Corten Hollow Sections have been used for centuries to store and transport goods. In the automotive industry, it is now used to build lightweight boxes. Interiors and exteriors. 

Natural oak is used for the interior and marine-grade aluminum for the exterior. Corten Hollow uses a moisture barrier to keep moisture out and prevent corrosion. Even when it sits in our workshop, we can use our Corten Hollow Section for every project!

Due to the growing interest in steel boxes, the Corten Steel Box section has been created. It should be both practical and aesthetically pleasing. As shown on the Products page, Corten Steel Boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

Are you looking for corten steel planter boxes for your landscape project? Choosing decorative materials that are aesthetic, functional, and sustainable can be difficult when designing residential or commercial landscapes. Corten steel planter boxes are a perfect solution…

Western States Metal Roofing offers a variety of corten steel components so our customers can create their own unique look. Corten steel planter boxes are a popular choice among architects and landscape designers due to their versatility.

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about corten steel planter boxes:

Corten Steel Planters: What Are They?

Since Corten steel is weathering steel, it will naturally form a beautiful rust-like protective coating over time, unlike other rustic planter box materials. As well as having a longer lifespan than normal steel, Corten steel develops a beautiful rustic finish.

To better understand this, let’s discuss what Corten® Steel is.

The unique type of metal rusts naturally when exposed to the elements. Over time, you will see a difference in the texture and colors of the surface. There will be brown, dark orange, or a combination of both colors. Corten steel rusts faster when exposed to more extreme temperatures, resulting in more drastic changes in appearance.

A downside of Corten steel is the possibility of rust stain damage to surrounding materials. Brown stains are often caused by the rust effects on white concrete, paint, stucco, and stone. Under the Corten steel box, you can place some type of matting to prevent it from directly touching the surrounding area.

Corten steel box

Most of us have seen rusted metal planter boxes in public. You may have seen them around outdoor shopping areas or even in front of popular restaurants. Why are rusted planter boxes so popular for decorating residential and commercial spaces? 

Adding corten steel planter boxes to any indoor or outdoor setting can help achieve a modern and rustic look. Most modern rusted steel planters are long and rectangular to give off a simple, yet modern, and trendy look.

Planters made of rusted iron complement other landscaping elements well. You would think working with a bulky, solid metal box would be challenging, but you’ll find that this product gives you more creative freedom. You can combine your planter box with accessories such as dividers, benchtops, trellises, and casters. 

This rusted metal planter box includes decorative privacy screens that are perfect for patios, backyards, and open outdoor seating areas.

corten steel box 2

2. Corten Steel Planters: How Long Do They Last?

Despite poor conditions, Corten planter boxes can last up to 10 years. The longevity of Corten metal planters depends on drainage, climate, and steel thickness. There is no definitive answer because every job is different.

The worst thing you can do to reduce the lifespan of a metal planter box is to have inadequate drainage. Wet and dry cycles are necessary for corten steel. Steel can get wet, but it must also be able to dry. Whenever the planter box is wet on the inside, the weathering steel will rust through faster.

Corten planter boxes should be sealed inside with an inexpensive emulsion sealer to prevent premature corrosion.

Extreme heat and cold conditions are not a problem for this material. Corten should not be used in coastal or salty environments. Salt prevents the steel from developing a protective coating that will reduce the rate of rusting.

Lastly, thicker steel will last longer than thinner steel. Steel with a minimum thickness of 1/8″ (11 gauge) is recommended. Heavier steel is even better, but it will cost more. Corten steel does not come with a warranty.

The Corten planters in the photo below are designed to create this “desert garden.” This is located in Las Vegas, Nevada where the climate is more extreme.

Corten steel is durable and easy to maintain. Damage to the Corten steel will soon be covered up by the rusting material if it is scratched or damaged somehow. The rust on weathering metal serves as an anticorrosive coating that protects it from corrosion.


If you want to build your own planter box, Corten steel may require special welding techniques. Make sure the Corten steel planter box is properly welded together so that it can support the weight of any plant and soil.

3. What is the cost of a Corten Steel Planter Box?

Corten steel planter boxes are significantly more expensive than other materials. A fully assembled one can cost between $200 and $500. Our four sizes are listed below

  • 24″ (L) X 24″ (W) X 12″ (H)” @ $200/EA

  • 48″ (L) X 24″ (W) X 12″ (H)” @ $400/EA

  • 24″ (L) X 24″ (W) X 18″ (H)” @ $300/EA

  • 48″ (L) X 24″ (W) X 18″ (H)” @ $500/EA

If you don’t want to spend that much money on a Corten steel planter box, consider buying the metal plates separately and assembling the materials yourself.

Corten steel plates range in price from $1.00 to $3.45 per square foot, depending on the type of metal panel.

For your planter box project, most metal manufacturers allow you to request specific measurements. You can request customized Corten steel plates from your metal manufacturer.

corten steel box 3

How To Assemble A Corten Steel Planter Box

Each Corten Steel planter box kit from Western States Metal Roofing comes with 4 sides and all screws. An optional bottom is available.

When looking at a side section, you will be able to decipher the top from the bottom as there is a folded tab at the top section and just a flat piece on the bottom section.

The pieces simply interlock. Once you have a smooth corner, you know the pieces are in the correct spot and can be screwed together.

For easier assembly, pre-drilling holes may be necessary. Measure and mark out your holes prior to drilling for even screw spacing. Fasten sides using 3 screws per corner. 

We highly recommend applying an asphalt emulsion sealer to the inside of the Corten planter boxes. This helps protect the material because constant moisture will decrease the lifespan of Corten products.