Our Best Tips for Creating Beautiful Fall Window Boxes

Take a hint from Mother Nature and follow these tips to create autumnal window boxes that are sure to wow visitors all season long.

Colorful fall window boxes in front of the house make for a warm welcome, especially in autumn when the rest of the garden might be looking a little tired. If you've had summer annuals in your window box, fall is a good time to rotate them out for something more seasonal. One of the best ways to do this is to mix seasonal favorites, such as kale and mums, with other plants that look showy in autumn, such as grasses. We love to round out our fall window boxes with ornamental gourds for some extra fall flair.

To help you select the best combinations of plants, colors, and textures for beautiful window box designs, it's a good idea to work with a color scheme. That way, you're sure to create beautiful fall window boxes you can enjoy until freezing temperatures arrive.

three fall window boxes with mums, kale, gourds and squash

1. Select Your Window Box

Manufactured window boxes come in various styles and materials, including wood, resin, and metal wire frames with a coco fiber liner. You may need to research each type of window box material to see which is best for your needs. Or, build a DIY window box to get the look you want. Measure your windows to ensure you select a box that will fit your space. Your window box should have drainage holes in the bottom. Use a liner inside your window box to make changing your display with the seasons easier.

2. Create a Focal Point

When planning your fall window box ideas, an easy place for beginners and garden pros alike to start is by creating symmetry in your arrangements. If you want to be more adventurous, you can choose unique plants and arrange them more asymmetrically. Start by placing your two or three largest plants into the window box. As you start placing your plants, check how the window box looks from the front and turn your focal plants until you find their best side.

3. Plant Full of Colors and Textures

Once you have your focal plants in place, fill in around them with a few smaller plants. Ornamental peppers, ornamental grasses, and hardier herbs like lavender can do the trick. Even some perennials with colorful foliage could work. Because these plants won't be in the window box for long, don't be afraid to crowd them a little to have a full-looking display. You can also angle the plants slightly forward to show off their colors even more when viewed from the front of the box. Finally, top off your arrangement with a few small gourds and mini pumpkins with beautiful colors and textures. Pop them in wherever you can find a space between your plants.

4. Fill in Gaps and Add Water

Once you have all your plants situated, fill any gaps in the window box with more potting soil. Make sure all of the roots of the plants are covered. Water plants all at once—this will help settle the soil and plants—then water once a week for the rest of the season. A good way to tell if you need to water is to stick your finger about two inches down into the soil. If it feels dry, give your window box plants a drink.

To transition your fall window boxes to winter, simply remove the contents of the box by lifting up the plastic liners or pull the plants out individually if there's no liner. If the ground isn't frozen, you can plant any perennials you used in your window box right in your garden. Compost any annuals and fill your window box with fresh evergreens, small conifers, and holly berries for the holidays.

Creative Combinations for Your Fall Window Boxes

The rich hues of autumn always get us excited to assemble window boxes and fall planters that reflect the changing foliage colors. Here are three of our favorite color combinations you can try right now.

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Traditional Fall Window Box

orange fall window box with orange mums and mini pumpkins and gourds7f432ff8bddceba94343b2ab6a3b597dfe0e3f4c
Carson Downing

This traditional fall window box embraces a warm, autumnal color palette. Use bronze-orange mums as the focal point, then add yellow and red ornamental peppers and leatherleaf sedge for beautiful texture. Last but certainly not least, a variety of small gourds and pumpkins help fill in the gaps and bring even more fall flair to your window box.

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Wine-Colored Fall Window Box

fall window box with purple mums and mini pumpkins
Carson Downing

Add a splash of vibrant color with this wine-iAdd a splash of vibrant color with this wine-inspired window box. Deep purple mums make a stunning centerpiece, especially when contrasted with lighter pink-lavender mums. The purplish foliage of coralbells, kale, and ajuga will complement the mums' hues while providing long-lasting color in this fabulous fall window box design.

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Silvery and White Window Box

fall window box with green cabbage, grasses and white pumpkins
Carson Downing

Silver, white, and green make an elegant combination in this fall window box. Ornamental kale's ruffled leaves are the star of this show, set off with silvery lavender and wispy fiber optic grass. Add a few white miniature pumpkins and gourds to tie it all together.

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