What are the best balcony plants?
Potted flowers such as miniature roses are perfect potted plants for balconies. Miniature irises or convallarias look particularly interesting on a balcony garden. You can buy the seeds in every garden shop. What other plants can grow on a balcony garden? Check peonies, lilies and dahlias - Dahlia pinnata is a remarkably beautiful flower.
Choosing the right flowers for your balcony garden triggers several fundamental issues. Keep in mind that every balcony or patio has different factors. To make your task easier, you might refer to some guidelines from specialists. Use their knowledge to learn how to make your balcony garden splendid.
Balcony garden - important aspects
Flowers are one of the most popular balcony decorations. Usually, they are not very difficult to take care of. The location of the balcony is equally important. If the spot is exposed to direct sunlight, choose balcony plants that need a lot of natural light for proper growth. If you decided to cover the balcony - choose plants that like shadow.
Despite the general tips, many homeowners struggle to choose the right plant for their balcony garden. Before purchasing anything, think everything through and consider several important aspects - the plant’s needs, growing conditions and any diseases that might occur.
Balcony garden plants - growing conditions
On of the most important criterion that the choice depends on is the balcony’s conditions. Therefore, one might ask: what balcony plants to choose for a balcony facing south or north? Which species are better for a sunny place, and which are better to grow in shade? The struggle is real. Plants growing on a sunny balcony, for instance, should be resistant to overdrying. Another important issue is the amount of time that one is able to spend on taking care of their plants. Certain species require a regular fertilizing, trimming and misting. There are also plants that require only watering.
One’s individual taste also matters. It is good to consider the colour scheme and general decor of the balcony and choose plants accordingly. If one lives in an apartment block, the aesthetics of a building as a whole should be kept in mind. One should be aware whether the owner of the building has set a guideline on the allowed plants.
It is nice to remember about your neighbours. If you live upstairs, avoid trees and vines that shed leaves in autumn. They might litter the balcony of your neighbour. In some cases one should also decide against hanging planters outside the railing. They might fall off and seriously hurting someone.
Balcony garden - orientation
Choosing the right plants depends mostly on the facing of one’s balcony. Most buildings have their balconies facing west and south. Architects rather avoid designing shaded balconies, although it happens occasionally. The good news is that one can find proper plants for both types, and they will grow perfectly.
Plants for a sunny balcony?
Sunny balconies are the ones facing south or west. Garden plants on a balcony where the sun is strong all day should be resistant to overdrying. Because the sun shines almost all day long in such places, the water evaporates immediately from soil. The sunlight might also damage any fragile leaves.
For this reason plants such as begonia and fuchsia won’t grow in such spots. Plants for a sunny balcony garden should be resistant to intense heat. The best species that one can plant in such spot are:
- Geraniums - those are the most popular balcony garden plants. They love full sun. They also need plenty of water, even twice a day.
- Petunias - their characteristic feature is very lush blooming. There are many types of petunias in various colours. They can be quite demanding balcony garden plants, however they are worth spending time on. They compensate the effort with beautiful looks.
- Surfinias - they are great eye-catchers, forming glamorous cascades. They are available in a range of colours and bloom the most intense in full sun.
- Vervains - those balcony plants have colourful flowers that bloom forming gorgeous spheres. They look particularly beautiful in hanging planters.
- Lobelias - they have characteristic small blue, white or violet flowers. They do not like wet soil, therefore, one should water them in moderation. It is a plant growing downwards - it will look great in a hanging planter.
- Lavender - a fantastic balcony garden plant that loves growing in sunny and dry spots. The colours range from white to purple. As and addition, lavender releases an intense smell that repels insects.
What balcony garden plants to grow in shade?
Balconies facing north and east receive the least amount of sun throughout the day. A similar issue is when sunlight is blocked by trees or other buildings. Choosing the right plant for a shady balcony might be problematic. Plants in such spots often barely grow, and they don’t bloom at all. The solution is picking the right species. The best shady balcony garden plants are those that love shade.
