Plant Ideas for a Window Box

Plants for a window box can be as wide and as varied as the person planting them. They can be neat and colorful, packed with delicious herbs or bursting with lush plants. Window box plants can accentuate the look of your property, depending on what plants you choose.

Madagascar Periwinkle

Madagascar periwinkle, or Catharanthus roseus, is from the Apocynaceae, or dogbane, family. It is a fast-growing drought-tolerant vine perennial. It can read 2 to 3 feet tall with 2- to 3-inch glossy leaves and tubular flowers that are 1 1/2 inches long and red, purple, white or pink. Plant a Madagascar periwinkle in full sun or partial shade in poor well drained soils. Propagate via seed.


Dill, or Anethum graveolens, is from the Apiaceae/Umbelliferae, or carrot, family. It is an easy growing annual that attracts butterflies to the garden. The plant gets 3 to 5 feet tall with yellow flowers and it is very fragrant. Dill weed and seeds are used in cooking. Plant in full sun in well drained soil. Sow seeds to propagate or allow self-sowing.


Basil, or Ocimum basilicum, is from the Lamiaceae/Labiatae, or mint, family. It is a fragrant annual that has edible leaves that get 2 to 4 inches long. Flowers are purple or white and very small. Plant a basil plant in full sun or partial shade in warm climates with well drained soil. Propagate via seed.


Marigold, or Tagetes spp., is from the Asteraceae/Compositae, or aster/daisy, family. It is a fast and easy growing annual. They can get from 6 inches to 3 feet tall depending on cultivar. Flowers are yellow, orange, or bronze. Leaves are dark green and aromatic. Plant a marigold plant in full sun in any soil. Propagate via seeds.

Holly Fern

Holly fern, or Cyrtomium falcatum, is from the Polypodiaceae, or polypody fern, family. It is an evergreen that is easy to grow and a perennial. It can get 2 feet tall with a 3 foot width. Leathery serrated leaves look like a holly leaf. Plant a holly fern in rich acidic soil in partial to full shade. Propagate via warm season clump division.

Keywords: window boxes, plants, window box ideas

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.