A Beginner’s Guide To Planting A Window Box

Your garden may be hidden in your backyard, but your home’s facade still deserves some greenery love. Enter window boxes—a versatile and transformative addition that brings life to dull and drab walls. This beginner’s guide will take you step by step through the exhilarating process of turning your window sills into thriving gardens in miniature.

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Envision a morning where you rise to the soft fragrance of petunias that have gently made their way into your room through the open window, or where the sunlight dancing on the alocasia leaves outside your window is your daily spectacle.

But more than just their beauty, these window boxes serve a purposeful role in your daily life, especially when you find yourself in the kitchen. Imagine never running out of your favorite herbs like rosemary or thyme when you’re in the middle of cooking because you always have help keeping your herbs stocked—right from the window box in your kitchen.

In such ways, window boxes do more than just beautify—they integrate into your lifestyle, marrying the practical with the pleasant.

What Should You Plant In Window Boxes?

Some of the best window boxes combine three different plant types: thrillers, spillers, and fillers. So, what are these, and how are they different from each other?

  • Thrillers

Thrillers are plants that attract attention and boost the overall design of the window box. Some of the best thrillers for window boxes are African iris (flowers with pointed leaves), salvia (a butterfly magnet), alocasia (a plant with emerald green leaves), and coleus (a plant with massive and upright leaves). 

  • Spillers

Spillers are plants that add a bit of romance and softness to the plant, trailing along the side of the window box. Some of the best spillers to choose from are pothos (a plant with leaves like sunlight), petunia (a fast-growing plant known for its cottage vibes), and geranium (a flowering plant that blooms beautifully through summer). 

  • Fillers

Fillers are mid-sized plants placed between thrillers and spillers. Their purpose is to add volume and make the window box look full. Some of the fillers include caladium (a plant with white-centered leaves), Agastache (a plant with peach-colored flowers), and impatiens (a plant with long-blooming flowers).

Planting a mix of thrillers, spillers, and fillers can transform any window box into a vibrant, living work of art.

What Are The Vegetables And Herbs For Window Boxes?

If your home is situated in an accessible location, consider planting some edibles. Plant herbs like thyme, mint, rosemary, chives, and sage. All you need to do is open your kitchen windows for fresh herbs. 

Vegetables like kale, marigolds, lettuce, and cherry tomatoes will look great in window boxes, too. To grow them properly, water them every two days and fertilize them every two weeks. Also, cultivate the soil gently every other day to ensure that water penetrates through the roots instead of running off to the side of the pot.

Note that window boxes are placed near your living quarters, so avoid fertilizers that produce strong odors like fish emulsion.

What Are The Types Of Window Boxes?

Not all window boxes are created the same. Here are some types of window boxes, each with a unique charm and design:

  • Metal Window Boxes

Metal window boxes are often made of iron. They provide a hollow metal cradle or frame to place your pots. And since it’s open, unlike other window boxes, you can’t put the soil directly into it and start planting your flowers. Regardless, they’re so pleasing to look at. 

  • Wooden Window Boxes

Wooden window boxes are arguably the most popular type of window boxes. Not only are they cheap, but they’re also easy to style. They can be painted in any color and carved with different designs. 

However, due to consistent water exposure, wooden window boxes are vulnerable to rot and warp. Consider applying tried-and-tested sealants like lacquer and varnish to make them waterproof.

  • Vinyl Window Boxes

Vinyl window boxes aren’t as popular as wood and metal ones. But they can be the missing puzzle piece to the breathtaking facade you’ve ever dreamed of when appropriately designed. 

In addition, vinyl window boxes can hardly be distinguished from wooden ones. So, if you want a wooden design for your window box but prefer a cheaper, synthetic alternative, go for vinyl ones.

  • Fiberglass Window Boxes

Window boxes made from fiberglass are ideal for modern homes. However, they’re delicate and a bit difficult to maintain. Also, they’re more expensive compared to the other types mentioned above.

Whether you choose metal, wood, vinyl, or fiberglass, the right window box type can add a charming touch to your home’s exterior while reflecting your personal style.

How To Care For Your Window Box?

Follow these simple care tips to keep your window boxes and good condition:

  • Ensure Good Drainage

When choosing window boxes, look for ones with drainage holes. This is to ensure that the soil won’t be oversaturated with water, which can eventually kill the roots (root rot).

  • Use The Right Soil

Mix sawdust, sand, coconut coir, soil, and bonemeal to create your own potting mix. You can also add compost, especially when growing edibles. Then, fill the window box and leave an inch above.

  • Water Thoroughly

If your window boxes face the sun, water them regularly because they’ll dry out quickly. And if the soil settles after watering, don’t hesitate to add more.

By ensuring good drainage, using the right soil, and watering thoroughly, you can keep your window boxes thriving and enhance your home’s visual appeal.

What Are The Tips When Designing A Window Box?

Don’t know how to arrange and place your window boxes beautifully? Follow these simple tips:

  • Use Repetition

Repetition is essential in window box planting. It creates a sense of order and flow—for example, a 15-foot-long window box with repeating groups of caladiums, coleus, and alocasia.

  • Consider The Texture

The texture is another essential feature of a great window box. Here’s an example of how you can achieve it: mix fountain grass, sweet potato vine, and croton. This ensures that each plant shines despite being packed in the box.

  • Stay Consistent

Choose one color palette for all window box plantings around your home if possible. Don’t mix multiple colors because your plantings will look confusing and unappealing to everyone who may pass by your home.

By using repetition, considering texture, and staying consistent with your color palette, you can design window boxes that are both visually pleasing and beautifully harmonious.Final Words

Window boxes are among the best ways to spruce up your facade and landscape design. As long as there are thrillers, spillers, and fillers in your plantings, you can create a full, vibrant window box. Keep the overall design on a smaller scale and water your plants thoroughly to keep them happy all day long.