Window boxes are an attractive addition to any home or apartment. For city dwellers, a window box may be the only bit of color they get to enjoy during cold winter months. Why should window boxes be empty all winter?
When choosing plants, make sure to purchase plants that will survive the winter in your gardening zone. Some zones get much colder than others. In some areas you may be able to have flowering plants such as chrysanthemums or ornamental kale or cabbage all winter, but in other areas you may be limited to foliage such as evergreen branches. Basically, if the ground freezes solid where you live, you will be limited in what you can plant in your window box.
You can change plants out during the winter season. At the beginning of winter pansies will grow well for awhile and then when it starts to get really cold you can change them out with hardier evergreen branches.
Consider planting some daffodil or tulip bulbs underneath your winter plants to get a head start on spring planting.
Spruce branches provide beautiful greenery for winter window boxes. You can “plant” the branches in the dirt of your window box and they will last several months. Wait to put them out until it is cold outside and they will stay fresh longer. Make a fresh cut at the end of each branch and gently push the end of each branch into the soil of your window box.
Juniper and pine branches complement spruce branches. Red-twig dogwood branches also create a colorful accent to other greenery placed in the window box.
Remove branches as they begin to wilt, and replace them if necessary.
If you want to plant some other greenery in your window box, consider small boxwood bushes, ivy, and decorative winter cabbages or kale.
Small evergreen trees can even be planted in some window boxes. Bushes and trees can be trimmed to any shape, allowing you to keep the size of the plant under your control.
Holly plants can create nice greenery in your window box, as well as provide colorful red berries. Just keep in mind that you need both male and female plants in order to create the red berries. You can also find holly plants with orange and yellow holly berries.
There are a variety of items with which you can fill your winter window box. Large pinecones look very attractive, as do crabapples and winterberries. Use floral wire to tie pinecones onto your spruce branches so that they remain anchored and do not blow away during the first snow or wind storm.
When you are creating the design for your window box, create a focal point for your floral display, such as a small boxwood bush. You might plant decorative cabbages on each side of the boxwood bush, and ivy plants along the front so that they will trail out the sides of the window box.
Winter window boxes still require water, but not as much as during the summer time. Make sure to keep the soil moist, and water well before a freeze is expected. Fertilizer is not required during winter months.
When decorating the outside of your home for the holiday season, don’t forget about your window boxes. Often window boxes are neglected during the winter, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little greenery and some holly berries or pine cones, you can create a beautiful focal point for the front of your home.