Corten Steel Planters: Longevity with Style

Landscapers are consistently working towards refining gardening practices. From introducing new growing techniques to modernizing the methods, there are a bunch of different techniques that are infiltrating the market. However, what you need to realize and know about is the buzz that Corten Steel planters have created in the market.

From the clean lines to the overall rustic finish, Corten Steel planters have now become a professional landscaper’s best friend. If you like to design and customize the space around your home with the help of professionals, chances are that they will suggest getting the Corten steel planters, given how versatile they are.

Corten Steel Planters

The use of Corten steel planters isn’t just for residential areas but is equally popular in commercial real estate. Compared to the standard wooden planters that you come across in the market, the corten steel planters are long-lasting and pretty amazing in terms of design and finish.

You might think they are expensive on your initial purchase, but you need to realize that they are here to stay with you for a long time. So, it is a good investment for the future and pretty eco-friendly as well. The best part about a corten steel planter is the design. With durability, you get the promise of a long-term design.

However, we understand that being familiar with the concept of Corten steel planters can be a little complicated for beginners. If you are in the same boat, we have all the information lined up for you in this guide. 

What is Corten Steel?

Let us round up and start from the basics. Corten steel is a popular type of weathering steel that is constructed with a blend of different steel alloys. This results in a durable material that develops a layer of rust over time. Before you get alarmed, let us clarify.

The rust layer on top acts as a protective layer and adds a very vintage and rustic look to the planter. But, that’s not all; the layer also works as a protective layer that eliminates your need for painting.

What is Corten Steel

If you think that Corten Steel is a new trend, it isn’t. It has been around since the 1930s. However, the use of Corten steel started with its inclusion in railroad cars, which was later used in storage cans and is now a popular inclusion for building planters.

A first look at a Corten Steel item will make you question its credibility. After all, who wants a rusted item, right? Well, that’s the specialty of it. The corten steel items are exposed to prolonged periods of sun and wet climate conditions, which creates a rust layer on top, otherwise known as the Patina.

Corten Steel

The layer of Patina prevents risks of damage and further impact on the material, keeping it secure in the long run. There are different varieties of the corten steel, redcor being one of them. Unlike most types of Corten steel, Redcor is cold-rolled, while Corten steel is hot-rolled. 

Are there Safety Corners with Corten Steel Planters?

As we mentioned, the concept of the Corten Steel planters is fairly new. Although the material has been around for quite some time, it is only recently that people have started creating planters out of it.

But, are they safe for growing your plants? Are there any safety concerns that you should look out for?

When you have such a high-grade level of rust growing on the exterior, it isn’t surprising that people are going to worry that the metal will leech into the food plants or the standard flowering plants that one is growing. You can put that stress to rest because that isn’t the case.

  • It does seep in a little iron from the planter but that’s about it. So technically, the planter is only fortifying your plants with some extra iron. Even high acidity levels can’t break down the rust layer that covers the side of the planter, so growing any type of plant shouldn’t be of any concern, especially in terms of health hazards.
  • Also, if you are worried about the ecological aspect, there’s no need to worry about that as well. Yes, the planters are rusted from the exterior but they aren’t rusted to an extent that will cause unnecessary pollution to the environment if that is something you are worried about.
  • The only big issue with keeping a Corten steel planter in your backyard or garden is the staining. Since it is already corroded from the exterior, there are chances that the same will stain the surface you are keeping it on. So, if you keep it on top of a concrete surface, chances are that the same will eventually end up damaging the surface exponentially.
  • If you are buying a raw Corten steel planter that hasn’t been corroded yet, we’d highly recommend that you speed up the rusting process by spraying a mixture of vinegar and water on the surface. Even using hydrogen peroxide can help in sorting out the hassle a lot. 

Besides these safety measures, another important factor to know about the corten steel planters is the fact that they need a protective coating of polyurethane on top of the planter. Since it already has a layer of oxidation on top, chances are that you won’t need an extra layer of paint to go on top of the planter, so that’s a further relief.

Also, painting the corten steel planter isn’t a necessity but if you don’t particularly enjoy the rustic brown appearance of the planter, it is always ideal for you to go ahead and get paint of your choice to cover the exterior.

Which is Better – Corten Steel Planter or Galvanized Steel Planter?

Before we pit both of them against each other, we need to realize or understand the fact that both the corten steel and galvanized steel planters are amazing. They perform amazingly, not to mention that they are one of a kind as well.

Which is Better – Corten Steel Planter or Galvanized Steel Planter

We’d recommend both of these over the plastic planters, especially due to the credibility and the durability of the product in the long run.

Now, which one is a better option between the two we have.

  • Appearance 

Starting with the Corten steel planter. This is no doubt a hit or miss among people, especially ones that don’t like the rusty look. However, if you are one of those people that genuinely enjoy the old and rustic look of a planter; you are going to enjoy this one in particular.

However, when it comes to the appearance of a galvanized steel planter, it is a lot more uniform and it offers scope for more customizations than you’d expect. Since galvanized steel planters are sprayed with protective aluzinc powder coating, they have an even and smooth appearance to them.

