The Q&A Archives: East-facing Window Boxes

Question: I have three east-facing window boxes (plastic, 6x30x6)that receive direct sun from 6am - 1pm and are in complete house shade for the rest of the day. I'm having trouble selecting the right plants - sun-loving ones (geraniums, scaevola, verbena) grow but have few flowers and shade ones (impatiens, begonias) are about dead by noon. I try to water every morning (sometimes evenings, too) and fertilze once in a while. Am I selecting the wrong plants or not treating them right? Any suggestions?


Window boxes in morning sun usually do quite well with a selection of the following plants: Begonia, Cardinal Flower, Ageratum, Dusty Miller, Viola, Sweet Alyssum, Dahlia, Snapdragon and Coleus along with the always popular Dwarf Marigold. In my experience the trick is to keep the soil moist throughout the day, and this can be hard with the smaller soil capacity boxes such as yours, especially when the weather turns hot. You might try using a water holding polymer in the soil mix to help keep the soil evenly moist. The constant watering and small soil quantity mean the soil will be depleted rather quickly. You might also try using a water soluble fertilizer for flowering plants on a regular basis as indicated on the label instructions, as well as an occasional watering with compost tea. Finally, make sure you deadhead, or remove spent flowers and forming seed pods, every day or so to help keep the plants actively blooming.

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