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Bucket flower pots

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Can Metal Buckets Be Used As Flowerpots?

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Container gardening is not limited to traditional flowerpots or displays. Repurposed items, such as metal buckets, offer alternative containers for planting your flowers. Since metal conducts heat, the bucket temperature may fluctuate more than other container types. With a few modifications, a metal bucket provides a durable and visually pleasing flowerpot.

Sanitizing the Bucket

A clean metal bucket makes a hospitable growing spot for your flowers. Even if you use a new bucket, a quick washing and sanitizing won’t hurt. The University of Illinois Extension suggests first washing the container with soapy water. Rinse the bucket well. A mixture of one part bleach to nine parts water creates a sanitizing solution for the bucket. Leave the solution in the bucket for 10 minutes. Rinse the bucket again before planting.

Adding Drainage

A container garden needs drainage so the soil doesn’t become over saturated. Too much water in the soil can harm or kill the flowers you plant in the bucket. You’ll need three or more holes for a 12-quart bucket. Larger buckets need more holes to provide adequate drainage; for example, a 5-gallon bucket needs six or more holes. To add holes, turn the bucket upside down and drill each hole to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter, spacing them evenly to provide even drainage. Cover the holes with a piece of fine mesh to keep the soil from running out.

Filling the Bucket

Regular soil weighs too much for a metal bucket, especially if you plan to hang the bucket. Use a soilless potting mixture designed for container gardening. The mix keeps the bucket lighter so it is easier to move and doesn’t become too heavy for the handle to hold. Leave a space at the top of the bucket so the soil doesn’t wash out when you water the flowers. If you don’t want to plant directly inside the bucket, fill a slightly smaller plastic flower pot with the soilless mix and place it inside the bucket. If you ever plant edibles in the metal bucket, you need a plastic liner, according to the “Organic Gardening” website.

Planting Your Garden

The size of the metal bucket you use helps with the flower selection. Choose flowering plants with a mature height and spread that won’t outgrow the bucket. When planting flowers in containers, you can place the plants closer than normal, and then thin the plants as needed as they grow. Plant in the bucket as you would in a traditional flowerpot, firming the soil around the plants and watering thoroughly. Your metal bucket planter needs watered more frequently than the flowers would when planted in the ground. Keep the soil in the bucket moist.

  • Sunset: Plant a Country Garden — In Buckets
  • University of Illinois Extension: Choosing a Container for Planting

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

Can Metal Buckets Be Used As Flowerpots?. Container gardening is not limited to traditional flowerpots or displays. Repurposed items, such as metal buckets, offer alternative containers for planting your flowers. Since metal conducts heat, the bucket temperature may fluctuate more than other container types. With a …