12 Plants That Are Perfect for Window Boxes

Window boxes add instant curb appeal, brightening up the exterior of your home with blooms and greenery. Whether you're an urban dweller with limited garden space or a suburbanite looking to liven up your facade, consider filling a few window boxes with a selection of these plants, whose short heights and interesting textures bring beauty and drama to containers.

  1. Sweet Potato Vine

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    sweet potato vine window box

    The lush foliage of sweet potato vine comes in many colors, making it a surefire win for any window box. Consider getting the lime green 'Margarita', the deep purple 'Sweetheart', or the gray/green/pink 'Tricolor' varieties—all of which are low maintenance and easy to grow. Available on Etsy; $14.99 for one one-gallon plant.


    Related: 10 Foolproof Flowers Anyone Can Grow

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  2. Coleus

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    coleus sun or shade

    Abounding with colorful foliage, coleus comes in both sun and shade varieties. Its bushy appearance makes coleus a great filler and accent plant, although bold varieties like 'Chocolate Covered Cherry' and 'Kong Red' are showy enough to be the main event in a window box. Available on Burpee; $7.29 for 25 seeds and $25.99 for six plants. 

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  3. Petunias

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    petunias care

    Petunias are summer’s workhorse, continuously pumping out vibrant blooms in the season’s harshest heat. The annuals come in shades of white, red, pink, and purple—and you can even find striped, speckled, and fringed varieties. Consider Petunia axillaris, or wild white petunia, if you’d like a bushy plant, or opt instead for cascading Wave or Surfinia petunias, which will spill exuberantly over the edge of your window box. Available on Burpee; $22.99 for four plants. 


    Related: 10 Fast-Growing Plants for (Almost) Instant Curb Appeal

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  4. Creeping Jenny

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    Creeping Jenny in Window Box

    Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia), also known as moneywort, is a vigorous ground cover that's also stunning in window boxes. Available in shades of green and gold, its densely packed, rounded leaves cascade from planters and look very much like trailing vines. Available on Amazon; $11.49 for a 4.5 in. quart.

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  5. Dusty Miller

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    dusty miller plants

    Senecio cineraria, commonly known as dusty miller, has textured silver foliage that serves as a dazzling contrast to colorful blooms. The ‘Silver Dust’ cultivar grows 12 to 18 inches, while the ‘Silver Lace’ and ‘Cirrus’ varieties reach heights of six to eight inches. Dusty miller is also drought-tolerant and easy to maintain, making it a safe option for those who lack a green thumb. Available on Amazon; $14.99 for three plants. 

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  6. Fuchsia

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    Fuchsia in Window Box

    While Fuchsia magellanica is typically used in hanging baskets, its colorful flowers make it a welcome addition to any container garden. Most varieties of fuchsia love the shade, so as long as you avoid putting your window box in full sun, the plant will reward you all season long with extravagant purple and pink blossoms. Available on Etsy; $16.19 for one plant. 

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  7. Impatiens

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    Impatiens in Window Box

    To achieve luscious color in a deeply shaded window box, give impatiens a try. The most common variety in the United States, Impatiens walleriana, is easy to maintain, grows well in containers, and comes in a wide range of colors like pink, red, purple, orange, and yellow. Available on Burpee; $6.29 for 30 seeds and $25.99 for 12 plants.


    Related: 15 No-Effort Plants for a Foolproof Landscape

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  8. Snapdragon

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    Snapdragon in Window Box

    With flashy tall spikes covered in lavish blooms, snapdragon is an eye-catching addition to any window box. Summer snapdragon (Angelonia angustifolia) grows 12 to 18 inches, while common snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) can grow anywhere from four inches to three feet. Both are readily available to home gardeners across the country. Available on Burpee; $5.99 for 50 seeds and $24.99 for 12 plants. 


    Related: 10 Ways to Weather-Proof Your Garden

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  9. Verbena

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    Verbena in Window Box

    Sun-loving verbena lends a cascading appearance to window boxes and other containers. The plant comes in a variety of colors, including the 'Violet Ice' cultivar, which boasts bright purple blooms, and 'Candy Cane', which, just as you’d expect, sports red and white stripes. Available on Burpee; $19.99 for three plants. 

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  10. Variegated Ivy

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    Variegated Ivy in Window Box

    Hedera helix ‘Variegata’, also known as variegated ivy, thrives in almost any level of light and tolerates drought to boot. The plant will flow over the edges of a window box and provide a leafy contrast to vivid blooms. Available on Burpee; $10.49 for one plant.

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  11. Licorice Plant

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    Licorice Plant in Window Box

    Homeowners often choose licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolare) for window boxes because of its unique felted foliage. The cultivar 'White Licorice' is actually silver-white, while 'Lemon Licorice' is a buttery yellow—and both make a striking counterpoint to richly colored blooms. Available on Etsy; $10.95 for a one plant.

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  12. Ornamental Grass

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    Ornamental Grass in Window Box

    Ornamental grasses add sensational height, color, and texture to a window box. Choose a grass like Pennisetum setaceum ‘Fireworks,’ which has delicately frothy fronds and a vibrant purplish-pink color, to pair with understated flowers and trailing greenery. Available on Etsy; $10.95 for three plants.

    Related: 15 Good-Looking Ornamental Grasses to Spruce up Your Outdoors

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