Window Box – Small Change with Big Impact

Jan 24, 2020

A Window Box is Simple But Impactful 

Window Boxes are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to dress up a window and grow edible plants. A mixture of flowers, vegetables, and herbs can be grown in the same window box as long as they have the same sun and water needs.

These living masterpieces will also improve the curb appeal of your home and add to the value of the property. Window Boxes can be dressed up for holidays when not in use growing plants. Try some of these window box gardening ideas and get started growing this weekend.

Thrillers, Fillers, and Spillers

The first thing that you’ll want to do is pick out what types of plants to include in your arrangement. As a guideline, it’s best to select a thriller, filler and a spiller for your window box.

1. Thrill – vertical growth

Thriller plants are tall plants used for dramatic effect. They should not reach over 10″ at their mature height, so that they don’t block the view from inside. Eggplant, dwarf pepper plant, or rainbow chard make good thrillers for vegetable window boxes.

2. Fill – blanket the bottom

Filler plants add bulk to the display and cover the soil. If you’re putting together a floral presentation, then pansies, impatiens, and verbena are great filler options.

3. Spill – flowing over the side of the box

Spiller plants cascade over the side. Ivy, petunia, and licorice vine are good examples of spillers.

Using the three-plant formula

The “Thriller + Filler + Spiller = Ideal Window Box” formula applies to both vegetables and florals.

For example, you could start with some rainbow chard. Then, add some dwarf peas or cucumber plant, and then tuck in your favorite herb to cover the rest of the available soil. You’ve just created a food-producing window box.

Salvia, lavender, snapdragons, and geranium are good thrillers for a flower window box. Petunia make an excellent spiller plant and use pansies, impatiens, or verbena for fillers.

dwarf pepper, window box thriller


ivy, window box spiller


verbena, window box filler


Planting Your Window Box

To put your windox box together, you’ll first gather up all of your materials, including your thrillers, fillers, and spillers.

Then, start the process by placing a layer of newspaper in the bottom of the box. That will help to prevent planting soil from washing through the drainage holes. Fill the box two-thirds full with potting soil mix, and then mix in slow-release fertilizer pellets and/or organic plant food.

After you’ve eyeballed your design like a master floral arranger, you’ll either plant the seeds into the soil or remove plants from containers and tuck the root bottoms close together. Add more soil around the base of each plant until roots are covered. Then gently firm the soil with fingertips. Water well.

Your plants can be left in their original containers or transplanted into larger pots that will fit into the planter box.

Window Box Images by Wisteria & Rose in Boston

Using Window Boxes for Holiday Decor

Its fun to change window boxes with the seasons, so something colorful will be in them year around. Place a pot of chrysanthemums and mini pumpkins in the window box for fall decor.

Decorate the boxes for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and all other holidays. When nothing else is in the window box, use it as a bird feeder for passing birds. Simple DIY bird feeders can be created with pine cones, peanut butter, and birdseed that will keep the birds well fed during the winter months when their natural food sources are scarce.

Holiday decor, window box decorations, holiday window boxes


If you’re looking for a simple and inexpensive way to change a room or give the exterior of your home or apartment a face lift, a Window Box may be just the thing! You can create them in any size and use a wide variety of plants, as long as they don’t get out of hand and block the view through your window.

Be sure to bookmark our OTL City Guides for Locals, we’re looking forward to sharing more ideas that contribute to “A Better Life” for all of us!

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