Cascading flowers are often called spillers or trailing plants because of their beautiful and unique spilling effect in window boxes. Whether you live in the suburbs or a rural area, cascading flowers invite a subtle scent and an ethereal ambience to your home.
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What To Consider Before Choosing Cascading Flowers
There are a few things that you should consider before selecting spillers.
1. What kind of window box do you have or would you like to use? For example, if you have PVC window boxes (or like their function), you’d most likely choose petunias as your spiller. Each flower has a different style that you might want to check out before choosing one.
2. What kind of flowers would match the style of your house? For example, if you live in a farmhouse or something similar, you’d probably want something that has a more dramatic effect in your window box. If you live in a more modern-style home, perhaps a minimalistic effect would be more appealing.
3. Which kind of trailing plants would look good with the fillers you’ve chosen? Think complementary colors like blue and orange, or maybe yellow and purple. Maybe you just want a completely green theme. Think about the different kinds of texture you want to include too.
4. Are my window boxes in the sun or shade or partially in both? This is pretty important when considering the type of flower that you’ll need to maintain.
5. Do you want to switch your spillers, or would you rather have something that lasts all year round? Depending on whether you’re a low- or high-maintenance kind of person, this is a great consideration. Think about whether you’d like to switch your spillers out in between seasons.
6. How often do you want to spend time maintaining your window boxes? Do you enjoy spending a lot of time maintaining your window box garden? Or maybe you’re a next-to-zero kind of maintenance person who would prefer self-watering window boxes?
We’ve discussed some pretty great questions to ask yourself before you make any decisions with regard to your spillers and fillers. Now, here are seven different types of cascading flowers that can be used to liven up your home.
- Botanical name: Petunia spp.
- Sunlight: About 4 to 6 hours of sunlight a day.
- Watering: The best practice is to drain them freely and keep the soil moist.
Petunias are known for their cheerful and radiant colors that bloom from spring to fall. There are plenty of colors to choose from, ranging from speckled whites to solid deep pinks and reds.
Petunias surprisingly thrive on minimal care. Usually the Wave and Grandiflora petunia species produce the spiller effect in window boxes that we talked about above.
If you’re going with the Wave species, you don’t have to deadhead as much, so you can definitely plant these in hard-to-reach areas (like second or third floors).
- Botanical name: Nemesia strumosa or Nemesia caerulea
- Sunlight: Full sun is preferred for best growing practices.
- Watering: The soil must be moist to the touch but never soggy.
Nemesia is a species of plant that produces a multitude of small flowers in an array of vibrant colors depending on which subspecies you choose.
For example, the species N. strumosa produces white or blue flowers that are about 1 inch in diameter and grow about a foot tall; these flowers fall in a droopy manner.
N. caerulea produces white, blue, purple, or pink flowers. This species also grows about 1/2 inch in diameter and about 2 feet tall, and falls in the same droopy manner.
- Botanical name: Impatiens walleriana
- Sunlight: Full shade
- Watering: The soil must be moist — the foliage will shed if it’s dried out.
Impatiens (or I. walleriana) produce a wide variety of stunning reds, pinks, purples, and violets. Impatiens will bloom in a beautiful display from spring throughout summer. If the climate is warmer, they can last all year round.
Most of these species can grow between 6 inches to 1 foot in length, and they will just ever so slightly peep over the edge of your window box.
- Botanical name: Tropaeolum majus
- Sunlight: Full sun (for optimal growth)
- Watering: The soil should be well drained.
This type of species specifically is a climbing/trailing plant that grows impressive vines that will hang effortlessly in window boxes.
A fun fact about nasturtiums is that they’re edible! Their seed pods, flowers, and leaves have a mustard and peppery-like taste that makes them a great garnish for salads and other tasty dishes.
These edible flowers bloom from mid-spring to fall and grow about 1 foot long (or a little more) depending on the species.
- Botanical name: Begonia semperflorens
- Sunlight: Partial sun (specifically morning sun and afternoon shade with a dabble of sun) Watering: The soil should be evenly moist.
Begonias are charming, rose-like flowers that bloom in reds, yellows, pinks, oranges, and whites.
Some begonias are deer resistant because of their scent. So you definitely don’t have to worry about them being eaten if you live in a rural area where deer are roaming around.
Botanical name: Viola tricolor var. hortensis (name of Viola x wittrockiana species) Sunlight: Full sun or partial sun
Watering: Well-drained soils are best for optimal growth.
Pansies are also called violas and violets, and depending on the species, they can bloom delightfully into various ranges of red, purple, blue, pink, yellow, orange, white, and mahogany colors.
Pansies can be treated either as an annual or perennial spiller depending on your climate. They often can survive a harsh freeze in single-digit temperatures, which is pretty incredible.
They can grow about 6 to 9 inches tall and spread to about 9 to 12 inches.
- Botanical name: Lobelia spp.
- Sunlight: Full sun is preferred, but they can also tolerate partial sun.
- Watering: The soil must be moist for best growing practices.
Lobelias are carefree and super-easy-to-grow spillers that come in lovely pinks, dark purples, blues, whites, and lavenders. Although most varieties of this species are pretty compact, growing between 3 to 5 inches, some species actually grow up to 3 feet tall, making them perfect for window boxes.
Lobelias bloom from summer up until the first frost in the fall. Blue flowers only make up 10% of the entire plant kingdom, so these rarities are perfect to add some uniqueness to your window box garden!
We’d Like To Hear From You!
We’d love to know your feedback on our guide to the types of cascading flowers to use for your window box garden.
Hopefully you learned something new, or maybe you just wanted a refresher on the types of flowers to use.
Either way, let us know below in the comments section!