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The best plants & flowers for window boxes

Frame your window with a picturesque window box for an easy way to accessorise the exterior of your home. From gladiolas to trailing vines, you can choose from a variety of plants that will make a happy home within the confines of a window box. Pick a flower or plant that matches the exterior of your house or combine several different plants together to create an eclectic look.

Herb Plants

Herbs make excellent plants to put into window boxes that receive partial shade to full sun. Basil, chives, oregano and even mint can spice up your windows and flavour your meals. Pick a few that can tolerate the same type of soil and sun requirements. For instance, Tarragon, wintergreen and chamomile can tolerate light shade and can withstand cool to hot temperatures. Bring your window box of herbs indoors during the winter to protect the plants. Water the plants regularly and allow for proper drainage within the base of your window box.

Annual Plants

Annuals, as the term suggests, thrive throughout the warmer seasons and die when temperature drop. Even with their short lifespan, annuals can provide a dazzling show of colour that can dress up any drab window. Sweet alyssum grow fragrant tiny flowers in shades of white, pink and purple. Pansies have wide decorative petals in a rainbow of colour combinations that can work with any colour house. Lobelia comes in delicate hues ranging from white to light blue, red and deep blue. These flowers are small but grow in multiples and can cascade over the top of your window box.

Trailing Plants

A vining or trailing plant can offer greater aesthetic pleasure for the viewer with its long tendrils of plant life trailing well beyond the depth of your window box. Partial-sun varieties include English ivy, trailing fuchsia and hoya. For a window box positioned in a full-sun area, consider sweet potato vine, ivy geranium or moon flowers. While some only offer their leaves as decoration, such as the English ivy, many plants like fuchsia and hoya offer beautiful blooms along the length of the plant.

Perennial Plants

For those who want to plant their window box once and watch blooms and plants grow year after year, consider investing in a few perennials. These plants, when properly cared for, will bloom and grow every year during the warmer months. Dwarf bulb plants such as daffodils or crocus offer miniature versions of their larger cousins. Miniature roses can provide a yearly show of fragrant coverage and come in a host of colours and varieties. Wax begonias, forget-me-nots and Japanese pachysandra provide additional options for those looking to mix up their window box plant collection.

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About the Author

Alyssa Ideboen has been writing professionally since 2005. She has contributed to several print and online publications, including "Lexington Woman" and "Global Business" magazines. Ideboen holds a Bachelor of Arts in business management and communication from Judson University.