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What are Window Boxes?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Window boxes are planters which are designed to fit under a window. Some homes are constructed with window boxes which have been customized to go with the home, and it is also possible to install window boxes on an already existing home. Window boxes can be used for a variety of container gardening projects, ranging from herb gardens for the kitchen to purely ornamental displays of flowers.

Many people have positive associations with window boxes, especially those used for flowers, since they can make a home seem much more cheerful and friendly. Especially in the case of a home which lacks gardening space, a window box can also be a nice way to bring a bit of the outdoors into the home, giving the occupants something green to work on and enjoy even if they don't have a yard. In homes with yards or gardens, window boxes can be used to give the home a greater connection with the garden, often with flowers which will coordinate with the garden.

Although the classic use of window boxes is as containers for flowers, gardeners can also grow a variety of edible plants in them. For example, a window box near a kitchen can be used to maintain a small herb garden, with cooks simply opening the window to grab the herbs they need. Window boxes can also be used to grow vegetables like tomatoes, squash, carrots, and so forth, or to cultivate small gardens of edible flowers.

A window box can also support a trailing vine which can be grown on a trellis, allowing people to cultivate things like jasmine, honeysuckle, and passionflower. When a window box is used for this purpose, it is important to create plenty of clearance between the trellis and the house, to avoid the onset of rot underneath the trellis.

Not all plants are suitable for container gardening, so when window boxes are being filled, it is a good idea to make sure that the plants being used are appropriate. In the case of plants which come with tags, the tag will usually indicate whether or not the plant is good for container gardening; otherwise, staff at a garden store should be asked. It is also a good idea to think about whether one wants perennials, which will require less maintenance, or annuals, which will need to be replanted or replaced each year.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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