A boring fence in our backyard has been calling for some attention lately and I finally found the perfect project for this area. This succulent planter window box seemed like a great way to add to my succulent collection (obsession?) and also add another element to our garden.
I found this 30″ long window box at Lowes and it came with the liner and the frame. It didn’t take more than five minutes to put a couple of screws into the cross-piece of the fence and hang the window planter. Let’s be honest, most of the time window boxes require an amazing amount of work and dedication to keep them watered and growing well. With succulents you certainly don’t have to worry about that part and good drainage is a non issue.
You can see here that this fence was fairly unattractive. It also gets more sun than just about anywhere else in our yard, so it was a really good place to hang the succulent planter. I could see us adding another planter, or two, below this one on the next horizontal board in the future. I think Mike would be happy to trade some plants from our deck to a new home on the fence!
Once the planter was secure I filled the frame with potting soil. I don’t think a “cactus mix” is necessary for growing great succulents; regular potting mix will do just fine, especially when there is really good drainage from a fiber liner. Not that I did fill it almost to the top but not a mound of soil that would make it impossible to water in the future. A little bit of a lip left behind will hold water to make it easier for deep watering.
I started planting the succulent windowbox by adding the three flapjack plants (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora) to the planter. I generally don’t like symmetry, but these seemed like the exception. These flapjacks were from cuttings, but they were just fine stuck in each of the ends and the center. From this point I added the two new succulents that I purchased for this project.
Crassula argentea ‘E.T.’s Fingers’ is one that I’ve grown since college, but there we always called it “Shrek’s Ear’s,” I think that makes sense too, right?
The other plant that I added was Graptosedum ‘Vera Higgins.’ This small, reddish succulent has really nice little rosettes and the color is attractive too. For these potted plants I simply pulled out some of the soil and added them directly to the windowbox as the next step. As you can see next image, there was still plenty of room to add some others after these larger plants were in the planter.
I had plenty of these striped Kalanchoe humilis growing in containers and this seemed like the perfect color and size to add to this succulent planter. Usually I would have these sit out a few days, but with a couple of dry days ahead I decided to stick them directly in the soil.
I think these worked perfect as the filler that this window planter needed to be complete. This entire project took about 40 minutes start to finish and $21 to complete (that is why you need overgrown plants to collect cuttings!). I will share photos as it begins to grow, but so far I am really happy with the finished product. The different colors and textures blend together well. Earlier I wrote that we might add more, but let’s be honest, as good as this looks it won’t be too long before there are more added to that boring fence.