While window boxes are excellent for providing curb appeal to any home, they are also perfect for apartment dwellers who want to liven up a dull window and show off a green thumb. The standard-bearers of versatility, window boxes can be positioned outside a window, on a deck or balcony, and even indoors. And nothing that grows is off-limits—plants, herbs, flowers, even vegetables!
Boxes overflowing with foliage provide a beautiful and natural look. Just be sure to think about the care needs of your plants and flowers before filling the boxes. Simple care needs and a combination of cascading colors will result in an eye-catching window box. Here's how to do it:
1. Measure your windows
Window boxes look good if they are the same width as the window. If your home has shutters, it’s fine to have the window box extend under them. Since many windows are 36” long, window boxes are available in 30” and 36” lengths. The height of the box is typically 20-25% the height of the window.
2. Stick with wood boxes
Wood provides better insulation from heat and cold than either plastic or metal. Keep the wood from rotting or warping by lining the box with plastic. Use a water-resistant paint and light colors to help reflect heat.
3. Change soil every year
Replace your tired old window box soil with fresh soil every year. Go to a gardening store, and buy a high quality potting mix for your box. It might include peat moss, pine bark, and some fertilizer. Take the old soil outside and scatter it in the woods, in a flowerbed, or over your lawn.
4. Grow edibles in your kitchen box
If your kitchen window box gets plenty of sun, plant vegetables like lettuce, peppers, and small tomatoes in it. It’s also the perfect location for herbs such as chives, parsley, sage, and thyme.
5. Don’t forget the drainage holes
Your window box probably came with pre-drilled drainage holes, but now you have lined it with plastic, which will retain water. To make sure that your roots don’t rot in excess moisture, punch holes in the plastic before you add the soil.
6. Pack them in!
Put in lots of plants to create a full, healthy-looking window box. While not all plants do well in an overcrowded space, here are some that do: ferns, tuberous-rooted begonias, fuchsias, ageratums, geraniums, caladiums, and coleus.