A customer so liked our cube-shaped small Corten steel planters that she asked if they could be used indoors. Intrigued by the idea, we investigated the pros and cons.

Cube-shaped small corten steel planter with bushy plant in top
This small Corten steel planter in a cube shape would look great indoors in an a conservatory.

More used though we are to Corten steel playing an important design role in the garden, it’s easy to see how pots and planters could enhance an interior. In a warehouse conversion, they’re an obvious addition to the industrial vibe. Picture them in an airy conservatory, with white-painted walls, or use that rich rusted exterior to complement strong architectural leaf structure.

Precautions to take

If you want to use Corten steel pots indoors, we advise taking a few precautions. Water running down the rusted steel can result in staining on the floor or surface on which the pot rests. To avoid this, you’ll need to place a protective mat or tray under the planter.

The smallest of our Corten steel pots is 300x300x300mm, or 300x300mm for the round cylinder. Either of these, or our slightly taller tapered cylinder, would make a statement when used to display tall or lush indoor plants but, when placing corten steel planters indoors, it is important to consider the weight. We advise placing the pot where you wish it to stand and then filling it, rather than moving it into position once it’s planted up.

Filling the Corten steel pots

Depending on what you want to plant in a pot, it may be partially filled with a lighter substance than potting or bulb compost. There are lightweight commercial growing media available, but cheaper alternatives include upturned plastic plant pots or takeaway containers placed in the bottom. Polystyrene chips are also an option—placing these in a bag can make these easier to to deal with, should you wish to repot, although increasingly plastic bags are manufactured to break down quite quickly. For more information on planting up, see on how to plant in Corten steel pots.

Small round Corten Steel pot with hosta
Our small round Corten steel pot looks great with the architectural leaves of a hosta and would grace any conservatory.


You obviously need to consider drainage, to avoid over-watering and root rot. To stop rust-stained water dribbling out of the bottom, we recommend, wherever possible, you use the rubber bung that comes with our planters. This need not make drainage a problem. Careful watering can be enough to ensure roots don’t sit in waterlogged soil.

Alternatively, a bulky, non-composting filling (such as plastic bottles) placed in the bottom can help create a reservoir into which excess water can run. Or investigate if incorporating bulb fibre or grit might suit your choice of plant. Note that, to ensure that our small Corten steel planters are completely watertight, you may need to seal around the bung.

Finally, an alternative is to use separate containers within the Corten steel planter. This has the advantage that you can easily swap plants in and out as the year goes on, so you always have a verdant display.

Corten steel pots near garden furniture under staircase in Birmingham showroom
This display in our Birmingham showroom shows how Corten steel pots look right at home indoors.

Allow to weather

Please note that Corten steel planters arrive part-weathered. Leaving them outside for a period will help them to attain the organic, corroded look that is their trademark. Indoors, it may take quite a bit longer as they won’t be exposed to the elements.

Using Corten steel planters indoors is a way to add contemporary style that will intrigue your friends. It’s also a great way to link indoor spaces with outdoors if you have Corten steel planters in the garden. If you love the look of Corten steel but it’s not quite the material for you, don’t forget our Corten Steel-coloured DesignClad can be used in all sorts of ways—even to make planters!

We’d love to see pictures of what you decide to do with your Corten steel planters indoors. In the meantime, why not take a look at our choice of Corten steel pots?