Red tulips window box

Planting a Window Box

What You Will Need

  • Window box, assembled and attached to the house
  • Pottery chards, small flat stones, or medium sized gravel
  • Sterile Potting Soil with perlite and peat
  • Compost
  • Watering Can
  • Plants

Once you have attached the window box planter to your house or apartment, you are ready to begin.

1. First, decide which plants will be planted where by arranging them on the lawn or driveway in a rough approximation of a planting plan in either two or three rows. Flowers that are to be planted at the back of the window box would be placed on the top row, flowers in the foreground would be located on the bottom row, and so on. Trailing vines should be planted at the front edges, taller flowers in the back, and plants with lots of flowers and leaves can be interspersed throughout.

2. Place the chards, stones, or gravel in the bottom of the planter to assist with drainage.

3. Fill half of the window box with potting soil. Add a few inches of compost and mix well using a trowel or your hands. Add a bit of water if the soil is very dry.

4. Plant each flower or foliage plant one at a time, and about 2 to 5 inches on center. Add more soil as needed to surround the plant roots. Periodically tamp or compress the soil gently to remove air pockets. Add more soil as needed until the level is approximately one inch below the top of the window box.

5. Water thoroughly.

What Kinds of Flowers Should I Plant?
Unless you are planting a specific type of garden for your own use or pleasure (see Creative Ideas for Window Box Planters), it's best to use bold, colorful flowers and foliage plants because of the visual impact they have.

Learn more about color combinations for flowers.

Suggested flowers for window boxes:


  • Geraniums (Pelargonium spp.)
  • Pansies
  • Petunias
  • Marigolds
  • Snapdragons
  • Impatiens
  • Begonias
  • Ornamental Onion (Allium spp.)
  • Nasturtiums
  • Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta 'Goldilocks'


  • Ivy (Hedera spp.)
  • Myrtle or Periwinkle (Vinca spp.)

Related Article:
Build Your Own Window Box Planter

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