Are you looking for a way to add some greenery to your apartment balcony? Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, there are plenty of plants that are perfect for growing on a balcony. Not only do they add a pop of color and freshness to your outdoor space, but they can also help purify the air and attract beneficial insects.
Apartment balcony/Photo Credit: Myles Peacock/Unsplash
When choosing plants for your balcony, it's important to consider factors such as sunlight, temperature, and space. Some plants thrive in full sun, while others prefer shade. Some can tolerate cooler temperatures, while others need warmth to grow. And of course, you'll want to choose plants that fit within the space you have available. But don't worry – with a little bit of planning and some careful selection, you can create a beautiful and thriving balcony garden. In this article, we'll introduce you to 10 ideal plants to grow on an apartment balcony, so you can get started on your green thumb journey.
Understanding Your Balcony
Before you start planting on your apartment balcony, it's important to understand the space you're working with. Consider the following factors:
The first thing to consider is the amount of space available on your balcony. If you have a tiny or small balcony, you'll want to choose plants that don't take up too much space. Consider using hanging baskets or wall-mounted planters to maximize your space.
Balcony with many plants/Photo Credit: Artur Aleksanian/Unsplash
The amount of sun exposure your balcony receives will determine which plants will thrive. If you have a sunny balcony, you'll want to choose plants that require full sun, such as lavender or tomatoes. If you have a north-facing balcony, you'll want to choose plants that can tolerate shade, such as ferns or hostas.
If your balcony is windy, you'll want to choose plants that can tolerate windy conditions. Consider using wind-resistant plants such as succulents or ornamental grasses.
It's important to consider the weight restrictions of your balcony before you start planting. If you have a weight limit, you'll want to choose lightweight planters and avoid using heavy soil.
Balcony with a few plants/Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu/Unsplash
Overall Space Usage
Consider how you will be using your balcony. If you plan on using it for entertaining, you'll want to choose plants that won't take up too much space and won't create a mess. If you plan on using it as a private retreat, you may want to consider using plants that provide privacy, such as tall grasses or bamboo.
By understanding the unique aspects of your balcony, you'll be able to choose the right plants that will grow in your space.
Choosing the Right Containers
When it comes to balcony gardening, choosing the right containers is crucial. Not all plants thrive in the same type of container, so it's essential to select the right one for each plant. You are allowed to be creative! Buy a pot with a face on it and grow some trailing ivy in it! Here are a few more ideas! Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right containers for your balcony garden:
The size of the container you choose will depend on the size of the plant you want to grow. Small plants like herbs and flowers can do well in small pots or window boxes, while larger plants like tomatoes and peppers need larger containers to grow. Make sure to choose a container that is large enough to accommodate the root system of your plant.
Window box planters hanging outside a window/Photo Credit: Charles Parker/Pexels
The material of the container you choose will also affect the growth of your plants. Terra cotta pots are a popular choice for balcony gardens because they are porous and allow air and water to circulate around the roots. Ceramic pots are also a good choice, but they are not as porous as terra cotta pots. The ever-popular grow bags have gained some attention. I have a few and they work great!
Terra Cotta pot for herbs or strawberries/ Photo Credit: Roger Delwin Brownel
Good drainage is crucial for the health of your plants. Make sure the container you choose has drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape. If your container doesn't have drainage holes, you can add them by drilling or punching holes in the bottom. You may need to invest in plant saucers to help with extra water draining from the potted plant.
Large containers can be heavy, so make sure to choose a container that is lightweight and easy to move. Plastic pots are a good choice for larger containers because they are lightweight and durable. Grow bags are also an excellent choice for a lightweight container. They are breathable and lightweight for moving in and outside.
Finally, consider the style of the container you choose. Balcony gardens are an extension of your home, so choose a container that complements your decor. Window boxes are a great option for small balconies, while larger containers can make a statement on more spacious balconies.
Choosing the right containers for your balcony garden is essential for the health of your plants. Consider the size, material, drainage, weight, and style of the container when selecting one for your plants. With the right containers, you can create a beautiful and thriving balcony garden.
Considering the Climate
When choosing plants for your apartment balcony, it's important to consider the climate you live in. Different plants thrive in different climates, and choosing plants that are well-suited to your local weather conditions will help ensure their success.
If you live in a warm climate, you'll want to choose plants that can handle the heat and direct sunlight. Some great options include succulents, cacti, and herbs like basil, thyme, and rosemary. These plants are all drought-tolerant and can handle hot temperatures without issue.
Rosemary/Photo Credit: Pixabay
On the other hand, if you live in a colder climate, you'll need to choose plants that can handle chilly temperatures and even frost. Some great options for colder climates include pansies, violas, and snapdragons. These plants can handle colder temperatures and even a light frost.
