Winter Window Box Planter 1

A Wonderful Winter Window Box Planter (That You Can Make Even If You Don’t Have a Window Box!)

Does it surprise you to learn that window boxes are back “in”? You read that right! Just as beards and knitting have made a resurgence in popular culture, the humble window box is back and it’s not just an old fashioned begonia holder anymore. Window boxes are small-space, vertical planters that provide the opportunity to garden even if you don’t have a lot of room.

How to make a winter window box

I’m always up to plant something new, but alas, I have no window box. I have windows (lots of them, luckily), but there isn’t one that has the right fit for a window box planter. The front windows are just above a bench that would be unpleasant to sit at with a planter hovering over your head. The back of the house’s windows are on the second story and the windows open outwards, both making gardening there difficult.

But just as Goldilocks kept searching for just the right thing, I went on the hunt for a vintage wood window (thank you Craigslist!) to fit a cedar planter box I had in my garden shed.


Hooray! These two easy pieces make the most charming winter window box planter and add a focal point to my deck.

materials for making an easy window box planter

First I will show you the steps to recreate this simple DIY project, then keep reading to see some of the great plant combinations I chose to last throughout the winter.

Sponsored content: This post is sponsored by my besties over at Monrovia, who also provided me with the plants for the project. We also have a giveaway happening now. You can see the details at the end of this post. Read on my friends, it gets even better from here!

Recycled Window Box Planter

window box for winter


Make it!

Can you imagine my luck? The cedar window box that I had in the garage was the exact dimensions of the vintage window I found on Craigslist! I’m not completely certain this is luck though, as both were 24” long and likely that is a standard size for both a window and a window box planter. My hope is that it’s as easy for you to find the supplies as it was for me.

The cedar planter has a decorative lip on it which prevented it from sitting flat up against the window. A scrap piece of cedar board attached to the back of the planter acts as a shim that allows the window and box to fit together like perfect puzzle pieces.

Make a simple winter window box

Use a power drill to attach the shim to the box, and then attach the box to the window. Then give the box a coat or two of exterior latex paint to match the window.

how to make a window box for winter

That’s it! A seriously simple project. Now let’s get to the planting.

I had a lot of fun trying to decide what to plant in my winter window box. I love the idea of adding live plants and those that provide winter interest. Here are some great choices from Monrovia.

planting a winter window box

Plants for a Winter Window Box

Tiny Tower Dwarf Alberta Spruce  (shown above) is a small variety of spruce that has a dense, pyramid shape perfect for topiaries. When young, it has bright green foliage that turns to a gorgeous shade of grayish green when it reaches maturity.

Very Berry Creeping Wintergreen‘s (shown above and left) glossy green leaves turn to a deep, beautiful purple in the fall. It has small white bell-shaped flowers in the summer and fragrant bright red berries in fall and winter.

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop (shown above) has deeply dramatic purplish green leaves and bright crimson flowers. This groundcover performs well in containers as well as in rock gardens or as a border plant.

Cape Blanco Stonecrop (shown below) has stunning evergreen silvery-white foliage that gets a lavender tinge as the temperature drops. It produces sunny yellow flowers in the summer. Bonus: the foliage is edible!

Scallywag Holly (shown below and right) is a round-shaped holly bush with dense, glossy green foliage that gets a burgundy tinge in the cooler seasons. Scallywag is evergreen and disease resistant.

Georgia Blue Speedwell (not shown but worth a mention) is a lovely groundcover in the summer when the little blue flowers cover the entire plant. In winter, this gorgeous evergreen turns a bronze-purple color that makes it perfect for year-round interest.

I tried out a few of these combinations to see which one I liked the best. This one with the Scallywag holly, Cape Blanco stonecrop, and a battery-operated candle was beautiful, but I wanted something I could leave outdoors and not fuss with all winter. The candle would need to be removed whenever it rained, and since that is pretty much every day in the winter, I redesigned the window box.

how to design and plant a window box for winter

I ended up with three Tiny Tower dwarf Alberta spruce planted with festive Very Berry wintergreen, and moody Dragon’s Blood stonecrop.

How to make and plant a window box for winter

I love the result and know that it will look great all winter long, with minimal effort from me.

How to Care for a Winter Window Box

As the temperature drops, so do care needs. If you have chosen plants that are suitable for your zone and provide winter interest, you have done 90% of the work already.

a wonderful window window box

Cold climate gardeners should choose winter container plants that are at the full size that you want them, as they won’t grow in cold weather.

If you are in a warm climate, continue to care for the plants as directed on the plant tags.

If you live in a colder climate where the soil freezes, then you will provide limited water in the fall before the temperature drops, and won’t need to water in the coldest months. They will hunker down for winter and continue to look fabulous during the season.

Make a simple window box planter for winter


We are currently giving away a $50 gift card to so you can pick out just the right plants for your own window box! To enter, leave a comment on our Magnolia Wreath project by December 18th, 2017. You can get an extra entry by commenting here as well! The contest is open to residents of Canada and the US with the exception of Quebec and where prohibited.

Want even more winter garden ideas? Check these out!

About the Author : Stephanie Rose

A city girl who learned to garden and it changed everything. Author, artist, Master Gardener. Better living through plants.

View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Carol Brantley
    Carol BrantleyDecember 6,17

    A great winter pronect. to lift the spritis on a cold winter day. I would love a gift card.

  2. Sarah
    SarahDecember 6,17

    Love this! Never thought about changing my window boxes with the season. They usually sit empty for the winter. Not anymore!

  3. Krista
    KristaDecember 7,17

    This is very attractive. I will use these ideas for a large planter on my deck.

  4. Dale Cecchettini
    Dale CecchettiniDecember 8,17

    In California window boxes due very well….even with freezing temperatures! Thank you for the ideas and chance to win a gift card to use on my boxes….Happy Holidays🌲

  5. Heather Grant
    Heather GrantDecember 10,17

    Great idea and a beautiful window find!
    I think in Canada, I would have needed to get going with plant selection and purchase in August/September timeframe. These days most garden centres clear out plants for Christmas sales.
    I love the look and will now have lots of time to find the right supplies and plants for next fall.

  6. B. Donna Hall
    B. Donna HallDecember 14,17

    The plants suggested for the window boxes are perfect for my winter pots. Thanks for suggesting them. I also would like to get some Christmas blooming camillas to train across my garage.

  7. barbara hardie
    barbara hardieDecember 15,17

    your garden therapy site always makes my day…cant waitfor spring…

  8. Vicki
    VickiDecember 15,17

    I wake up every morning and come to this! Thanks for all you do. It makes me smile!

  9. Linda
    LindaDecember 17,17

    I have tried winter window boxes for my apartment, but have yet to find the perfect plants to work for my space.

  10. Sherry Peterson
    Sherry PetersonDecember 17,17

    I never thought of a winter box! I’ll give it a whirl!

  11. Patty Cassity
    Patty CassityDecember 17,17

    Beautiful! Brilliant idea for our cold winters! Merry Christmas Stephanie!

  12. Suzanne
    SuzanneDecember 17,17

    I love this project as it has great eye appeal and fairly simple to do. What a great idea!!

  13. kelly k
    kelly kDecember 17,17

    love it! i have such a hard time planting for small spaces…this would help me get started!

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