Behind the Scenes at Southern Living
How To Plant A Window Box
Overflowing with bright flowers and greenery, window boxes are one of the easiest ways to add color to a home's facade. Southern Living's floral design expert Buffy Hargett Miller shows how to make a full and lush window box in under a minute.
The first thing you need to do is find the correct size of window box that fits your home. We used a wire window box and hay liner so that the plants will have plenty of drainage. This prevents root rot. And, of course, you'll want to gather plenty of bright potted plants. As with any container garden, be sure to read the plant labels as you're choosing which flowers to group together. You want to make sure that, depending on where your window box is going to live, the plants love the same type of light and moisture. You don't want to have both a sun-loving and a shade-loving plant in the same window box – one of them is going to be unhappy.
Start by watering the plants in their pots before you transplant them. This ensures that the root ball gets completely saturated. Choose well-draining potting soil for your window box instead of topsoil. This makes a huge difference in terms of the nutrients that your plants are able to pull from their roots.
For this window box, Buffy has chosen kale as a structural plant. This is called the thriller – the focal point of the container. As you take your plants from their plastic pots, loosen the roots gently before placing in the soil. Next, she's picked bright snapdragons and colorful pansies to fill in around her structure plants. These are called fillers – meant to fill in around and support your thriller plant. Finally, she's picked thyme plants as her spillers – the stems fall over the edge of the window box and give it a dramatic look. After planting, add any extra potting soil as needed and give your new window box a little more water to help its growth. Enjoy the new color on your windows!