Corten Planters: A Great Investment for Your Landscape

August 19, 2020

Corten Planters: A Great Investment for Your Landscape

Key Benefits of Corten Planters

  • Corten steel / weathering steel is designed to last for many decades outdoors without rusting through. Corten has been shown to last 8 times longer than regular mild steel.
  • High recycled content. Corten planters can have 70 percent or more recycled content.
  • You can have planters made out of Corten / weathering steel that is made in the USA .
  • The rust patina that quickly develops on corten steel is one of the most beautiful, natural finishes available. This patina will continue to change over the life of your corten planter bed / planter.
  • Perfect for any environment. Corten planters work great in urban landscapes, rural landscapes and everywhere in between.


Key Design Considerations for Corten Planters

  • Welded or DIY. I produce more DIY corten planters than I do fully welded ones for my clients. If you buy welded corten planters, they will to arrive fully built and ready for planting. If you buy DIY corten planters, they should arrive in pre-formed sections that will need to be assembled on-site.
  • Wall thickness / corten steel gauge. Arguably the most important aspect of any corten planter design is the wall thickness / gauge of the steel used. For large custom corten planters I generally use 14 or 11 gauge corten steel. This is thicker than 16 gauge, which most other fabricators use. In sheet steel / metal, the lower the gauge the thicker the material. For very large planters i'll use 1/4" corten steel or thicker. These planters usually are so heavy they need to be lifted into place by cranes or large forklifts.
  • Turned top / bottom edges. When metal is bent it becomes much stronger and firmer than before it was bent. Especially for DIY corten planter beds, I advise my clients to let me bend the top and bottom edges of each side at a 90 degree angle. I usually create a 1.5″ top bend and a 2.5″ bottom bend for extra structural integrity.


Drainage Holes / Extra Internal Cross Supports

  • If you order welded corten planters you need to decide if you want drainage holes cut into the bottom of your planters. If your planters will be used indoors then you may not want to have any drainage holes. However, if your planters will be used outside you probably will want drainage holes to ensure adequate drainage when it rains.
  • If your planters are large, either welded or DIY, you should consider whether internal cross supports will be a good addition. This would be to avoid any bulging / bending of sides as a result of very wet soil, growing roots, freezing soil, etc. Make sure that you think about what you will plant in your planters before you decide on the placement of any internal cross supports. For instance, if you will plant a tree with a large root ball in a planter you will need to avoid placing internal cross supports in areas that would block the root ball from fitting.


 DIY Corten Planters Ease of Assembly

  • Pre-installed threaded rivnuts. I install threaded rivnuts into every bolt hole in my DIY corten planters. This makes assembly much easier and your planter structurally sound. I use aluminum or stainless steel inserts and bolts in all my planters. Make sure your planters have either aluminum or stainless steel assembly hardware. This way, you can rest assured that your bolts and inserts wont rust out over time.


I hope this article was helpful to you. 

If I can provide you with any more help as you further refine your corten planter needs feel free to call me at 561.451.7498, email me,, visit my website: or my etsy store, Scott Avidon Design.