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Window Box Tips – my former black thumb

I have long joked about my black thumb and my ability to kill almost anything, even unkillable succulents have bit the dust in my house.

White and gray cottage with window boxes

BUT guys! I was watering my flower boxes yesterday and noticed something,

Window box filled with flowers on a gray house

wait a minute,

they are not brown,

or crispy,

or weirdly yellowing on the edges with holes eaten thru them,

they look, well, pretty darn good!

Window Box Ideas

Like, pat myself on the back and take a few photos, good.

Dare I say my black thumb is growing a bit greener? I may not go that far, fiddle fig trees everywhere still tremble at the mere thought of coming to reside in my house, but the window boxes? Yes, it seems I’ve got that down!

I’ll share a few of my window box tips after 3 odd years of planting these suckers I have finally figured out a routine.

1. Plant all different flowers all mixed in but still keeping in mind balance and symmetry (you know I have symmetrical issues) See how I planted taller impatiens in the back of the box, light and dark trailing petunias on the sides and front and  these little white flowers that for the life of me I can’t remember the name of (?).

Pink and purple window box flowers

2. Fertilize those babies! I use the Miracle Gro Bloom Booster variety (not an ad I just really think this stuff works!) and do it every Sunday. I picked up this habit from my neighbor down the street, she has the most gorgeous window boxes every year and she finally told me her secret – she fertilizes every Sunday and calls it her “holy water” ha :)

3. Water, water, water! I water my flowers every day unless it rains. They get sun all morning long and can always use a good soaking.

Flower planters on a front proch

I normally have window boxes on the lake side too, but with all the sunroom construction I wasn’t able to plant them this summer. I can’t wait to tackle them next year though.

Oh and thanks to a little accident by my favorite snow plow guy (my dad, which let me publicly and profusely thank him for plowing my driveway this past winter when we had over 100 inches of snow!) my old mailbox was obliterated this winter. I got this cute flower box one instead, so it’s all dressed up too with flowers too. :)

Flowers in a mail box

What about you, any favorite flower combos in your window boxes I should try next year? Or tips for recovering black thumbs like me?

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  1. Found you through a picture of these gorgeous window boxes and fell in love. What an amazing work you’ve done with the facade of your home, it looks lovely! I personally love primulas and sweet violets for my window boxes. Your thumb is definitely green, these pictures prove it.

  2. little white flowers (Bacopa) I always sing “Bacopa… copa cabana” to remember….. ya, i’m a little silly like that. anyhow – your pots look AMAZING, beautiful results!

  3. Came across this on Pinterest.. Beautiful boxes. I plant wave petunias every year, my house gets full sun 8+ hours a day. I love the combo of inpatients with the trailing petunias out front of the box. I would love to try this but my widows and window boxes are much smaller.. Roughly 24″ by 5″ or so. Would this be overcrowded for me to layer my plants this way? I always plant my petunias straight across with a few inches between each. (Hope that makes sense..) thank you for your help it is much appreciated!

    1. If you get full sun you are going to want to avoid impatiens because they are shade loving plants. My boxes get full sun in the morning and full shade in the afternoon so the petunias and impatiens both do well. I don’t think my window boxes are much bigger than yours and they do fine mixing in different varieties.

    2. Hi! Petunias are perfect for sun. Impatients are shade. But, you can add Periwinkle or the other name is Vincas. As much as these plants love the sun they love water. Hope this helps.

  4. Wow those look beautiful! I never know what to do when the summer ends. Do I replant new plants next year or leave this year’s plants in window boxes and tubs? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    1. When summer ends I pull everything out but leave the dirt because I put pine branches in mine for the winter thanks!

  5. Going to give window boxes a shot this year. Was thinking about how I was going to dress up our house and give it some curb appeal. Thank you for the great tips.

    1. Hey Ashley, if you go to the search bar on my site and type in paint colors it will give a post with them all with the exception that the living room/dining room is Brittany Blue now. Thanks!

  6. We have the exact same gray shake siding and I’ve been trying to figure out our complimentary second siding. I’m in LOVE with your house :) Thank you for posting this!
    Question about the window boxes…do they tend to attract bees or other insects? We had issues last summer with bees getting into our house – I’m a little nervous this is like putting out a welcome mat for them.

  7. I’m trying the “daiper” truck in my baskets…1st ones I soaked the daiper and cut n took out the moisture catchers and mixed with dirt…it’s good but 2 nd ones I cut the sides of the daiper n laid the whole this in the bottom. .seems to work better, keeps them from drying out n keeps the fertilizers in the soil longer too..
    happy gardening …I love it !!

    1. I just hang out the window with a watering can :) It’s kind of a hassle but they are so pretty it’s worth it!

  8. Lovely! I just adore the look of window boxes & have plans for some next year! I worry about damage to the siding with the moisture – ever had any issues!? Tricks? The little white flowers I always use too – bacopa!! xoxo

  9. They look amazing! I’ve never had luck growing anything in my window box. It could be because I forget to water. ;) I think I might need Hobby Lobby flowers!

  10. Georgous window boxes, They are perfect. Years ago I discovered a fertizizer called Ozmocote. It is in round pellet form. You just mix it into your dirt and just water. Our flower beds do great here in the mountains and I give Ozmocote the credit. It is a little pricey but well worth it. It says on the container it feeds 3 months but I think it last a lot longer maybe into the next year. Lowe’s carries it. We have bought it from our local feed store in 25 lb bags. Happy fall….Rebecca

  11. It doesn’t look like you have double hung windows so how do you fertilize and water the top ones? They are gorgeous, by the way!!

  12. Your boxes are beautiful. I saw some in a magazine once and ever since I always plant lime green potato vine in the front centre of mine, along with begonias and different colours of impatiens. With water and fertilizer the potato vines get huge and trail beautifully down the front of the house. I’d send you a photo but they are on my cottage, and I’m at home….. thanks for the tip on Miracle Grow Bloom Booster. I use Miracle Grow too, but am using up the old blue stuff that I had buckets of. Will buy Bloom Booster today! Do your petunias self “dead-head”? That’s the only reason I stopped using petunias, alternativing properties all summer I found they got leggy unless I pinched them back and deadheaded regularly, but I think they have some new versions now. Thanks for your beautiful blog. I enjoy it immensely.

  13. I think I saw your flowers at Hobby Lobby :-) Just kidding — they look that perfect. I guess it is having a routine and fertilizing. This year we didn’t plant anything because of the deer but I am experimenting with a solution that just may be taking care of THAT problem. If it works I’ll have flowers everywhere next year! The outdoors looks fantastic!

  14. Your flower boxes look amazing! We only have two windows on our house that we could do this with but hey that might increase my chances of them surviving. Maybe I will give it a try next summer!

  15. Oh your window boxes are absolutely gorgeous! I think your thumb has definitely turned green!!

  16. Your window boxes put mine to shame lol. They are the only surviving flowers I have left from all of the ones I planted this season. I am definitely going to try your little trick ; )

    @Seeking Lavender Lane

  17. These are breathtaking! I have never grown petunias or impatiens that looks like this at the end of summer. Mine always look leggy and sad by now. Do you deadhead the petunias to keep them blooming or is this unnecessary with the draping ones? Do you keep the window boxes filled all year or just in the spring/summer?

    1. Kelly,
      Please answer this post. I love the petunias…are they THE WAVE kind? I’m never sure about deadheading also. Some plants yes and some no.

      1. This post is in regards to a post earlier about deadheading written by someone else…Dee is her name. Thanks.

  18. The black thumb must be genetic, because I have it too. I didn’t even fill my flower boxes this year. I will remember these tips for next summer!

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