Window boxes are an easy way to decorate the exterior of your home, adding some colour to your surroundings without taking up much space. Window boxes allow you to display a variety of plants and flowers. Keep reading to find out which plants will flourish in your window garden.
How to plant a window box
Before we get in to details about what flowers and plants to choose for your window box, it is important to think about how to effectively prepare your box so that it is ready for planting. If you already have existing window boxes, then you are off to a good start.
If you need to choose a window box, the first thing that you should do is measure the length of your windows as this will help you decide which design to go for. Once you have chosen your window box, make sure that it is securely fastened to your property. If you are unsure of how to do this, there are many guides online that can help you, or many landscaping companies have a window box installation service.
Next up you need to ensure that your window box has proper drainage. Make sure that your container has drainage holes that can allow excess water to escape and consider adding in a layer of wooden chips or broken pots to help prevent water lodging. This ensures that the plants you choose will not be flooded. Adding a layer of compost and gravel on top of this will aid further drainage and feed the soil. Add a top layer of compost and you are ready to get planting!
Once you have chosen your plants (more on this later) make sure that you handle them carefully. Ensure that you pull them out of their smaller containers carefully without damaging the roots, and plant them in your window box with lots of space between them. If your flowers are planted to close together, it puts them at risk of spreading plant diseases, so it is best to keep them as separate as possible.
When all your flowers are planted, add some more compost between them to fill any gaps and press it down to compact it. Ensure that you thoroughly water them to help them take root in the new soil and then watch them grow and flourish!
What to grow in a window box
Window boxes are a versatile space that can hold a variety of different plants and flowers. It is possible to combine lots of different types in the one box successfully to create some beautiful window displays. However not all plants will suit every window box. You need to plan ahead to ensure that you select the right ones for the levels of sunlight and amount of water they will receive.
Flowers add colour and charm to any window box and are many people’s first choice when filling up their boxes. Many are trailing plants which fall over the edge, creating a beautiful cascading effect.
If your window box sits directly in the sun, then Petunias are a great choice of flower to start with. They come in a variety of colours such as red, pink, white and purple so you can choose a shade to fit your colour scheme.
If your window box is more in the shade or you are located in an area that has lower temperatures, then Pansies may be the flower for you, paired with vibrant Violas. This is a good combination as they compliment each other well and can cope in the lower temperatures. If you want something a little more unusual, then perhaps look for a Black-eyed Susan vine which will add some bright, cheery yellow to a dull day.
If you are looking for plants that are easy to grow and don’t require much upkeep, then look no further than Pelargoniums. Like Petunias they come in a variety of colours and grow quickly and easily. All you have to do is deadhead them regularly to ensure that they keep flourishing.
Garden centres have many different varieties of flower that would suit window boxes. You can combine varieties like the Pansies and Violets above, however it is important that the plants you have chose to use like the same amount of sun. The labels will tell you whether they are sun loving or shade loving, so choose varieties that complement each other.
Window boxes are the perfect place to grow some food too! There is nothing more satisfying than growing your own produce and tasting it for the first time. Strawberries grow especially well in containers and window boxes, but they do require some work. Make sure that they are well fed and watered to get bright red juicy strawberries – it is worth the work!
Other plants that can be grown in window boxes include chillies, tomatoes and lettuce, although it does depend on the size of your planter.
Window boxes are also great for growing fresh herbs to season your cooking – and they are far better than dried herbs from the supermarket. Some herbs that can be grown include mint, parsley, rosemary, chives, basil and thyme.
How to combine plants in your window box
The window boxes that look most effective contain more than one type of plant in the same tub. However, you need to make sure that these plants complement each other and can be grow together by ensuring that they have the same needs.
The basics to look for include how much sunlight they require and how much water, as over or under watering can kill plants if they are not used to it.
Window box aftercare
Plants need some TLC after they are originally planted. Adding fertiliser to your finished planter will allow them to grow. The best fertilisers are slow releasing ones which last for a longer amount of time. Once you have used this a couple of times, you can move on to a liquid fertiliser that is easier to use. This will ensure that the plants and flowers get all the nutrients that they need.
The soil in window boxes dries out quickly, so it is important to water them frequently to make sure that your plants are hydrated and healthy. Check the dampness of your soil regularly and add water when it feels dry to the touch. Don’t worry too much about over watering if you have followed our advice above about proper drainage, as any spare water will simply drain away and not drown your plants.
Let’s get started!
Window boxes are a quick and easy way to improve your home and add some colour into your neighbourhood. In terms of gardening, they require little work and can really brighten up your day. If you are looking to sell your property, window boxes also increase curb appear so could attract the right buyers. Studies have shown that people thrive in a more pleasant environment, so what do you have to lose?! Get planting now using our advice above and watch your plants grow and bloom.