Sweet Potato Vine
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Few things are as striking as a lush green lawn, but maintaining a flourishing landscape is challenging. The solution to your lawn and garden woes may be easier than you think.