Wonderful gardens in mini format – that’s what makes flower boxes so attractive. Whether you lack the time, money or energy to maintain a large garden, you can still enjoy colorful planting in window boxes. We’ll give you a few tips on how to properly plant your flower boxes and what to look out for. Our examples will also provide you with the necessary inspiration.
Tips for beautiful window boxes
– Make sure the flower boxes have good drainage. In this way you give the excess irrigation water the opportunity to run off. Otherwise the roots of the plants will rot.
– Make sure that the filled balcony boxes are not too heavy. You can reduce the weight considerably by using flower boxes made of fiberglass and filling them optimally. First, a water-bearing layer of expanded clay, gravel or pottery shards is scattered. Then the planter can be filled with potting soil up to 3-5 cm below the top.
– Select the planting according to the season and water the window boxes regularly. Plants in flower boxes dry out faster than bedding plants. Fertilize every two weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer. Or work in slow release fertilizer granules before planting.
How do I properly plant my flower boxes?
To properly plant flower boxes, you should follow this simple rule: “Thriller + Filler + Spiller”
1. A thriller is a large plant that serves as a highlight.
2. Colorful plants that fill in the gaps are called “fillers”.
3. In container gardening, plants with hanging growth are called “Spiller“.
Here are a few examples of suitable plants depending on the categories above:
Planting for cold climates
thriller – Boxwood, snapdragon, tulip, hyacinth, geranium, larkspur, foxglove, club lily (Cordyline)
Filler – Pansies, violets, ornamental cabbage and decorative kale, tuberous begonia, primrose, felty hornwort, silver ragwort, marigold, marigold, elf mirror (Nemesia), cape basket (osteospermum), petunia
Spiller – white snowflake (Bacopa), lobelia, ivy, hanging geranium, nasturtium, magic bells (Calibrachoa), spotted dead nettle (Lamium maculatum ‘Silver Beacon’).
Planting for a mild climate
thriller – Club lily, New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax), fountain grass, dracena, bromeliad, yucca, croton, Chinese hibiscus, calla, hydrangea
Filler – Angelonia, begonia, caladium, coleus, magic snow (Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’), geranium, heuchera, impatiens, pentas, Japanese forest grass, Madagascar periwinkle, petunia, zinnia
Spiller – Magic bells, blue fan flower (Scaevola), lantana camara, hanging geranium, sweet potato vine, verbena, silver rain (dichondra), fournier torenie, green lily, ivy, pennywort, creeping rosemary
When choosing plants, make sure that they all thrive under the same conditions. In the following we show you a few successful examples that you can use as inspiration for your own window boxes.
The following varieties are used for this beautifully colorful and lush planting: green ferns, orange magic bells, red guzmania and purple harp bush (Plectranthus “Mona Lavender”).
These flower boxes are planted with white caladias, red fire palms, pennywort, and ivy. The hanging plants form a beautiful curtain of colorful foliage.
This planting shows a bold and unexpected approach to design. A red-centered, star-shaped bromeliad sprouts out of the flower box towards the front. The red color can also be found in the red-stemmed caladia. The maroon club lily, the deep purple bells, the pink begonias and the yellow loosestrife (Lysmachia congestiflora Outback Sunset ‘) form a contrast..
This elegant flower box houses the dark purple sage, a sweet potato vine, and white and fuchsia-colored petunias.
It is important to know whether your plants are comfortable in full sun or in the shade. There are also plants that can tolerate drought well and others that need more water. So you cannot combine these two varieties in one flower box.
Yellow Pfennigkraut, pink Dipladenia (Mandevilla), purple-colored magic bells and a red five-numbered shrub provide color and structure on a south-facing balcony throughout the summer. An eclectic mix of dainty flowers evokes the feeling of an English garden.
When choosing plants, you should also consider the color of the facade. The color trio of white, orange and purple, for example, perfectly emphasizes this orange facade. Here you can see coral-colored elven spur (Diascia), blue pansy (Panola), blue delphinium, blue lobelia, white geraniums and white magic snow (Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’).
This lush flower box reflects the tried and tested recipe “Thriller, Filler, Spiller”: a tall plant in the middle, plants on the sides and plants that grow out of the box.
A Japanese Iris is the thriller. White snapdragons, purple cape baskets, red geraniums and white petunias ‘Tidal Wave Silver’ serve as fillers. Hanging geraniums in pink and red, dark red magic bells and purple hanging verbenas (lanai) are spillers.
With these plants you can brighten up any shady balcony in no time. White, light green and emerald green instantly create a feeling of freshness. This flower box has room for white Kaladium ‘Aaron’, Heuchera ‘Key Lime Pie’, dead nettle ‘White Nancy’, sickle fern, ivy and evergreen with light pink flowers.
You can see another nice example of planting the window boxes in the picture on the left: salmon-colored geraniums as a thriller, colorful caladium “Pink Beauty” as a filler and purple petunias as a spiller.
On the picture on the right you can see an example of autumnal planting of cauliflowers: ornamental cabbage ‘Peacock’ and ‘Nagoya’, purple horned violet and Monterey cypress ‘Goldcrest’.
In our balcony box, a large boxwood cut as a cone serves as a thriller. On each side a small boxwood ball repeats the structure and fills the plant container with strong leaves. Between the bushes, Christmas daffodils add extra height and structure to the back of the box.
Fill the front of the box with paint and texture. Green and white flowering cabbage plants stand in front of the tall box tree to really show off it. White felty ragwort and white horny violets continue the color scheme, while the ivy is beautifully draped over the edge of the flower box.
Deep green shrubs act as a neutral background for the flowers and ornamental leaves. For the winter months, white and silver tones are perfect for planting the flower boxes. This creates an elegant and uniform appearance. For the holidays, the red berries of the sky bamboo (Nandina domestica) provide additional splashes of color!