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Can these be left outside year round in the rain, snow, and desert sun? Yes, they are made to be outside year round in every weather condition. The only exception, our seasonal pumpkins and pinecones which should be brought inside during the off-season.
What will my piece look like in 5 years? Almost the same as they do when new. The color will darken slightly over the years, likely so insignificantly you will not even notice.
What kind of maintenance is needed to make sure they last? Nothing. They are completely maintenance free.
My brand new piece has orange, rust-like residue on it out of the box? This is normal and can usually be wiped away with a damp rag if desired. This is dried patina that turns into an iron oxide dust, it is not a sign of damage or corrosion.
Will they rust? In short, no. The weld spots will turn a rusted color. In most cases the weld spots will have this rusted color out of the box due to the patina process. The main body of the piece (green portion) will not turn a rust color. DO NOT BURY your piece. Make sure water/moisture drains away from the base. If buried, the base of your piece will eventually rust. See below for how to cover your base to look natural.
Can I cover the base plates to look natural? Yes. When covering use medium to large size rock or other material that allows water and moisture to drain away and dry out. Do not cover with pea gravel, sand or thick mulch that will hold water. Doing so will cause the base plate to rust.
It looks like there are some slight color differences in the photos. Can I pick my preferred color? We only have one color, a variegated green with mild hints of orange and grey. There is natural variance in the coloring. Side by side each piece will have slight differences. This is part of the organic natural look.
Can I secure them down for theft prevention and/or strong winds? Yes, ground stakes are included with most pieces but they can be permanently mounted for extra security in commercial and high traffic areas.
Some of these look sharp, is there any danger? Like real agaves, cactus, prickly pears and more you do not want to fall on them. They are not sharp to the touch. Place pieces inside the perimeter of walkways to avoid snagging clothes or scratching legs.
I own pieces that have been outside for several years will new pieces match in color? Yes, we have clients that purchased some of our original pieces 20 years ago and add to their collection now without any issue.
Can I use a planter I already own? Yes. You can place them directly on the dirt in an existing planter. To fill the void of an existing planter without using dirt, cut pool noodles into strips, fill the planter with those and put dirt on top. This is an easy way to use existing planters. A Desert Steel planter (or any planter) is not required for our pieces.
Can these be regularly hit with my sprinkler? No. While rain and snow is no issue, the minerals in sprinkler water can change the appearance. Constant contact with water (splashing, sprinklers, fountains, etc.) will cause rust.
Will my salt water pool cause any issues? No. Evaporation from salt water pools is not an issue.
What is corten or weathered steel and why does it rust? The rust on corten/weathered steel (used on palm trees, joshua trees and select planters) is surface only. The surface rust creates a barrier that protects from corrosion. Used in a variety of outdoor applications, this material is made to be outside in all conditions.
Will the rust from corten or weathered steel bleed onto my patio? Yes, this can be a concern. We would not suggest placing a corten item directly on a patio when stain from rust would cause an issue.