  • Durability

Surprisingly enough, we’d have to give this one to the galvanized steel planters. They last a lot longer than you’d anticipate. The corten steel planters are at more risk of cracking and breaking from the sites that get excess humidity or exposure to the salt spray.

Galvanized steel planter, on the other hand, is rust-resistant and doesn’t experience any kinds of damage, even after years of prolonged usage. So, all in all, we’d recommend this as a superior option in comparison.

  • Interaction

Another factor about these two planters that every landscaper should be aware of is the interaction. They will interact among themselves if you keep them side by side or close enough. That’s probably the last thing that you want to do.

Since galvanized steel planters have a zinc layer on top of them, there are chances that the corten steel planters will react with them and cause damage in the long run. That’s probably the last thing that you want to experience with these expensive planters.

To conclude, everyone has different requirements and expectations from the planters they buy. So, what you need to do is ensure that you get good-quality planters that best suit the area and the landscape that you have.

Why should you use Corten Steel Planters in your Garden?

Corten steel is one of the most versatile and multipurpose steel alloy materials that you will come across. However, you need to know why corten steel planters are a good choice for your garden. Why should you consider doing it?

The biggest reason why they make good planters for your garden is the durability factor. It is one of the best options around, not to mention that it sustains your plants even in harsh temperature and climate conditions.

Why should you use Corten Steel Planters in your Garden

Also, the panel texture on these planters adds a depth of uniqueness to the design, which is another reason why you won’t regret indulging in it at all.

Here’s a quick rundown of the reasons why corten steel planters are a good option:

  • If you have wood, concrete, or plastic gardening beds, there are chances that you’d have to replace or fix them now and then. You won’t have to worry about the same with the Corten steel planters. They are long-lasting and an excellent investment. They do cost a lot more initially but the upkeep is close to nothing, so you are making a one-time investment.
  • Another reason why Corten steel planters are ideal for your garden is due to the lack of assembling needs. There are no complexities involved in the process, which is a reason enough for you to get and install it without any hassle. They come in a kit and are a lot easier to put together than you can think of.
  • Corten steel planters have a unique and western appeal to the design, especially with the rusting that covers the exterior of the planter. This is something you wouldn’t get with any other planter in the market, making it one of the absolute best investments in your life. The bright and deep brown of the rust offsets well with the greenery from the plant and adds a chic look to your garden.
  • Adding any Corten steel plant in your garden ensures that you can blend it in with the design elements and layout that you see outside. If you enjoy aesthetics and want to include some in your garden, this is what adds that missing character.

Corten Steel Planters

Whether or not you’d choose a Corten steel planter is completely your choice. However, we can’t forego the thought that it’s one of the best options that you can get in the market, without a speck of doubt.

Why should you Avoid Corten Steel Planters?

Now, every coin has a flip side to it. We now know that using Corten Steel Planters is pretty great for you. But, what about the downsides. When should you not use it?

Keep in mind that the Corten Steel planters are basically “naked”. Yes, it has a layer of rust over it but that’s it. So, if you live in areas with excess humidity and sun and wetness, chances are that installing a Corten steel planter will worsen the situation.

Why should you Avoid Corten Steel Planters

Salt spray, which is common around beaches, is another area where we wouldn’t recommend using a Corten steel planter. You will only end up wasting away at your investment. Instead, do your research on what kind of weather conditions are optimal for a Corten steel planter and then proceed with the same.

If you live in areas where it floods easily, these planters aren’t your thing. To maintain the strong rust coating on top, the Corten steel planters need periods of dry weather, so be vigilant about the same. Also, we’d highly recommend locking the exterior of the rust layer with polyurethane if you want to use the planters in the long run.


1. How long do Corten Steel Planters last?

Most of the Corten steel planters that you find in the market come with a variety of designs and thicknesses, meaning that you get to pick one that best aligns with your needs. The best thing about these planters is their longevity. They easily last for 25+ years, which ensures that you are making the right long-term investment for yourself.

2. Do Corten Steel Planters rust?

The Corten steel planters come with a protective layer and coating on top of the steel, which prevents the risks of rusting from the planter. This is one of the reasons why their planters are so popular for growing plants outdoors. You can rely on them to grow your type of plant without any complaints.

3. Do Corten Steel planters require maintenance?

If you are considering buying Corten steel planters, you can go ahead without any complaints at all. They are rust-resistant and weatherproof, meaning that they thrive when you grow them outdoors, there’s nothing you’d have to do going out of your way to maintaining them in the long run. It doesn’t require any kind of treatment and you can leave them outdoors without any worries.

4. How do you keep Corten Steel planters from rusting?

Most of the Corton steel planters you notice outdoors aren’t going to rust because the steel is rust-resistant and some of them even come with a coating on the exterior. If you do notice any kind of rusting, we’d recommend that you spray an anti-rust chemical on the planter to increase its longevity.

5. How do you prevent staining on Corton steel planters?

If you notice mud or grass staining on the steel planters, the only way to prevent that is by giving them a quick rub and cleaning. Doing so every week or every two weeks should be enough.


Corten Steel planters are gaining a lot of traction in the landscaping world and rightfully so. If you are considering bringing one to your home, we hope that this article gives you all the insights that you probably need to know. However, only pick them up if you have favorable weather condition. That’s what matters.

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