The Q&A Archives: Care For Window Boxes/herbs

Question: I have three window boxes (two at the front of the flat - west facing, so they get quite a lot of light and one at the back, which is East facing and does not get much light)

In the front boxes I have ivy and heather, but the ivy isn't coping too well, are these two plants able to live together or is it the colder weather that is not agreeing with the ivy?

In the box at the back I am trying to grow herbs, but every herb that I have tried in there just dies. Is this because herbs need lots of light? or is it too cold for them? or is there certain herbs that can be grown together and others that can not?

I would really appreciate as much information about the herbs, as I have tried everything and would really love a healthy herb box.

Many Thanks

Answer: Tina,

There is not a problem combining ivy and heather. The brunt of the hot western sun may be a bit much for them but I would expect them to adjust to it unless a hot reflective wall is also contributing a bit too much intense sun and warmth. I suspect either droughty soil or poorly drained soil is the cause of that plant problem. Sudden changes in temperature such as a cold front could also be causing the problem.

Likewise I doubt the herb problem is due to two different plant species that don't get along. Herbs do love sun as a group, but some will tolerate some shade. If that eastern exposure gets at least a few hours of sun that should be enough to keep them going if not thriving. Check for moderate soil moisture in that planter also. You may want to remove the planting medium and replace it with a fresh, quality growing mix in case that is contributing to the problems. Many herbs can take some cool weather but many such as basil cannot.

In order to provide you with more information than we can fit in this brief answer, let me refer you to the following web sites, which should be very informative and useful to you.

Thanks for the question. Please stop in again soon!

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