6 Perfect Plants For Your Window Boxes

Best Plants for Window Boxes

Window boxes are a popular choice for urban gardeners due to their small size and efficient location.

But the options for what to plant window boxes can overwhelming to you, so we are here to help! Window boxes serve multiple purposes, from pure decoration and aesthetics to practical gardening.

In this article, we’ll look at three herbs and three decorative plants you should consider planting in your window boxes.

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Three Fantastic Herbs for Window Boxes

If you love to cook, you probably also love fresh ingredients. The best way to get fresh ingredients? Grow them yourself. And what better way to grow your own than have a supply of fresh herbs in a window box right outside the kitchen window? Now ingredients are within arms reach whenever you need them.

Basil

Basil is a classic window box herb.
Basil is a classic window box herb.

Basil is one of the most popular herbs to cook with which makes it just as popular to grow. If you are starting after the last frost before spring, then you can plant the seeds directly into your window box. To get a head start on your basil plants you can start the plants inside a few weeks earlier. As with many of these plants, you will need moist, well-draining soil. Trim the flowers off as they show up to increase the number of leaves you can use as well as preserve the flavor of the leaves.

Peppermint

Peppermint is a great choice for a window planter
Peppermint is a great choice for a window planter.

Peppermint is useful for more than just cooking. As many people know, garden pests often do not like the smell of peppermint. By planting peppermint in your boxes, you get a great herb to use in the kitchen and a way to keep pests away at the same time. Peppermint (and it’s oil) can also be used in tea or other home remedies to help with congestion, digestion or relaxation. You can also use it in many different desserts. This plant is beneficial on so many levels and it should thrive in your window box.

Thyme

It's a great thyme to plant thyme.
It’s a great thyme to plant thyme (I’ll see myself out with that pun).

Thyme is similar to peppermint in that it has many useful applications. It has similar medicinal value, and it is also frequently used to season along with other kitchen herbs. You can use it in soups or stocks to help bring out the flavors of the additional herbs and spices. Thyme will not grow too tall in your window box. It grows similar to a ground cover, which can help fill in a window box. 

Three Decorative Plants for Window Boxes

If you don’t want an herb garden, or you have one and you are looking to add additional window boxes, then these next suggestions are for you. Ornamental window boxes are perfect to give your house a face-lift. Choose windows that are highly visible from the outside of your house to take advantage of the visual beauty these plants provide.

“Blazin’ Rose” Iresine

Iresine adds a bright splash of color to the window.
Iresine adds a bright splash of color to the window.

This plant looks gorgeous and adds some incredible color to the window box. Its bright red color and broad leaves are perfect to break up the green in your small garden. This plant can serve as an end cap to the window box, or a perfect backdrop. It will bloom in the spring and summer and help add color to the side or front of your house. It grows quite large, so plant this in a window box that can handle the growth.

White Licorice Plant

White licorice complements the natural angles of your home.
White licorice complements the natural angles of your home.

While iresine brought a bright and unusual red to your window box, white licorice does something more subtle. This plant has small, fuzzy leaves with a brilliant silver color that grow along the front of your window box. It serves as a great base as it overflows the front and sides of the planter. It stands out from the rest of the plants and help fill in the gaps at the same time.

“Angelface Blue” Angelonia Hybrid

Narrowleaf Angelonia works well in window planters.
Narrowleaf Angelonia works well in window planters.

Angelonia helps add more color to your window box, similar to the iresine mentioned earlier. It’s a tall narrow plant that has a brilliant purple color. This addition of a bright color and different shape can help bring together the different plants in your window box. Bright purple blooms poking out above the rest of the plants offer the perfect finishing touch. Angelonia is low-maintenance and it can survive dry conditions. Its scent will attract pollinators that can help your perfect window box flourish.


These six options for your window box are just the beginning of your window box adventure. Find what works best for you. If you love to cook, then a window box outside the kitchen window full of your favorite herbs is probably your best option. A window box full of beautiful and colorful plants can also serve as an easy way to beautify the outside of your house. Pick one (or do both) and get started on your box!

For more on container gardening, see this article over at Everything Backyard.

The best plants for window boxes are split into edible and ornamental, with three recommendations for each. Find them out in this quick tips guide.
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