Window Box Ideas for Summer – Tips and Recipes

Interested in adding window boxes to dress up your home’s curb appeal? We’ve got you covered with these window box ideas for summer. Here are some helpful planting and maintenance tips plus ten fun recipes to try this year.

Window Box Gardening

Window Box Gardening Tips

Growing plants in window boxes is a lot like growing them in patio planters when it comes to design, planting, soil and fertilizing. We’ve covered all of those important topics in detail for you on our annual care page. Now, let’s look at a few more key items you will need to consider before you begin.

Box Size – Bigger is better when it comes to window boxes. Larger boxes are able to accommodate more soil, and thus more root space and moisture. Choose the largest window box your wall will support. Refrain from overplanting the box as this will cause issues with root competition and soil that dries out too quickly as the plants mature.

Box Composition – Window boxes can be made of either porous or non-porous materials. Porous types, like those lined with coco fiber, will dry out more quickly than non-porous plastic or composite material boxes. Consider that it may be difficult to keep up with watering if you site a porous window box on a wall that receives full afternoon sun unless you install drip irrigation. However, porous boxes can work great in shaded or morning sun locations.

Support – Window boxes get very heavy when the soil is wet and become heavier as the plants put on more mass through the season. You will need extra strong supports to ensure the box stays attached to the wall at its heaviest point.

Drainage – Since window boxes are so heavy when wet, they must have multiple drainage holes in the bottom to allow water to escape quickly. Also consider that most window boxes have flat bottoms. The lack of slope towards the drainage holes makes it more difficult for water to escape. By having multiple drainage holes across the entire length of the bottom, drainage will be greatly improved. You may need to add a few more holes if your box only comes with one in the middle.

Soil – It is critical to use lightweight potting soil like Proven Winners® premium all-purpose potting soil in window boxes. That will help to lessen the overall weight of the box and also will allow the plants’ roots to grow more easily through the fluffy potting mix.

Watering – The easiest, most efficient way to water window boxes is by using drip irrigation such as the WaterWise® system. Set it to a timer and you’ll never have to remember to water them again! Because window boxes tend to dry out more quickly than patio planters, having a plan to keep them watered consistently is critical to your plants’ health. Drip irrigation also allows for more efficient uptake without adding as much weight to the box. If it’s not possible to use drip irrigation, use a watering wand attached to the end of your hose so you can easily reach up into the box.

Reflected Light and Heat – Growing plants up against a structure introduces the challenges of reflected light and heat. Window box plants will be subjected to brighter light conditions if your home is a light color, plus the light will reflect off of the windows. If the wall is made of a material like brick or stone which absorbs and radiates heat, your plants will be subjected to more heat which will cause the soil to dry out faster.

10 Window Box Recipes That WOW!

Now that you’ve considered the basics when it comes to window box gardening, let’s take a look at ten recipes you can try in your own window boxes. We’ve included the sun/shade requirements for each as well as the list of plants you will need to get the look. Though not all are pictured in window boxes, rest assured that all ten recipes will grow well in boxes. In cases where we offer the recipe in a kit, we’ve also linked that for you below. As always, if you have any questions, we are happy to help!

Window Box Garden for Shade

Exposure: Full sun to part sun

Grand Traverse kit


  • Supertunia® Black Cherry® petunia
  • Supertunia® Bordeaux™ petunia
  • Supertunia Vista® Fuchsia petunia

Exposure: Full sun to part sun

Prime Time kit


  • Supertunia Mini Vista® Indigo petunia
  • Supertunia Mini Vista® Scarlet petunia
  • Supertunia Mini Vista® Yellow petunia
Window Box Gardening Full Sun to Part Shade

Exposure: Full sun

Sunshine State kit

  • Luscious® Goldengate™ lantana
  • Whirlwind® Blue fan flower
  • Superbells® Coral Sun calibrachoa
  • Queen Tut™ papyrus

Exposure: Full sun

Irish Eyes kit


  • Superbena Royale® Iced Cherry verbena
  • Superbena® Peachy Keen verbena
  • Sweet Caroline Light Green sweet potato vine

Exposure: Full sun

Pool Blue kit


  • Superbells® Double Chiffon calibrachoa
  • Superbells Magic™ Pink Lemonade™ calibrachoa
  • Laguna® Sky Blue lobelia

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