Window boxes add charm and curb appeal to your home, but what about during those offseasons when it is too hot or too cold for plants to do well even in a container? You can extend growing season by covering delicate blooms when the first frost occurs but days are still slightly warm, or by choosing plants that have a longer season.
Here are six window box plants you can grow all year round in your boxes. You may need to rotate what plants are in the box during any given season, but with these choices, you’ll have something growing in your box most of the months of the year.
Source: Peter Stevens
You’ve likely seen this grass-like spray of a plant in containers before. This hardy plant grows all year round and is a beautiful centerpiece to a box filled with petunias in the late spring and summer and even some small greenery and décor in the winter.
It is hardy in zones 4 to 11 and grows as high as 2 to 3 feet. However, the leaves are only two inches wide, making it slender enough to use as a centerpiece in any container. It is considered an evergreen, so perfect for year-round boxes.
If you’re looking for a perennial evergreen that you can plant once and enjoy year after year, Golden Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) is an excellent choice. This pretty plant loves to trail over the edge of a container, creating layers of interest and changes color throughout the seasons.
The plant blooms in gentle yellow flowers in late spring and early summer and is a semi-evergreen in mild winter weather. It grows two to four inches high and 12 to 18 inches across. Although it is a spreading plant, its growth is slow, making it easy to control.
Source: Lotus Johnson
If you have large window boxes, Bergenia is an excellent choice that’s hardy in zones 3 to 8. The leaves are green and glossy, and it blooms in the early spring in beautiful pink blossoms. The plant is small enough for containers, such as window boxes, with a height and spread of fewer than two feet each.
This plant does well both in partial shade and full shade. Since many window boxes are situated under overhangs, this makes it the perfect plant for such a setup. Its leaves change color to a purple or bronze in the fall, and it remains green in the winter.
If you want to add some color but need a plant that sits low in the container, then the Blue Star Juniper works nicely. It is a needled evergreen shrub with long, slender needles that take on decidedly silver-blue hue, particularly in the winter. The small plant only reaches one to three feet in height and one to three feet wide — it grows very slowly.
Blue Star Juniper does well in zones 4 to 8 and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Because it does grow so slow, you only need to prune occasionally.
Source: Skolnik Co
If you’d like to add a pop of color to your window boxes in the winter months, the Fuldaglut Sedum is an excellent choice because the leaves turn a deep red in colder weather. In late summer, bursts of flowers appear and stay for almost a month. The plant grows two to four inches high and spreads 10 to 12 inches, making it useful for cover for the surface of the window box.
Most of the year, the leaves add some color, but because it also flowers, this is an ideal plant to add bursts of color to your boxes. Since it blooms in the late summer, it works well with other flowing plants that thrive in late spring and early summer.
Ivy might not be your first thought when choosing plants for your window boxes. However, because it fills in so quickly, it is an excellent choice that returns year after year — just keep an eye on it, as it is aggressive and will take over the rest of your flower beds if you allow it to. Let the ivy fill in the box, then add bursts of color with seasonal choices planted amidst the ivy.
It’s considered a creeping evergreen, and several varieties feature leaves from dark green to a soft yellow. Different plants do well in different climates — some prefer shade, and others prefer sun. The best bet is to work with your local nursery to find the variety that suits your area and window boxes.
When it comes to keeping your window boxes beautiful year-round, you just need to plan for each season. While many of the plants listed above look beautiful during all the seasons, you should still add annual plants that bloom or add additional visual interest with non-plant décor. These plants serve as a base for your window box — from there, get creative and add unique touches throughout all the seasons.