How To Plant a Window Box - Backyard Boss
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How To Plant a Window Box

While you’re busy with your backyard garden and planters, the truth is you probably forgot your window boxes need a little TLC. They’re a great way to make the exterior of your home stand out, adding plenty of dimension and color.

With that being said, you may be unsure about how to plant a window box. Fortunately, the task is a simple one and maintenance is just as easy. So stay tuned–below, you’ll discover all the tools you’ll need to make your very own window box, a step-by-step guide on how to create a cohesive and stunning box, and a few tips and tricks to keep the plants thriving all season long.

Tools You Will Need to Create Your Window Box

woman with gloves planting colorful pansies in pink flower box, gardening in spring close up
Image credit: MakroBetz via Shutterstock

Aside from needing a built-in window box, there are a few tools you will need on hand to recreate the window boxes you see on the front pages of magazines. Fortunately, they’re pretty basic and most seasoned gardeners will already have them in their collection!

  • Gardening gloves
  • Hand trowel
  • Plants and flowers
  • Potting mix
  • Watering hose or can
  • Fertilizer

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Plant a Window Box

Step 1: Empty the Window Box

Dying sunflower
Image credits: Pawel Czerwinski via Unsplash

Before you start filling your window box with fresh florals and greenery, it’s important to remove the dead plants and soil from the past season. You don’t have to be too careful here, but be sure to empty out the box to the best of your abilities. You can even give it a rinse if you’d like to.

Also, you don’t have to toss the old soil – you can put it in the garden or mix it with compost to reuse later. That being said, you should use fresh soil for your new window box to help the flowers grow and soak up all the good nutrients.

Step 2: Fill With Potting Mix

Soil and shovel
Image credits: Neslihan Gunaydin via Unsplash

Now that the box is empty, it’s time to refill it! Potting mix is the best option because it holds moisture and nutrients better than potting soil and other mixes. Fill the box about 2/3 of the way full, leaving room for your plants. Also, make sure you have some soil left behind to finish off the window box when you finally have the florals and greenery in there.

Ensure the potting mix is smoothed out and apply pressure to make it flat. There shouldn’t be any air pockets. This will act as a flat surface to help arrange your plants, but it will also give them the support they need to survive.

Step 3: Arrange Plants

Flowers set up in window box
Image credits: Spencer Means via Openverse

Before you start planting, it’s important to decide how you’d like to arrange the plants. Try placing them in the window box while they’re still in their nursery pots, setting them up how you’d prefer. Most window boxes have a centerpiece that draws the eye inward. The centerpiece is usually a bolder color or larger flower while the outer selection is greenery and vining plants.

Since window boxes are meant to be full, you may want to choose quite a few different varieties to play around with. Usually 10 plants around four inches in size are a good amount to create a lush and bold aesthetic.

Step 4: Plant Flowers and Plants

Planted window boxes
Image credits: Roman Kraft via Unsplash

Now that you’ve decided how you want your window box to look, it’s time to get to planting! To keep the arrangement you’ve made, simply move your plants to the ground. Start at one side of the box, removing the plants from their nursery pots as you go. Loosen the root system from the soil to help the roots expand and thrive. You can do this with the tips of your fingers.

Put some more flowers towards the front and others towards the back to create an even, full planter. That being said, it’s important to ensure the front spaces are filled out to create that classic overflowing look. Vining plants, such as ivy or pothos, will look best at the front. Once you’re happy with the layout, pack in the remaining potting mix.

Step 5: Water and Fertilize the Window Box

Watering can and flowers on windowsill
Image credits: Edgar Moran via Unsplash

Finish off your window box planting session with a good watering. Water beneath the leaves and flowers, targeting the soil and roots of each plant. Repeat this process as often as necessary depending on the weather. Hot climates usually mean plants require daily watering, while more humid, rainy areas may only need to be watered once weekly.

Fertilizer is another great addition to your window box if you want your plants to flourish. It should help flowers to bloom and vines to grow, creating an full and luxurious planter. With these care tips in mind, your window box should be thriving in no time.

Off You Go!

From cleaning to planting to maintenance, window boxes are a seamless and hassle-free way to add a beautiful touch to any window around your home. They’re quite easy to DIY so you can get the exact look you’re going for, and the care process is even easier.

So, will you try to create your own window box using these tips and tricks? Let us know below! And for more outdoor planter ideas, check out this list.