Types of Window Boxes

Traditional homes often feature a rectangular flower box placed directly underneath the windowsill. These planters, called window boxes, complement the exterior home décor with a floral view from inside and outside the home. Window boxes come in a variety of container types that attach differently to the home based on the weight of the planter. Placement of the planter against brick or siding increases the heat in the planter, resulting in fast moisture loss. The key to successful window box planting involves selecting plants suitable for each location.

Wrought Iron

Current gardening design trends lean towards wrought iron wire baskets for both hanging plants and window boxes. Wrought iron models offer gardeners the benefits of a window box paired with the pleasing aesthetic look of a lined wire basket. Styles include plain rectangular boxes called hayracks. Ornate models feature curlicue scrollwork and a fluted rim. Choose form-fitted coconut liners or dried sphagnum moss to line the interior of the window box. Liners and moss require replacement every year due to quick degradation of these materials. Wire-lined window baskets drain very quickly and require frequent watering due to air exposure around all sides of the planter.

Wood

Traditional window boxes consisted of rectangular wooden boxes attached under the windowsill. Untreated wood rotted easily with constant exposure to weathering, as well as soil and moisture damage to the wood. Window boxes have graduated to more practical containers made from redwood or treated woods that tolerate exposure to moisture. Homeowners often choose to allow the wood material to weather naturally to blend with the landscape. Mist models also tolerate application of paint and sealant as well. Vendors also make plastic formed window box liners to protect your investment. Ensure the wooden window box and liner containers drainage holes spaced at least every 5 inches to avoid pooling of water. Proper drainage limits incidences of rotting in the wood. Installation of wooden window boxes requires strong brackets due the combined weight of the wood and soil.

Vinyl, Fiberglass and Plastic

Plastic, vinyl and fiberglass window boxes offer all the benefits of a container garden comprised of a lighter material. This type of box often features faux woodwork designs etched into the plastic to simulate old-fashioned wooden window boxes. Vendors offer a wide range of colors to match exterior home colors. Gardeners typically choose colors to match the home's exterior trim color. Resin material window boxes provide long-lasting decorative additions to the home landscape.

Keywords: window boxes, window box types, window box designs

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.