Window Box Planters 101
Windowboxes add spring color to your home's exterior. Learn how to choose the best mix of plants, ensure proper drainage, install them securely and other tips for adding these planters to your home.
Windowboxes hang on brackets attached to the exterior walls of your house. For siding or cedar shake, you need to drill wood screws through the walls and into the framing. For brick, concrete and stucco, you'll need masonry drills and masonry screws for a secure fit.
Update With Paint
Windowboxes made from high-end materials are meant to be showcased but come with high price tags. Ready-made windowboxes made of wood, composite materials or metals are more affordable. Paint them the same color as the exterior trim of the house to give the windowbox a custom look and tie them in with the home's color scheme.
Ensure Proper Drainage
Proper drainage is key for plants to thrive in windowbox planters. Some come with holes in the bottom to allow excess water to run out and some don't. You'll need to drill holes in the ones that don't. Use a drill with a one-inch paddle bit to make several holes spaced six inches apart in the bottom of the windowbox.
Option One: Pea Gravel Drainage
In addition to drilled holes, stones and gravel are essential to proper drainage of windowboxes. Put a two- to three-inch layer of pea gravel or pebbles in the bottom of the planter. This will allow water to filter through the soil and gravel before passing through the drilled holes.
Option Two: Plastic Bottles
Pea gravel and pebbles can weigh down windowboxes. Empty water bottles are a lightweight option. Place rinsed bottles inside the planter and add soil on top of them. The space between the bottles will allow proper drainage without the extra weight.
Use Fresh Potting Soil
Fresh soil keeps windoxbox plants healthy. At the end of the growing season, replace the old soil with fresh potting soil before re-planting.
Select a Mix of Species
To achieve proper visual balance, use a variety of plant types. Tall flowers or grasses add height and privacy. Low, leafy plants add shape and texture. Flowering species with complementary hues add bold splashes of color. Cascading plants will soften the edges of the boxes.
Plants from nurseries can be root-bound. Before transplanting, loosen the roots by gently pulling them apart until they're no longer intertwined.
Ensure Proper Nutrition
Once plants are in the windowbox, fertilize them to prevent transplant shock. Your windowboxes will be gorgeous in no time.