Windowsill Envy: 13 Best Flowers For Window Boxes

best flowers for window boxes

Hey there green thumb! We’ve got the scoop on the best flowers for window boxes to really get those outside walls popping. From cascading petunias to bright begonias, this guide will have you humming a garden tune in no time! 

Flowers and plants have always been nature’s way of adding color to an otherwise dull-looking patch of green (or in our case, whatever your wall’s paint job is). While the majority of flowers need sunshine to bloom, there are a variety of plants and blooms that can thrive in homes with mostly north or west facing windows which tend to receive much less sunlight. Sadly, this includes my own home!

But don’t despair, fellow window box dwellers. We’ve compiled the complete guide to window box glory that will make your house stand out, no matter the time of year or weather conditions. All you need is a bit of love and time – plus some of Martha Stewart’s secret plant food (just kidding!).

Read on and begin experiencing delightful charm:


13 Best Window Box Flowers

Transform your home into a beautiful oasis right out of a Homes And Gardens magazine with this list of window box flowers and plants! Your neighbors will be green – no pun intended – with envy when they see how stunning your window box looks.

Geraniums

When it comes to flowers, it is best to opt for perennial flowers like geraniums, as they are low maintenance and they reward you with blooms for longer.

They need a lot of sun, so placing them in a south or east facing window would be best for them. Water them once a week and fertilize them every two weeks with a water soluble fertilizer once blooms show. 

Zinnia (Polar Bear)

Another low maintenance flower that you can consider for your window box are zinnias. Its round shaped double-petal flowers are a delight to see in any container garden. It blooms annually and enjoys a lot of sun.

If you can, avoid overhead watering when you have zinnias, as it is prone to fungal diseases that attack its leaves. Prune spent flowers to encourage more blooms. To feed it, it is recommended that you use slow release fertilizer.

Petunias

If you are a fan of big showy blooms with colors that pop even from afar, petunias are a perfect choice for you. It has upright and trailing varieties, and it does not hesitate to show if it receives adequate care.

Petunias need a lot of sun and water especially during the summer months, and need to be fed every two to three weeks to get those big flowers.

Mini Daffodils

Daffodils usually come in larger varieties, but the smaller ones are perfect as fillers to a window box planter to complement bigger, more colorful flowers.

While “forcing” blooms require its bulbs to be in warmer temperatures, daffodils thrive in slightly cooler areas with bright indirect light when established. Keep its soil moist and feed it with diluted liquid fertilizer every two weeks.

Fuchsia

Fuchsias are known for their blooms that look like earrings. Allowing them to trail from window box planters makes it a great complement to other mid-sized blooms and gives windows a draped effect.

This plant loves moist soil, and is low maintenance, it can survive a little chill too. Fuchsias just need partial sun, especially morning sun, and need to be fed every two weeks during its blooming season.

Lilies

Beautiful and fragrant: these are just some of the many characteristics that make lilies a perfect choice for your window box garden. Lilies, especially the Asiatic ones, are low maintenance varieties, and their short height makes them perfect for container gardens.

They love the sun and they like to have their soil moist, so water freely especially during summer time. Fertilize your lilies every two weeks from planting until six weeks after their blooms show.

Snapdragon

With its tall blooms looking like a dragon’s tail, the trailing snapdragon elicits a unique accent to an otherwise colorful window box garden setup. Plant it with other plants who love the full sun, and it will grow and flower happily with moist soil.

Snapdragons are drought tolerant, but they would require a lot of watering when it comes to the summer months. Pruning to encourage blooms is needed for snapdragons.

Marigold

Golden yellow blooms that look like pom-poms: marigolds look great in small pots and window gardens due to their compact size and globe-shaped flowers.

Marigolds are annuals; pruning and deadheading are required and encourage more blooms to show. Marigolds also enjoy a lot of sun and moist soil, so group them with plants with similar needs

Begonia

More known for its foliage than its blooms, begonias can bring a pop of color for your north or west facing window: sides that receive little to no shade.

Keep its soil moist and fertilize at least once a month (use nitrogen rich organic fertilizer if you want prettier foliage) to make it happy.

Lavender

Plants need not only be just for decor, they can also be beneficial for our health too. Herbs, especially lavender, are your best bet. Not only is it beautiful and fragrant, it has purported therapeutic effects to aid with sleep and pain.

Lavender likes full sun, so place it in a window receiving lots of morning sun, but be careful with the watering as it does not like to be in overly wet soil. Prune spent lavender blooms to encourage more flowers. Harvest dry lavender flowers for its relaxation benefits!

