(Image credit: JENNIFER E. WOLF)

Growing herbs in window boxes is a space-saving method for producing culinary ingredients for kitchen use. Creating a window box herb garden can be more than a practical gardening solution. It can add curb appeal and exterior aesthetics to any building.

How to Make an Herb Window Box

Many culinary herbs do best in full sun and this can make light exposure one of the key requirements when growing herbs in window boxes. For the best results, choose windows which receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. 

Many leaf-producing herbs can thrive in partial sunlight (4 to 6 hours per day), but growth is often slower. Regular pruning to maintain bushiness is recommended. In addition to light exposure, consider the following when creating a window box herb garden:

  • Accessibility – Once planted, the herbs in a window box require regular watering, pruning and harvesting. Having easy access to the boxes will make taking care of the herbs more manageable.
  • Size – Not only will the dimensions of the box determine the number and type of herbs which can be grown, but it also affects the aesthetics of the building. To present a balanced look, choose a box that spans the width of the window.
  • Weight – The total weight of the window box, soil, plants and water should be considered when mounting an herb window box. To minimize weight, choose plastic over wood planters and use a soilless potting mix.

Herb Window Box Ideas

What are good herbs for window boxes? In general, the best herbs will be those which you use the most. That being said, herbs which have similar sunlight and water requirements will thrive together better than those with differing needs.

Another consideration is size and growth habits of the individual plants. When mixing different herbs in a window box, trailing or low-growing herbs are usually placed in the front of the box. Bushier, taller or upright plants will be more at home in the back. 

When choosing plants, gardeners may also wish to focus on a particular herb-garden theme. Possible herb window box ideas include growing Italian culinary herbs, aromatic herbs for potpourri and soapmaking or herbs for tea. 

Here are a few of the many herbs which can successfully be grown in a window box:

Laura Miller

Laura Miller has been gardening all her life. Holding a degree in Biology, Nutrition, and Agriculture, Laura's area of expertise is vegetables, herbs, and all things edible. She lives in Ohio.