How to plant a beautiful window box?
Window boxes are a must-have for every savvy gardener or enthusiast! A window box can perfectly complement your exterior, but it is more than just a pretty decoration. It provides extra space in the garden and can even act as a substitute in case you do not have one! Even if you live in a block of flats, with one (or more) of them on your balcony – you can have your own garden without losing any of the precious indoor space.
Follow our tips and tricks on how to plant and decorate a beautiful window box for your home.
The preparation list
Before you install and plant a window box, it is important to acknowledge the tools and resources you will need to make it happen. What a better way to do that than starting a preparation list? At the end of the day, careful preparation is the key to a stunning window display.
Find quality boxes fit for outdoors
There are way too many types of planters and containers available on the market, but are all these potting solutions suitable for outdoors? Not really. Some elongated pots might look great for a window display but if they are meant for house plants and indoor gardening, they might not be the best choice.
Luckily, garden centers have a wild variety of quality window boxes available so you can find the perfect window box to complement your exterior. Many quality boxes come with a frame and brackets, so there is no need to look for custom railings or other installment solutions for your planter.
Once you have found the perfect box, there are a few steps you need to take to prepare it for planting. The first step is to install and secure it in place. While window boxes are usually placed on the window ledge, the planters could also be hanged on your balcony, shed, or garden fence.
Choose your window box plants
Next, you have to prepare it for the potting mix. Give it a scrub and cover the drainage holes with old crocks to prevent waterlogging. The last step is to add a layer of gravel to the bottom to make a drainage reservoir. Choose your window box plants
While almost all types of small greenery could grow in a window box, the arrangement is what actually makes a box stand out. There are three primary plant types that would best fit the handing planter lifestyle when mixed:
Thrillers are the main plants in your planter. They inspire the overall window box design and get almost all the attention by stunning with their form, blooms, and vibrant colors. (e.g. Fuchsia, Salvia, Coleus, Morea Iris)
Spillers, as the name might suggest, are trailing over the sides of the window box, almost like they are climbing down. These greens add softness to the display. (e.g. Neon Pothos, Geranium, Sweet Alyssum, Petunias, Sedum)
Last but not least, fillers are the medium-sized plants that fill the free space between thrillers and spillers, adding a delicate finishing touch. (e.g. Portulaca, Impatiens, Artemesia, Polka dot plant, Caladium)
Do not forget the compost
Always remember to plant your window box greens in a nutrient-rich potting mix. Potted plants need a quality compost to thrive so garden soil would not be appropriate for their healthy development. For best results, add a slow-release fertilizer and pre-soaked water-retaining granules to the compost mix.
Upon planting your greenery, rest assured to firm the compost around the plants to keep them well-grounded. For the best finish, add mulch to the compost surface. Cobbles, gravel, and pine bark are perfect to encourage water evaporation, prevent weed breakout, and keep compost in place.
5 tips for a great window box
Window boxes stand out in comparison to pots or hanging baskets because they provide you with the creative freedom to choose and arrange your plants. Traditionally, even the largest of pots is a ‘home’ to only one plant, while a window box allows you to make your own unique mix of greens, flowers, or herbs to suit any taste!
Be creative, but consistent
Before you mix and match different plants keep in mind that too much variety in colors can turn your little garden into an eyesore! Repetition in this case is a friend and planting in a pattern or sticking to a single color palette can often yield the most satisfactory results.
Think about texture
The texture of the greenery can also be used in creating a beautiful pattern! For example, if you match wispy and spilling plants in the same box they will stand out even if they are tightly packed.
Stick to a single vibe and theme
Regardless of whether you want your window boxes to create a homely atmosphere, or to impress with brave designs, it is always necessary to stick to that idea all the way in order for it to work.
Find inspiration from the pros
Nowadays it is very easy to get ideas on the Internet – a simple search in Google for window boxes will yield thousands of photos. You can browse and pick the ones you like and model your boxes after them. Uncertain on how to take care of a certain plant? Check out some expert books or magazines, or yet again, the Internet can be your best friend even for the most bizarre and exotic plants!
Make sure your boxes will stay in place
Even though we left it as last, this point may be considered as the most important one. Flowers can always be replanted, but a broken box and a bracket are much more costly and difficult to fix (not to mention the spilled potting mix and the damage to the plants)!
Here are a few steps to follow to ensure your boxes stay in place:
- Make sure the masonry screws you use are long enough – at least 5 cm (2 in) – and there are enough of them;
- Place the supportive brackets every 45 cm (18 in) underneath the length of the box;
- Keep it light – use potting mix instead of soil;
- Add drainage of old corks at the bottom and put fabric on top to avoid the soil falling through.
We hope our tips were helpful and you feel ready to plant a wonderful window box and take your home exterior to the next green level!