Unusual Garden Planters: Re-purposed Tin Cans

Ketchup tins used as wall planters.

Vertical planting with re-purposed tin food containers.

I loved this collection of re-used, re-purposed, oversized ketchup cans used as planters. It’s a fun and casual  display that adds life to a plain Jane brick wall.What makes it work is the matching tins, and the design of a diagonal grid adds elegance and simplicity. Using tin cans that would otherwise be tossed into the recycling bin is an added environmental bonus.

As far as the plants’ health, the benefit with these particular cans is that they are large enough to give the plants a fighting chance: smaller tins dry out too quickly. You can use smaller containers, as long as you are prepared to water religiously, and that might mean twice a day in hot weather. The increased root space of a large can will keep the root ball consistently moist and cool, making a healthier, more long-lasting plant. Extremes of temperature and soil moisture weaken a plant in any container, with the exception of succulents and cacti, which need dry periods and love the heat.

Bright red ketchup tins used as planters on a white wall.

Bright red ketchup tins used as planters, in a diagonal pattern on a white wall.

There are marvelous tin cans with great colours and graphics that could be used this way; olive oil tins come to mind. They are large and deep and often have flat sides. Plain tin cans with the labels peeled off make great containers as well, either in their natural state or painted other colours. Have you used any recycled cans in your garden? Let us know in the comments.

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