Plants That Survive Well in a Window Box

Create a thriving and beautiful window box by choosing plants that survive well in a window box. You can add a window box to your home, apartment or balcony. Window boxes often fail to thrive because of the plants chosen, rather than lack of care. Choose plants that suit the amount of sunlight available, amount of care available, and the size of the window box planter to create window boxes that are abundant, welcoming and just the accent your home needs.

Spring Plantings

Start your window box in the spring with cold-tolerant plants. Bulb flowers like tulips are a good choice in the early spring. These are colorful and stunningly pretty. Plant a variety of bulbs in your window box for an abundant early spring display and a longer lasting planting. Larger bulbs may be planted deeper than smaller ones to create a more lush window box. For this spring window box, plant bulbs in the fall and store the box in a cool area, like a cellar, or bury the boxes with a 4-inch layer of sand in the garden. Pot bulbs in a similar way if you prefer to keep your boxes usable year-round, choosing pots that will fit neatly into your window box.

Summer Window Boxes

Summer annuals thrive in window boxes, assuming adequate water. Geranium and ivy are both good, hardy choices for a window box. Marigolds will also flourish in your window boxes. If you have a shadier window, pansies, sweet peas or petunias can survive well in a window box. You might also consider a summer herb garden in your window box. Mint, thyme, basil and parsley can all do very well in an easy-to-access window box.

Fall and Winter Window Boxes

Build your fall and winter window boxes around hardy boxwood shrubs, neatly trimmed. Add flowering plants into the spaces around these taller and more structural shrubs. Smaller chrysanthemums are a good short-term solution in the fall window box, adding vivid color to your home. While these plants do survive well in window boxes, they are a disposable plant, so enjoy their flowering for 4 to 8 weeks and discard when they fade. Flowering kales are an excellent choice in the fall and winter window box, surviving through frost. Try some surprising choices in the fall window box, including pansies and petunias. These spring classics can also survive cooler autumn temperatures well.

Keywords: window box, spring bulbs, cold-tolerant plants

About this Author

Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing on a variety of subjects from finance to crafts since 2004. Her work appears on sites including eHow and She holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, which has provided strong research skills and a varied range of interests.