Rosemary

Like lavender, another herb known for its health benefits is rosemary. A low maintenance plant once it is established, the spike-leaved rosemary awards its plant parents occasional small blooms. Its bulbs display a calming blue, perfect for accentuating an eye catching window box. 

It likes full sun, but can do well in partial sun. It is drought tolerant as well, and does not need to be fertilized for growth. Pruning is needed to keep this plant in shape.

Peppermint

Peppermint is a very popular herb that has been used for culinary and health purposes. Do you have a open window? Peppermint can help keep pests away from the home, too!

This herb is a great addition to your small window box garden as it is easy to grow and cultivate, and awards you with small blooms occasionally. Grow it along with your other herbs that enjoy full sun and moist, well drained soil.

PRO TIP: Unsure of how and what to start with? Consider flower seed mixes that takes away the guesswork – just plug and plant!.


Window Box Planters

There are  a few types of window box planters that you can use for your container garden. Each comes with its own unique benefits, so it’s up to you to decide what works best for your home and garden. Be sure to check the weight capacity of each type of window box before committing to one!

Wood Planter
$68.99

Not only does wood add instant character to any outdoor space, it is an easy and convenient material to install. It also offers the perfect balance between resisting moisture and sturdiness, and is perfect for all climates.

When choosing a wooden window box planter, choose durable hardwood types like cedar or acacia. Softwoods tends to soften overtime with moisture build up.

04/16/2024 04:39 am GMT
Metal Planter
$25.3936

Though metal window boxes are the more expensive option, they are the most durable. Many are designed in a wide horse-trough-style which has a distinctive charm about them. Another plus point is that the liners are made of natural coconut fibers which are great at retaining moisture in the soil.

When purchasing a metal window box, lookout for rust as this could affect the plants in the window box eventually.

04/15/2024 08:39 am GMT
Plastic Planter
$21.99 ($7.33 / Count)

Plastic window box planters are a great choice for homeowners looking to enhance their outdoor space without breaking the bank. They come in various colors and sizes, and offer durable lightweight construction that is weather and UV resistant, making them suitable for a variety of climates.


Note that plastic window boxes may not last as long as wood planters due to its material composition, especially if placed in a location with direct sun all day.


04/14/2024 07:33 am GMT

Buying Guide

There are things you need to consider when starting and caring for a window box garden, especially window placement, container capacity and type of flower/plant mix.

Window light exposure

  • Consider the strength of sunlight that your preferred window receives throughout the day, as this narrows down the kinds of plants you can select for your container garden.
  • If your window faces south or east, the plants placed there must love to sun bathe, as direct sunlight light becomes stronger on these sides as the day progresses.
  • Do not fret when your preferred window faces west or north: select plants that thrive in the shade and still display glorious, vivid foliage.

Container capacity

  • The number of plants you can include in a window box varies on the size of the actual container, but to start, you can place one plant every 6” in a window box and maximize the corners. This gives the plants in the box enough room to grow.
  • Consider placing self-watering reservoirs or make a schedule to water them. Make sure the window box has good drainage to avoid root rot.

Flower/plant mix

  • As much as possible, choose flowers and plants that require almost the similar kind of care and maintenance to keep them all alive for longer. Think aesthetics too when considering the mix for your window box garden.
  • Upright growing plants can be the star of your window box garden. Flowers usually grow upright and blooms can provide a pop of color for your window.
  • For that desired drape effect, you can add trailing plants along the edges of the window box. Fuschias drape and its blooms can be like natural fringes as an accent.
  • If you need to fill your window box, or simply want your actual window to be adorned with vines, consider placing a climbing vine closest to the window, that way, it can attach to the corners of the window and provide that natural touch for decor.

FAQ

What is the best flower for window boxes?

The best set of flowers or plants for window boxes would really depend on the conditions of the area you intend to place plants in. Sunny windows would be the best place for flowering plants, as they enjoy and need a lot of sun in order to bloom. Shady north and west facing windows might benefit more from plants that have beautiful colored foliage as these plants tend to love shade more.

Are geraniums good for flower boxes?

Geraniums are the most popular choice for flower boxes as they come in different colors and bloom for longer. They are also fairly low maintenance as well.


Wrap Up

Window boxes are a great way to spice up any home by adding color and life to your windows. Decorating window boxes doesn’t have to be intimidating–just remember to pick the right type of flowers and plants that will thrive based on the climate of your window, choose your favored type of container, and water regularly. With these tips, you can create a beautiful window garden that will bring joy and compliments for years to come.

Happy blooming!