Window boxes can add a splash of color and fragrance to the outside of your home, and creating this type of container garden is relatively easy. Though window boxes require more care and consideration than pots placed on a patio or porch, they still provide an ideal solution for individuals who lack the yard space for a traditional garden, or those looking for an interesting element to add to the exterior of the house.
Window boxes are available in a variety of different materials, from heavy wood or metal to lightweight plastic. Whatever your choice, you will need strong brackets to secure the box to the side of the house. If you cannot attach the box directly to the house, make sure that it is properly secured to the windowsill and is not loose. To keep the box as light as possible, fill the bottom with packing peanuts to provide drainage without adding weight. When considering the weight of the box, remember to include the weight of soil, water and plants in your calculations.
The flowers and plants used in your window box should be varieties that do well in containers. A window box will not allow for extensive spreading. Cascading plants can make a small box appear much larger than it actually is by trailing elegantly over the sides of the box. Pansies and petunias are two options that are readily available in most areas. If you keep you windows open, consider including flowers or herbs that are fragrant, such as miniature roses.
Window boxes require regular care and attention to thrive and to look their best throughout the season. Follow the care instructions for your selection of flowers and water regularly as needed. Provide liquid fertilizer. Weeds should be less of a concern in window boxes than in other parts of the garden, but you should keep on top of these if they do pop up. One of the most important aspects of care for this type of container is regular trimming and deadheading. Remove dead flowers and leaves daily and trim back plants that get unruly. As flowers reach the end of the season, remove them from the boxes and replace with fall or winter varieties.