Hanging Planters

Window boxes and wall planters give your home a distinctive appearance. They put tiny gardens in unexpected places and are a fun expression of individual style. Follow our tips for great-looking combinations and placement ideas.

Geraniums, Petunias, and Caladiums

Window Dressings

This cottage-style collection is filled with geraniums, petunias, and caladiums. Cottages, bungalows, and casual entrances lend themselves to window boxes. Their nature invites casual plantings overflowing with color and texture. Here are some things to remember when planning and planting.

  • A common mistake with window boxes is making the container too small for the site -- notice how large these are (each of these is 38 inches) and how well they suit each window's proportions.
  • Drainage is a must. If your box is not predrilled, add holes, each at least a 1/2 inch in diameter. In a container more than 1 foot long, make multiple openings, spacing them a foot apart.

Blooming Windowbox

Container Care

Blooming window boxes require a balance of well-drained soil that also retains moisture and fertilizer for growth.

  • A 1-inch layer of foam peanuts in the bottom prevents soil from escaping and adds insulation for roots.
  • Add moisture-retaining polymer to the potting mix in hot, sunny boxes. This decreases daily water needs.
  • Feed your box weekly with a liquid, flower-boosting fertilizer such as 15-30-15. Watering the container prior to feeding will prevent fertilizer burn.

A Terra-Cotta Box

Added Benefits

Place a window box container to give privacy to a room in public view. Plant the container lush and full for impact.

A terra-cotta box fits nicely on a wide window ledge, creating a living screen for a bathroom window. Clay pot feet slide under the front edge to level this container, which is on a sloping surface. An added benefit of using clay feet underneath a container is that it also improves drainage.

Impatiens cover the front of the box in colorful profusion, and tall cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior) adds height and year-round foliage to fill out the back.

A Moss-Lined Wire Produce Basket

Convenient Herb Gardens

Bring the garden to your kitchen window, and keep your clippers handy. A moss-lined wire produce basket becomes a windowbox filled with 'Spicy Globe' basil, parsley, and a few flowers.

Plant pots with only one type of herb, or treat your containers as small mixed gardens. Combining them makes a pretty display if you choose compatible selections. Light and water requirements vary, so pair those with similar attributes for success. Here are a few good combinations we've found work well.

  • Aromatic collection: Plant oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, and bay together to make a great-looking container. These Mediterranean herbs require a lot of sunlight and fairly dry soil. Remember, though, pots dry out faster than the garden, so water is still a must.
  • Basil: Choose several different selections for an interesting arrangement. Mix the common sweet kind with 'Purple Ruffles,' 'Siam Queen,' and lemon basil. If you're short on space, the petite selections of 'Spicy Globe' and 'Piccolo' pair nicely.
  • Lemon herb garden: For wonderful citrusy fragrance, try lemongrass, lemon thyme, lemon geraniums, lemon basil, and lemon verbena.

Jan Feamster's Old Wall Fountain

Recycle Containers

This wall planter illustrates the impact of colorful foliage and texture.

Jan Feamster, a garden designer in Mooresville, North Carolina, has found a new use for her old wall fountain. Tired of having pump and maintenance problems, she transformed the former water feature into a wonderful wall planter.

She has planted the wide, shallow pocket with low-maintenance caladiums, impatiens, 'Gold 'n' Pearls' bacopa, and variegated sweet flag. Because this unconventional container does not have a drainage hole, Jan simply waters the plants sparingly whenever they require a drink.

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