing plants in galvanized containers? Keep reading to learn more about planting in galvanized steel containers.

Growing Plants in Galvanized Container

Galvanized steel is steel that’s been coated in a layer of zinc to prevent rusting. This makes it especially good among metal plant containers, because the presence of soil and water means a lot of wear and tear for containers. When planting in galvanized pots, make sure you have adequate drainage. Drill a few holes in the bottom, and prop it up so that it rests level on a couple bricks or pieces of wood. This will allow the water to drain away easily. If you want to make draining even easier, line the bottom of the container with a few inches of wood chips or gravel. Depending on how big your container is, it might be extremely heavy full of soil, so make sure you have it where you want it before you fill it up. When using metal plant containers, there’s some risk that your roots will heat up too much in the sun. You can get around this by placing your container in a spot that receives some shade, or by planting trailing plants around the edges that shade the sides of the container. Lining them with newspaper or coffee filters can help insulate plants from heat too.

Are Galvanized Containers Food Safe?

Some people are nervous about planting herbs or vegetables in galvanized pots because of the health hazards associated with zinc. While it’s true that zinc can be toxic if consumed or breathed in, the danger of growing vegetables near it is very low. In fact, in many areas, drinking water supplies have been, and sometimes still are, carried by galvanized pipes. Compared to that, the amount of zinc that may make it up your plants’ roots and into your vegetables is insignificant.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.