A colorful window box in front of the house makes for a warm welcome, especially in the autumn when the rest of the garden might be looking a little tired. You may have had some summer annuals in your window box that you'd like to rotate out for something more seasonal. One of the best ways to do this is mix fall 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.
1. Select Your Window Box
Manufactured window boxes come in a wide variety of styles and materials, ranging from wood to plastic, to resin, to 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 make sure you select a box that will fit the space you have. Make sure your window box has drainage holes in the bottom, and consider using a liner inside your window box to make it easier to change our your display with the seasons.
Related: How to Install a Window Box
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 arranging, 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. Top off your arrangement with a few small gourds and mini pumpkins that off 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 in any gaps in the window box with more potting soil. Make sure all of the roots of the plants are covered. Water all of the plants at once—this will help settle the soil and plants together—then water about 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.
When you're ready to transition your window box from fall to winter, simply remove the contents of the box by lifting up the plastic liners, or pull the plants out individually if there is no liner. If the ground isn't frozen yet, 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 have 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.
Traditional Fall Window Box
This traditional fall window box embraces a warm, autumnal color palette. Use bronze-orange mums as the focal point, then add in 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.
Wine-Colored Fall Window Box
Add a splash of vibrant color with this wine-inspired window box. Deep purple mums make for a stunning centerpiece, especially when contrasted with lighter pink-lavender mums around it. The purplish foliage of coralbells, kale, and ajuga will complement the hues of both these mums, while providing long-lasting color in this fabulous fall window box design.