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Cascading Flowers For Window Boxes

Adding window boxes to your home add a dash of individuality. The design of the box and the plants and flowers all work together to give your home personality and style.

Cascading flowers and foliage are classic choices that allow window boxes to overflow with charm. When seeking the best trailing plants for window boxes, focus on varieties with spreading, trailing, or vining growth habits like petunias, million bells, sweet potato vine, bacopa, and trailing snapdragons.

Select plants that bloom well in full or partial shade to full sun, depending on your conditions. Mix trailing and upright plants to give your window box display a lush, full look.

In our guide, you can learn more about choosing the best cascading plants and flowers for your window boxes. By the end, you’ll better understand all the window box flowers or your home container garden.

By the end, you’ll better understand an excellent choice for window boxes, especially if there are animals around that graze your window boxes like deer.  (Read Difference Between Propane And Natural Gas)

Best Cascading Flowers For Window Boxes

What are the Best Trailing Plants for Window Boxes?

Vine plants are an excellent option for choosing cascading flowers for window boxes.

These vines come in various leaf colors like chartreuse, purple, and variegated, adding visual interest. Sweet potato vine cascades up to 3 feet, making it perfect for spilling from window boxes. Other vine plants like ivy and creeping Jenny make good cascading plants for window boxes.


Without mentioning petunias, no list of cascading flowers for window boxes would be complete. These brightly colored blooms are garden favorites thanks to their long flowering period and tendency to creep downward in cascades.

Petunias come in a rainbow of colors like pink flowers, purple, red, yellow, and white, so you can quickly find a shade to complement your outdoor decor. They also come in single-flowered or double-flowered varieties. Double petunias have ruffled, rose-like blooms that add significant visual impact.

Petunias grow 6-12 inches tall, but their stems will creep up to 2 feet long, making them ideal spillers for window boxes.


Impatiens are perfect for window boxes and deliver lots of cascading colors. These shade lovers produce colorful blooms in shades like white, pink, coral, purple, and red. Impatien flowers resemble petite orchids and bloom continuously from spring and summer to fall if kept well watered.

Dead-heading spent blooms encourage more flowers. Impatiens grow 10-12 inches tall, but their trailing stems will hang up to 2 feet long.

Dainty Alyssum Flowers

Another quintessential cascading flower for window boxes is sweet alyssum. These small star-shaped blooms come in white, pink, or purple. They have a honey-like fragrance that smells heavenly when you brush against them.

Alyssum flowers from spring to fall, tolerating heat and thriving in full sun. The tiny plants grow 3-6 inches tall but spread into a blanket of blossoms thanks to their trailing habit. Alyssum looks beautiful, spilling over the edges of window boxes and surrounding taller plants.

Trailing Begonias

For cascading flowers to handle some sun or shade, try trailing begonias. These beautiful bloomers come in various flower colors like red, pink, orange, yellow, white and more.

Trailing begonias grow 6-12 inches tall, while their stems can creep 2 feet long. This makes them natural choices for window boxes and hanging baskets. Begonias bloom continuously from spring through early to late fall for long-lasting color.

Million Bells

Another trailing flower practically made for window boxes is million bells or calibrachoa. This petunia relation produces hundreds of tiny bell-like flowers. It comes in every color except blue and thrives in full sun exposure.

Million bells mounds reach 6-10 inches tall, but their trailing stems creep 2 feet long. This makes them a stunning choice for cascading from window boxes and containers. Their profuse blooms will attract pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden. (Read Why Is My Morning Glory Not Blooming)

Choosing flowers for window boxes

What Flowers Grow Best in Window Boxes?

When choosing flowers for window boxes, consider bloom time, sun needs, and plant size. Some top picks include:

  • Petunias – Blooms from spring to frost in various colors. Thrive in full sun.
  • Geraniums – Bold red, pink, or white flowers on mounding plants. Require at least 6 hours of sun.
  • Impatiens – Shade lovers with flowers in whites, pinks, reds, purples, and violets.
  • Marigolds – Cheerful, edible blooms. Love sun. Great for repelling pests.
  • Lavender – Fragrant purple flowers. Grow 12-18” tall. Need well-drained soil.
  • Nasturtiums – Trailing vines with edible, peppery-tasting orange or yellow blooms.

What Flowers for Window Boxes Work Best in Shade?

