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Window Box Flowers – Best Plants for Window Boxes

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A window box planter is an extension of your home that can display stunning organic plantings. They also add to the value of your home and curb appeal. However, flowers are the main feature of most window planer boxes since they add color and the combinations of colors and textures are vast for all seasons.

Window box plantings ideas for shade

Plant ideas for shade

This spring, I built two window planter boxes for windows on opposite sides of my studio, with one being mostly shaded and the other one is in the sun. This created a dilemma for choosing my window box flowers. Therefore I had to select my plants with sun exposure in mind; thus, the two boxes would have diverse plants.

Best Plants for Window Planter Boxes

When selecting plants for your flower boxes or container gardens, my rule of thumb is to choose some for filler, some for spiller, and some for the thriller. In other words, the filler adds fluffy volume, and the spiller offers amazing cascading vines, while the thrillers are the gorgeous blooms or variegated leaves that add the wow factor to your container garden.

These plants are not the same for different sun exposures. Therefore, I had to select other plants for both locations. It is important to select plants that hardy in your growing zone. To find the best plants for window boxes in your growing zone, check out the USDA growing zone map. You can find the ideal time to plant in your zone in the Farmer’s Almanac.

Shade to part-shade plants for container pots

Shade to part-shade plants for container pots


Shade Plants for Flower Boxes

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Flower box and container gardening plants for partial sun or shade are a little more difficult to find in my neck of the woods. Since I live in Florida, the full sun is very different from the full sun in New York.

For my filler plant, I used Impatients Walleriana; it fills in a mound and adds some color with flowers too. The focal point of the thriller is your showy plant. For my thriller, I planted Caladium bulbs. Then for the spillers, I choose

Silver Falls Dichondra argentea, and Creeping Jenny Also, I planted a few Morning Glory and Moon Flower seeds. These may not bloom since they require more sun to bloom, but I am trying it out this year. My first year growing plants in this partial shade area, so I will be keeping a journal about what works.

Wheelbarrow setup as a portable potting bench

Wheelbarrow set up as a portable potting bench

Plants For Full Sun Flower Boxes and Container Gardening

The plantings I am using in my planters on the sunny side are sweet potato vine and creeping Jenny for the spillers. The filler plants I am using are ornamental grass and Dusty Miller. For the thriller plants, I am using the Crown of Thrones.

Plants for hanging baskets, easy yard makeover

Plants for hanging baskets



My handmade window flower boxes were designed so that the plastic containers would fit inside them. I chose this plastic container since the size was perfect and they had drainage holes and a drip tray. Self-watering containers are a great choice too.

Handmade planter box and plastic planter

Handmade planter box and plastic planter

Drainage holes drilled into the bottom of the flower boxes

Drainage holes drilled into the bottom of the flower boxes

Another easy idea is to use inexpensive plastic pots inside your planters.

Filling a flowering wall basket, using small flower pots to make the job a breeze, learn all the tips and tricks on the blog

Filling a flowering wall basket

The best pots for container gardening and flower boxes are those with drainage and a drip tray. If your pot does not have a drainage hole, you can add one with a drill. Select the appropriate drill bit for your pot.

Potting Soil

Selecting potting soil is one of the most important elements for a beautiful container garden. Since containers dry out faster, it is best to use good quality potting mix, not soil from your garden.  Pro-tip is to add moisture-absorbing granules that store and release moisture to your plants.

Maintaining Plants

Regular watering and fertilizing will keep your plantings healthy, growing, and blooming. My favorite fertilizer isfish emulsion check package for instructions.  I add an adorable frog watering stake to keep my flower boxes, containers, plants, and hanging baskets moist. 

Mr. Frog watering device, haning baskets DIY

Mr. Frog watering device

How to Plant

I start by filling the garden pot planters with a mix of garden soil and moisture-absorbing granules that last all season.

Cut some slits in the root balls

Cut some slits in the plant root balls

Add plants to planters

Add plants to planters

Installing the plastic planter into the window flower box

Installing the plastic planter into the window flower box

Installing the plastic planter into the window flower box

Installing the plastic planter into the window flower box

This photo was taken the day I planted this planter. The image under this one shows it a few weeks later as the caladiums are sprouting.

DIY Window box - Flower planter

DIY Window box – Flower planter

Window Planter Installed and ready

Window Planter Installed and ready

Some Other Container Garden Ideas

Grow vegetables and herbs right outside your kitchen window in a window box as a mini herb and vegetable garden. This would sure make harvesting a breeze.

You can see more about hanging planters in this earlier post HERE.

Wall basket, learn how to fill with ease and more...

Wall basket container garden

Hanging basket on trellis, step by step guide, garden update

A hanging basket on a trellis

I started this super easy herb garden with upcycled cans and jars. You can see how I did these on this video HERE.

Kitchen Herb container garden

Kitchen Herb container garden

Do you enjoy a beautiful garden and yard? Please join me HERE for everything you will need to create a beautiful garden/yard one project at a time. 

See you soon,


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Thursday 5th of October 2023

This is interesting information and I will definitely keep it in mind.

A spirit of simplicity

Friday 5th of June 2020

I love window boxes. I have just one in our second floor apartment. It’s on the stairway that leads to the back yard and we can see it from the living room window. Thanks for sharing the great ideas for plants.

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