While the pandemic is putting the world at a standstill, our focus shifted to worthy pursuits at home like gardening. Many of us have become plant-mom or plant-dad. But with limited spaces, we turn to container gardening.
As we pursue our newfound hobby, we get confused with different potting materials. One of the choices is metal flower pots. The most frequent question about container gardening is if the material we are using for our plants is safe.
One common material used in metal flower pots is galvanized steel. The main concern is whether this and other elements can leach into the neighboring soil because of corrosion. This is of course a natural process and is due to watering, weathering, and time.
How does it affect the plants? If we are planting vegetables, are these materials absorbed by plants and are therefore consumed by us? We will try to answer all these questions in this article.
Zinc as a Coating for Metal Pots
One of our biggest concerns about using metal flower pots is the zinc that is used to coat most of the galvanized steel material in metal flower pots.
To begin with, let us remember that zinc is a naturally occurring micronutrient in soil. Since it is a micronutrient, we need it and so plant. In an average adult, the normal dietary requirement for zinc is about 8 to 11mg per day.
In the soil, the zinc present is very minimal, about a hundredth to the thousandth percent of our requirement. And this depends on the location and the potting material.
We should also take note that zinc is not only found in the metal flower pots. The pipes that carry our drinking water were once made of galvanized steel until recently and yet there is no reported case of zinc poisoning.
The Effects of Zinc on Plants
While zinc is found in soil, a higher concentration is found on the source. In this case, the metal pots.
But not all of this micronutrient is absorbed by plants. We also have to consider other factors like the PH of the soil and the form in which this nutrient is present. Just because there are abundant nutrients present in the soil, it does not mean that the plant will contain them all.
What we mean is, not all of these minerals and nutrients are absorbed by plants. If you see that the plants in metal flower pots are healthy and happy, then you should be glad. Your plants have enough nutrients.
What Causes Excessive Leaching in Metal Flower Plants
Acidity can speed up leaching or increase the presence of zinc in the soil in your metal flower pots. We are advised not to drink juices or other beverages from metal containers because the acids break down the natural elements on the metal.
Therefore, with the same logic, we should not grow plants that need acidic soil in our metal flower pots. You should also refrain from using metal flower pots that are old and rusting.
We hope that we have answered your questions on whether metal flower pots are good for your plants. Happy gardening!