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in Exterior, News, Tips & Advice

How to Plant a Window Box

  • 04/09/2018
  • By Kendra
How to Plant a Window Box

Window boxes are tiny landscapes bursting with color and aesthetic. The bright flowers easily add more color to the outside of your home near windows, on decks, and porch rails. Plus, it’s a fairly simple installation and is fun to design. Combine cheerful spring colors with lush greenery for a beautiful window box increasing your home’s curb appeal!

Select Plants and Flowers

When considering what to plant, think about important factors such as which plants will thrive in the sun and shade requirements of the box’s location. Since a window box works the same way as a container, stick with plants that have relatively small roots and can grow in limited spaces.

Pay attention to plant height for an eye-catching garden scene that won’t block any views. Consider a blend of uprights, bulbs, trailers, and filler plants. One of the best features of a window box is how easily you can change the box’s look and seasonally replant it.

When it comes to color schemes, select colors that compliment your home or landscape.

If you’re more concerned about your window box’s function rather than its form, plant an herb garden outside of your kitchen. You’ll have convenient access to fresh herbs for flavorful cooking!

Choose the Right Container

Start by evaluating the style of your home. Different types of window boxes will go hand-in-hand with the overall look of your house. For example, Terracotta window boxes accompany Mediterranean styles while a wrought-iron box complements Tudor-style homes.

Purchasing the right sized window box is also essential. A box that is too short will look silly while a box that is too long will overwhelm the space and make the exterior look crowded. Find a window box that spans the full inside width of your window for a perfect balance.

In terms of height, the rule of thumb is that the box should be 25 percent of the height of the window. Both depth and width should be at least 8 inches from front-to-back. If you want the plants to overflow the window box, a foot in depth and width is better.

Be sure to purchase a box with holes on the bottom for drainage so the roots don’t rot! If you mistakenly purchase a box without holes, you can easily drill them in yourself.

Prepare the Window Box

Before planting, line the window box with plastic or metal. This allows you to easily rotate liners and add fresh plants in.

Be sure to attach the window box securely to the side of the house. Keep in mind it needs to withstand wind and various types of weather, as well as the weight of wet soil and plant roots.

Window box hardware is usually an L-shaped bracket made of stainless or galvanized steel. Otherwise, you can hang the boxes off of a balcony railing or use a free-standing box.

Time to Plant

Now that you’re ready to plant, add the potting mix into the pot. Fill the window box half full with the mix and add water for moisture if necessary.

Place the plants 2 to 5 inches apart. Put the tallest plants in the back of the box and the trailing plants at the front of the box. Fill the space in between with filler plants and bulbs. You can fill the remaining space with soil mix and water to settle everything. More in-depth details on planting can be found here.

Maintain the plants by watering frequently and completely soaking the soil each time. You can also use water-soluble flowering plant fertilizer dissolved according to instructions. Don’t forget to trim dead flowers and stray plants to avoid a messy look. If the box becomes crowded, easily remove some plants to clear out some more space!


By Kendra, 04/09/2018 Kendra is a content writer with a BA in literature from Wilkes University. When she’s not reading up on the latest home decorating trends, Kendra is busy designing her future home, library included.


Kendra is a content writer with a BA in literature from Wilkes University. When she’s not reading up on the latest home decorating trends, Kendra is busy designing her future home, library included.

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