Tips on Flower Boxes

A flower box is a form of container placed outside a window for decoration and easy access. It may consist of an actual box left on a windowsill and secured with brackets, or be a hay rack hung below a window to form a pocket of dirt. Flower boxes were first developed for apartment dwellers with little space, but they may be used by anyone who wants to grow flowers in a window setting.

Plant Selection

Determining what to grow depends on the purpose of the box and where it will be placed. Windows boxes outside of a kitchen may be used for a miniature herb or dwarf vegetable garden, while flower boxes in a corner of the home that receives full shade may only grow shade plants such as impatiens or tuberous begonias. Because most flower boxes are very shallow, they cannot be used to grow large plants or vegetables such as elephant ear, full-sized tomatoes or mature carrots. Flower boxes' long, narrow design will accommodate trailing plants such as pansies, but they must be frequently deadheaded to keep the mounding, flowery display going.

Box Location and Type

Positioning a flower box is another important decision. Plants growing in a box in a windowsill can obstruct your view. Instead, install brackets so the window box is held in place just below the windowsill. Choose a window box that is the same length as the window. If the box is too short, the window will dwarf it. The box should not be too heavy for the brackets; consider what the weight will be including wet potting soil and plants. It should also be large enough to give plant roots space and coordinate with your shutters or the eaves of your home.

Water

Flower boxes present special challenges when it comes to watering. Because many boxes are hung from the side of a home, they are subject to drying faster than other containers. You should check flower boxes for moisture several times daily. Splashing on the home is also a watering problem. One resolution is to use a gardening nozzle shaped like a shepherd's hook to water your plants. Another is to lean out of a window with a watering can.

Keywords: container gardening, window box, container boxes

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."