How to Plant & Design a Window Box


Window boxes filled with a variety of flowers catch the eye and welcome visitors into your home. They should reflect your personal style and preferences in flowers, and complement your home and yard. Whether you choose brightly colored flowers to make a dramatic statement or subtle groupings that emit the sweet fragrance of summer blooms, care must be given to selecting flowers that meet the growing requirements of the location and choosing plants that thrive in containers.

Step 1

Evaluate the location of the window box and determine the amount of light it receives on a daily basis. Boxes located in full sun getting six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day provide an ideal location for sun-loving plants. Shady or partially shady areas work well, but do require plants that thrive in shady locations.

Step 2

Choose a color scheme for the window box. Sunny areas provide more variations in colors, as many brightly colored flowers thrive in full sun. Shade-loving plants tend to produce more subdued color, but with careful selection you can find shade-loving plants in nearly any color.

Step 3

Browse the greenhouse or nursery for plants in your preferred color scheme that meet the lighting requirements of your window box. (See "Additional Resources," below, for recommended plants.) Choose one or two larger plants as focal points for your window box. Choose plants that add height and produce showy blooms.

Step 4

Select trailing plants that complement the main flowers in the box. Delicate trailing flowers add texture and depth to your planting. Ivies and other richly colored vines create a lush appearance and extend the visual line of your box.

Step 5

Add a contrasting color. Although white is always an interesting color and complements any flower, try colors that pop for a dramatic pairing. Yellows tucked in with rich purple create a splash of bright color. Yellows and red create a fiery display.

Step 6

Experiment with the design of your window box by setting the plants in the box prior to filling it with soil. Try several arrangements until you create the look you prefer. Fill the planter with one part all-purpose potting soil to one part perlite. Make an indentation large enough to accommodate the root ball of the plant and set the plant in the soil. Situate all plants and cover the root ball. Firm the soil around the base of the plant with your hands. Water thoroughly and keep soil moist.

Things You'll Need

  • All-purpose potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Seedlings

Who Can Help

  • Window Box Plants by Light Requirements and Growing Habit
Keywords: design, plant, flowers, window, box

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.

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