Planting a Window Box

Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still enjoy having plants around you by planting a window box. You can attach a window box to any window with a deep enough sill – and then let your imagination run riot and plant for glorious splashes of colour, useful herbs or beautiful scents. Here’s how.

Internal Containers

You can place compost and plant directly into a window box, but it is best to use internal containers so you can easily lift out old, tired plants and replace them with new ones.

Either buy aquatic lattice pots or make your own out of wire mesh. Add some polythene sheeting inside the pot to retain the compost – but make sure to provide plenty of drainage holes at the base.

If you do plant directly into the box, cover the drainage holes with crocks or add a layer of gravel.


Use a light loam-free compost with slow-release fertilizer and water-absorbing granules to increase resilience. When putting in the plants, leave a 25 mm (1in) watering gap.

If you want, you can leave plants in pots to aid easy removal and replacement.

When choosing the plants for your window box, consider its placement. Tender plants tender plants will often survive using reflected heat from buildings. If your window is completely shaded, shade-tolerant plants are available for a good display.

Trailing plants can be used to cover the box sides. Think about using some scented plants to provide a beautiful aroma when the window is open.


Because of their size, Window Boxes usually need regular watering. Or you can fit an automatic watering system.

Use liquid feed every 6 weeks.


Re-do the window box at least twice a year to maintain the display. In September, add spring bulbs and a winter hardy display. In May, plant up for a summer/autumn display.

Don’t be afraid to do your own thing! Make a desert window box with cactophiles. Or, if your box is in a suitable position, add your own waterproof liner, aquatic plants and fish and make a window water feature!

Gisela Balzer

Gisela Balzer

Hi! Welcome to my blog, where I aim to not only create a wonderful space on the internet for my own favourite things, but to also share them with everybody else – be it food, gardening or a myriad of other topics. If you’re looking for a mix of the things you love, this is the place.

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