If your window boxes don’t get much sun, look for these cascading plants that thrive in part to full shade:

  • Impatiens – One of the best choices for shade. Produces abundant blooms all season.
  • Begonias – From bold, wax-like flowers to delicate trailing varieties. Grow 6-12” tall.
  • Ivy – Trails gracefully. Look for variegated leaves on English ivy or Dichondra for a low-growing option.
  • Bacopa – Dainty white flowers on trailing foliage. Tolerates shade beautifully.
  • Sweet Potato Vine – Grown for its fabulous foliage that trails mint green in the shade. Does well in part shade.
  • Creeping Jenny – Chartreuse trailing foliage thrives in shade. It’s also great for containers.

10 Best Full Sun Cascading Flowers For Window Boxes

If you want flowers for sun areas, try these spillers or trailing plants that require full sun:

  1. Petunias – Heat and drought tolerant. Flower prolifically in sun.
  2. Million Bells – Profusion of blooms over fine, trailing foliage.
  3. Portulaca – Moss rose creates trailing displays in fiery colors.
  4. Lantana – Multicolored blooms on weeping stems. Attract pollinators.
  5. Mandevilla – Showy flowers come in pink or red with glossy leaves.
  6. Verbena – Clusters of small flowers around an inch in diameter grow 6 to 12 inches long.
  7. Dichondra – Silver Falls is a popular trailing accent with silver leaves.
  8. Thyme – Cascades gracefully over edges while providing herbal flavor.
  9. Osteospermum – Prolific daisy-like blooms in sunny spots.
  10. Scaevola – Fan flowers create lovely blue flowers that cascade in heat.

Best Cascading Window Box Flowers For Various Situations

Here are some of the best cascading plants for various window box situations:

  • Full Sun – Million Bells, Petunias, Lantana
  • Part Sun (Morning Sun or Light Shade)- Nasturtiums, Trailing Begonias
  • Shade – Impatiens, Creeping Jenny
  • Winter Hardy Plants – Kale, Ornamental Cabbage
  • Drought Resistant – Portulaca, Ice Plant
  • Fragrant – Sweet Alyssum, Lavender
  • Trailing Vines – Ivy, Sweet Potato Vine
  • Edible – Nasturtiums, Strawberries

Improve Curb Appeal With Cascading Window Box Planter

Using easy-to-grow plants in hanging baskets and window boxes is an easy way to improve the curb appeal of any home. Windows lined with flower-filled boxes instantly create a welcoming facade, where soft lines and abundant tiny flowers frame windows in beauty.

When homeowners choose the right plants and flowers in their window boxes, they help disguise less-than-perfect exteriors by drawing the eye. No matter the architectural style, many window boxes look ornate and elegant. A window box full of many flowers works on contemporary homes, brick row houses, suburban ranches, historic homes, and everything in between. (Read Orange Flower With Black Spots)

Filling window boxes with cascading plants

Pro Tips For Planting Window Boxes

Here are some expert tips for filling window boxes with cascading plants:

  • Pick a window box planter with drainage holes to prevent soggy soil
  • Use a quality potting mix, not garden soil, which compacts
  • Space flowering plants for your window boxes close together for a full look immediately
  • Use a filler like moss or tiny plants to cover bare soil
  • Mix cascading and upright plants for height and volume
  • Stagger plant heights for visual interest
  • Refresh soil and prune back plants as needed during summer and fall
  • Fertilize monthly to keep plants blooming strong
  • Water around the plants when the soil surface feels dry to the touch
  • Remove faded blooms to encourage more flowers

Conclusion: Picking The Best Cascading Plants

With proper planning and care, cascading window boxes can add incredible curb appeal and personality to any home.

Choose plants suited to sun exposure and climate. Mix trailing varieties like petunias, calibrachoa, ivy and upright plants like snapdragons and lavender for gorgeous, full displays. Address maintenance needs consistently watering when dry and fertilizing monthly.

Well-designed, overflowing window boxes with the right cascading plants soften architecture, announce seasons, and infuse joy. With some effort, these charming garden accents can bring out the best in your home and landscape.

FAQs About Cascading Window Boxes

What is the best height for window boxes?

The most common window box height is between 6-8 inches deep. This provides enough room for flowers in window boxes roots without being excessively heavy when you fill your window box with soil and packed with plants.

How often should you water window boxes?

You won’t be spending a lot of time watering your window boxes. Keep the soil moist and water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry. More frequent watering is needed for boxes in full sun, and well-drained soil is used. (Read Weeds That Look Like Sunflower)

What flowers look good in window boxes together?

Some good window box pairings include petunias & verbena, begonias & impatiens, marigolds & nasturtiums, pansies & violas, and trailing lobelia & alyssum.

Cascading Flowers For Window Boxes