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Monday, January 12, 2015

Choosing and Using Metal Animal Planters

Charming and durable, metal animal planters are a great addition to any garden, patio or indoor plant display. They make unique homes for everything from succulents to annuals and, if properly cared for, while last for years to come.

Planting Your Flowers
Most metal animal planters are designed to be pot holders, and planting in them directly could cause rust and metal deterioration. To prolong the planter's life, start by lining the interior with heavy duty garden plastic. Pour about an inch of fine rock or gravel in to allow pots to drain, then place a pot with drainage holes on top of the rocks. Putting a small piece of window screening over the drainage holes will prevent soil from seeping out of the pot during waterings.

Succulents are perfect residents for metal planters. Their low water demands and cold intolerance match perfectly with the ideal conditions for metal planters. Planting succulents does not require a pot. Simply pour rocks or gravel directly into the plastic liner. Fill the pot about halfway with rocks and the rest of the way with a sandy succulent mix. Mosses, which look like fun fur or hair for the animal shape, also thrive planted this way.

Caring for Your Planters
At the end of every gardening season, clean the planter and inspect it for signs of rust. For unpainted or enamel-coated metal, use a dry, stiff brush to scrape off dirt and wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth. Painted metal can be cleaned with a soft brush and cloth. Tackle rust spots with a wire brush and, if desired, use a rust-deterring paint to cover the area.

While wrought iron and aluminum pieces can be left outside during the winter, other metal pieces should be taken into a protected location or covered to prevent rust. Avoid placing bare metal planters in soggy areas, and paint anything you want to leave outside year-round.

Metal planters provide texture and a touch of rustic flare to any garden. With plenty of cute animal shapes to choose from, there is something to match any garden theme.


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