Window Box Planters: What To Do With Them Through Winter?

My name is Leslie, and I’m a window box voyeur. 

During walks and bike rides with my kids, I keep a constant eye out for them – and am amazed time and time again by the stunning effect they have on a home’s exterior. 

And it’s not just well-manicured window boxes that pack a punch.  Window planters brimming with any variety of color and life pay off in spades.  Just as importantly, they’re great at steering eyes away from trouble spots, providing an easy, appealing distraction from those updates and fixes you’re still saving and preparing for! 

But a sad pattern sets in this time of year: As temperatures drop, summer and autumn foliage displays are removed, and so many window boxes sit empty through the winter.  Which is a shame.  Winter is the time of year most of us could use some outdoor beauty – and there’s plenty of it to be found!

To start: When removing this past year’s annuals, don’t pull out the roots.  Instead, cut them off at soil level.  The remaining roots can provide footing for any decorative holly, pine, berry branches, or even lights or ornaments you might add to your winter display. 

And while you won’t see the payoff until spring, keep in mind that late fall is the perfect time of year to plant tulip, daffodil, or other bulbs for next year.  Plant them now, and have an effortlessly beautiful window box when the winter breaks in a few months. 

When it comes to winter window boxes content, boxwood, dwarf Alberta spruce, and blue spruce are all seasonally appropriate shrubs hardy enough to withstand the cold.  In terms of foliage, flowering cabbage and kale, variegated ivy, and monkey grass are also solid cold-weather bets. 

And while flowers might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re wearing a hat and gloves, consider a seasonal floral.  Primroses, pansies and forget-me-nots are among the rare flowering plants that can survive wherever temperatures don’t consistently drop below twenty degrees.  They’re also a welcome preview of spring colors and beauty to come!

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