If your balcony is exposed to high winds, you'll need to choose plants that can handle those conditions. Some great options include ornamental grasses, which are known for their hardiness and ability to handle windy conditions. You might also consider planting wind-resistant shrubs like boxwood or holly.
Ornamental grass/Photo Credit: Churchfield
If you live in an area more prone to drought conditions, you'll want to choose plants that are drought-tolerant and don't require a lot of water. Some great options for drought conditions include succulents, cacti, and lavender. These plants are all able to store water in their leaves or stems, which helps them survive during dry periods.
No matter what climate you live in, there are numerous plants that can thrive on your apartment balcony. By considering the climate and choosing plants that are well-suited to your local weather conditions, you'll be well on your way to creating a beautiful and thriving balcony garden. You will need to do some research and ask questions about what prominently grows in your climate. Ask questions in our Facebook Group, Up On Duncan Hill.
Plant Selection: Sun-Loving Plants
If your apartment balcony gets plenty of sunlight, you're in luck! You have a wide variety of plants to choose from that will thrive in direct sunlight. Here are some of the best sun-loving plants to consider for your balcony:
Flowering plants are an excellent choice for adding color and beauty to your balcony. Some of the best sun-loving flowering plants to consider include:
Petunias/Photo Credit: Pixabay
- Petunias: These colorful flowers come in a variety of shades and are easy to care for.
- Marigolds: These bright yellow and orange flowers are perfect for adding a pop of color to your balcony.
- Geraniums: These classic flowers come in a variety of colors and are known for their hardiness.
If you're looking for plants that will add texture and interest to your balcony, consider these sun-loving ornamental plants:
Succulents/Photo Credit: Pixabay
- Ornamental grasses: These plants come in a variety of colors and textures and add a unique look to your balcony.
- Succulents: These hardy plants are perfect for balconies that get lots of sun and don't require much water.
- Cacti: These plants are perfect for balconies that get lots of sun and are known for their unique shapes and textures.
If you have a larger balcony, consider adding a small tree for some shade and privacy. Some sun-loving small trees to consider include:
- Lemon tree: These trees not only provide shade but also produce delicious fruit.
- Olive tree: These trees have a unique and interesting look and are perfect for balconies that get lots of sun.
Olive tree/Photo Credit: Tania VdB
If you're short on space, consider adding some dwarf varieties of sun-loving plants to your balcony. These plants are smaller in size but still pack a punch when it comes to color and texture. Some dwarf varieties to consider include:
- Dwarf sunflowers: These plants produce beautiful and vibrant flowers but don't take up too much space.
- Dwarf lavender: These plants are perfect for adding a pop of color and a lovely scent to your balcony.
Remember to consider the amount of sunlight your balcony gets before selecting your plants. If your balcony gets full sunlight, you'll want to choose plants that can handle the heat and won't wilt in the sun.
Plant Selection: Shade-Loving Plants
If your apartment balcony is mostly shaded, don't worry! There are plenty of beautiful plants that can thrive in partial shade or shady spots. Here are some of the best shade-loving plants to consider for your balcony:
Flowering plants are a great way to add color and life to your balcony. Here are some shade-loving flowering plants to consider:
Begonias/Photo Credit: Ralphs Fotos/Pixabay
- Impatiens: These colorful annuals come in a variety of shades and can add a pop of color to your balcony. They prefer partial shade and moist soil.
- Begonias: Begonias come in a variety of colors and can thrive in partial shade. They prefer well-draining soil and can be grown in pots or hanging baskets.
- Fuchsia: These delicate flowers come in shades of pink, purple, and red and can add a touch of elegance to your balcony. They prefer partial shade and moist soil.
Ornamental plants can add texture and interest to your balcony. Here are some shade-loving ornamental plants to consider:
- Ferns: Ferns are a classic shade-loving plant that can add a touch of green to your balcony. They prefer moist soil and can be grown in pots or hanging baskets.
- Hostas: These plants have large, textured leaves and can add a dramatic look to your balcony. They prefer partial shade and well-draining soil.
- Heuchera: Also known as coral bells, these plants have colorful foliage and can add a unique look to your balcony. They prefer partial shade and well-draining soil.
If you have a larger balcony, you may want to consider adding a small tree. Here are some shade-loving small trees to consider:
- Japanese maple: These trees have delicate leaves and can add a touch of elegance to your balcony. They prefer partial shade and well-draining soil.
- Dogwood: These trees have beautiful flowers in the spring and colorful leaves in the fall. They prefer partial shade and well-draining soil.
If you have limited space on your balcony, consider adding dwarf varieties of plants. Here are some shade-loving dwarf plants to consider:
- Dwarf hydrangea: These plants have beautiful flowers and can be grown in pots or hanging baskets. They prefer partial shade and well-draining soil.
- Dwarf azalea: These plants have colorful flowers and can add a pop of color to your balcony. They prefer partial shade and well-draining soil.
