A well placed window can be very rewarding in terms of letting in daylight and providing a great view of beautiful scenery. But even if your home does not feature views of breathtaking landscapes, lush lawns, or neat flower gardens, you can still add colour and life right outside your windows by adding flower boxes.
Window boxes provide a great solution for adding flair to the exterior of any house and enhancing the view from inside, as you are met with a burst of colour every time you approach your windows.
Window boxes come in a range of sizes depending on the dimensions of a particular window installation. With proper planning, your flower box can give you colour and fragrance for most of the year, until the first freeze in fall. There are many annual plants that bloom in spring and summer, or even throughout the winter and peak in spring.
In colours of green, blue, purple, red, white, or pink, and heights of 6 to 24 inches, flowers always add colour and beauty to the environment. The evergreen ones can stay in place year round without the need to swap them out. But you can also consider a more creative selection comprising an edible arrangement with vegetables, herbs, fruits, or a mixture of these plants. Here are some of the best plants to grow in your window box.
Plants that prefer the sun include:
- Annual Vinca (Catharanthus Roseus)
This plant grows to a maximum height of 24 inches. It is preferred because of its heat and drought tolerance, as well as beautiful lavender, pink, rose, white, red, purple, or salmon features that beautify your home from early summer to frost.
- Creeping Zinnia (Sanvitalia Procumbens)
This is a tiny plant that grows to about 6 inches tall, but extends over 24 inches wide. It has golden, daisy-like flowers that bloom from summer to frost. Although it can withstand hot and dry conditions, it is not suited for the coastal climate.
- Cypress Vine (Ipomoea Quamoclit)
This is a climbing plant that trails up to 10 feet, meaning that two of these plants placed at opposite ends of your window can easily enclose a standard window. It has small bright red flowers amidst delicate fern-like leaves. The plant blooms from summer to frost, and is adapted to withstand hot and dry conditions.
- Ornamental Kale (Brassica Oleracea)
This is a wide plant that grows to a height of about 12 inches. The plant is typically green and white in colour, with red, pink, or purple foliage. The best time to plant ornamental kale is in autumn for a winter bloom.
- Ornamental Pepper (Capsicum Annuum)
This is also a wide plant that grows to a height of between 12 and 30 inches. It bears fruits of different colours depending on the variety planted, including green, red, yellow, orange, and dark purple. These fruits are edible though they are very hot. The plants typically bloom from midsummer to frost.
Plants that prefer shade or part shade include:
- Impatiens (Impatiens Walleriana)
This plant can vary widely in height, from 6 to 36 inches. It is available in nearly all colours except blue. If the plant is watered frequently, it should flower continuously from spring to autumn.
- Pansy (Viola X Wittrockiana)
This is a wide plant that grows between 6 and 8 inches tall. It is available in all seven colours of the rainbow, and is best planted in the fall for blooming in winter through spring.
- Coleus (Solenostemon Scutellarioides)
This is a wide plant that grows between 1 and 3 feet tall. Its leaves feature different colour mixes, including red, magenta, yellow, orange, copper, green, and chartreuse. Most of the cultivars require part shade or complete shade to bloom. You should pinch off the flower spikes.
- Fuchsia (Fuchsia Cultivars)
This 2- to 3-foot wide trailing plant features drooping tear-shaped buds that open to expose a flouncy interior. The flowers come in red, white, pink, coral, purple, and combinations, adding to the beauty of your windows from spring through summer.
- Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes Phyllostachya)
The Polka Dot is grown for its lovely summer foliage with pink or white flowers. The plant grows to a height of 12 to 18 inches, and features very tough white or pink speckles in its green leaves.
Take variety and growth habit into consideration
An exciting window box should include flowers of different colours, sizes, and textures, but the same growth requirements. For instance, you can mix short and medium plants with taller ones, and bushy plants with upright ones. But you cannot mix shade- and moisture-loving plants with heat and sun-tolerant varieties because they have different tolerances and watering needs.
But more importantly, choose plants with flower colours that complement your window installation and the colour of your house, and get the bloom timing right to maximize the effect. For instance, a well timed strawberry plant can add beauty, fragrance, and provide good snacking.