The choice might be limited in comparison with sun-loving plants. Nevertheless, there is plenty of plants that are going to enjoy those conditions. The best balcony flowers for a shady balcony garden are:
- Begonia - a very decorative plant with colourful flowers. There are also types with decorative leaves. It is very easy to take care of.
- Touch-me-not - it is an annual plant. Its characteristic feature is a lot of flowers. Touch-me-nots like wet soil, therefore they should be often watered.
- Fuchsia - this plant for a balcony garden has purple-red flowers. It can grow upwards with the help of sticks, or it can dangle downwards. It’s an annual plant, however it can be taken inside for winter.
- Forget-me-not - this gorgeous plant loves both shade and sunlight. Shady spots are better, making them bloom even two months longer. A forget-me-not has small blue flowers.
- Flossflower - those plants are commonly placed in a balcony garden because they bloom for a long time. The flowers are bushy, purple or pink.
- Spiderwort - they are not very demanding plants, which makes them perfect for a balcony garden. They have purple flowers and long green leaves that look like grass.
Because the air on a shady balcony garden is not dry or hot, the plants require relatively little water. Control the dampness of the soil and make sure that water does not stay in saucers. It might cause balcony flowers to rot and die.
Balcony flowers - arrangement ideas
Carefully selected balcony garden plants are not enough to make the place look good. When planning the balcony decor, one should think of a proper arrangement of the plants and match them, creating interesting forms. What flowers can be used together depends on their individual needs, shapes and colours.
It is important that flowers planted in one pot have similar needs. Plants loving damp soil cannot share a box with the ones that need scarce watering. For this reason one cannot match a plant such as fern with lobelia which hates too much water. An example for a good flower arrangement is placing a begonia and a plecanthrus in one planter. Both of those species do not like excessive watering, therefore they should grow well in each other’s company. Plecanthrus is a versatile plant that can grow in a sunny balcony garden as well. One can match it with a geranium, for instance. Even though geranium needs a lot of water, it evaporates quickly enough, not damaging the plecanthrus.
The colours depend on one’s individual taste, but also on the decor of the balcony. It is a good idea to match similar colours in various shades, such as pink and purple. Pastel tones accompanied by white is another great idea, in case strong colours seem too loud. Apart from the colour of the flowers, one should also think of the shade of the boxes.
No arrangement will look good unless it is well-tended. Remember to water and fertilise the plants on a regular basis. If a particular species needs it, trim or deadhead the flowers that finished blooming. That encourages the plants to grow.
Balcony garden plants - grass and vines
If you don’t have time to properly take care of flowers, you might consider choosing nonflowering plants. Grasses and vines are perfect for this purpose. There are many species of decorative grasses that are increasingly popular. Many of them are frost-resistant, therefore one doesn’t even need to move them inside for winter. The only thing to do is secure them against cold.
Grasses and sedges might be very decorative balcony garden plants. Available species have various forms, sizes and colours. It is a good idea to plant them in tall pots - they will serve as a gorgeous decoration.
Yet another idea is planting vines and ivies in your balcony garden. They are not only very decorative, but they also provide shade for a sunny balcony. This way one can create a secluded, green corner, separating themselves from neighbours and street noise. The choice is wide - one can pick quickly growing annual vines such as sweet pea or moonflower. Perennial plants such as ivy or honeysuckle grow slower, but they are more durable.
Growing plants on your balcony is a great idea to decorate the place. Carefully selected balcony garden plants can help you create a pleasant spot for relaxation. Spending a summer afternoon on a balcony being surrounded by plants is a great way to unwind and just chill out.
📍 Where to buy vegetable plants for a garden?
Vegetable plants can be bought in any garden centre. You might also search online sales. A good idea is to ask local farmers. They might be ready to sell some seedlings for a cheap price.
📍 How to protect plants from frost in a garden on a balcony
Wrap the boxes with a material to provide insulation. You might use blankets, cloths, and plastic covers. Use burlap to cover the plant. If you can, you might also take the plants to garage or a shed.