With these shade-loving plants, you can create a beautiful balcony garden even in the shadiest of spots. Just make sure to choose plants that are suited to your specific balcony conditions and care for them properly to ensure they thrive.
Plant Selection: Low-Maintenance Plants
When selecting plants for your apartment balcony, it's important to choose low-maintenance options that can thrive in a small space. Here are two types of plants that are ideal for apartment balconies:
If you're looking for low-maintenance plants that can handle a little neglect, then drought-tolerant plants are a great option. These plants are designed to survive dry conditions and require minimal watering. Some great options include:
- Succulents: These plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes and require very little water. They're perfect for adding a touch of green to your balcony without a lot of upkeep.
- Lavender: This fragrant plant can add a pop of color to your balcony and is incredibly hardy. It can survive in dry conditions and requires very little maintenance.
- Rosemary: This herb is not only great for cooking but also makes a beautiful addition to your balcony. It's drought-tolerant and can handle a variety of weather conditions.
If you're looking to add some greenery to your apartment but don't have a lot of natural light, then indoor plants are a great option. These plants are designed to thrive in low-light conditions and require minimal watering. Some great options include:
Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law's Tongue/Photo Credit: JA Kubislav
- Snake Plant: This plant is incredibly hardy and can handle a variety of conditions. It's perfect for beginners and requires very little maintenance.
- Pothos: This trailing plant is perfect for hanging baskets and can add a touch of green to any room. It can thrive in low-light conditions and requires minimal watering.
- ZZ Plant: This plant is known for its ability to thrive in low-light conditions and is incredibly hardy. It requires very little water and can handle a variety of weather conditions.
When selecting low-maintenance plants for your apartment balcony, it's important to consider your space and the amount of sunlight it receives. By choosing plants that can handle a little neglect, you can enjoy a beautiful balcony without a lot of upkeep.
ZZ Plant/Photo Credit: Ving Faisal Fortes
Plant Selection: Plants for Privacy
When selecting plants for your apartment balcony, privacy is a key consideration. You want to be able to enjoy your outdoor space without feeling like you're on display for your neighbors or passersby. Here are some ideal plants to consider for privacy:
Japanese Maple/ Photo Credit: Klon Palmowy
If you're looking for a small tree that offers both privacy and beauty, the Japanese maple is an excellent choice. With its delicate leaves and stunning fall foliage, it adds interest and color to your balcony while providing a bit of seclusion. Japanese maples come in a variety of sizes, so be sure to choose one that fits your space.
Olive trees are another great option for apartment balconies. They're hardy and low-maintenance, and their evergreen leaves provide year-round privacy. Plus, who doesn't love the idea of having their own mini olive grove on their balcony?
If you're short on space but still want the benefits of a tree, consider a dwarf variety. Dwarf citrus trees, for example, are perfect for balconies and offer both privacy and the added bonus of fresh fruit. Dwarf evergreens, such as the dwarf Alberta spruce, are another excellent option.
Finally, don't forget about pollinator plants. These plants not only add beauty to your balcony but also attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Plus, they can help create a more private environment by filling in gaps and adding height. Some great options include lavender, salvia, and bee balm.
No matter what plants you choose for your apartment balcony, be sure to consider their sunlight and water needs, as well as their ultimate size. With a little planning and care, you can create a private and beautiful outdoor space that you'll love spending time in.
Balcony Gardening Tips
If you're looking to start a balcony garden, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure your plants thrive. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Choose the Right Plants
When selecting plants for your balcony garden, consider the amount of sunlight your balcony receives and the growing season in your area. Some plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, require a lot of sunlight and warm temperatures to grow, while others, like lettuce and spinach, can tolerate cooler temperatures and less sunlight. Additionally, consider the amount of space you have available, and opt for plants that will fit comfortably in your pots or planters.
2. Use Well-Drained Soil
When planting your balcony garden, be sure to use soil that is well-drained. This will help prevent water from pooling in the bottom of your pots and causing root rot. Look for potting soil that is specifically formulated for container gardening, as it will contain the right balance of nutrients and drainage materials.
3. Ensure Proper Drainage
In addition to using well-drained soil, it's important to ensure that your pots have drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. Without proper drainage, your plants can become waterlogged and suffocate.
4. Water Your Plants Correctly
Different plants have different water requirements, so be sure to research the specific needs of the plants you've chosen for your balcony garden. As a general rule, plants that prefer moist soil will require more frequent watering, while those that prefer drier soil can go longer between waterings. Additionally, be sure to water your plants thoroughly, allowing the water to soak all the way through the soil.
5. Consider Vertical Gardening
If you're short on space, vertical gardening can be a great option for maximizing your balcony garden. You can use stack planters, railing planters, vertical wall planters, and hanging baskets to create a beautiful and functional garden in a small space.
Stacking planter/Vertical Garden Pots
By following these tips, you can create a beautiful and thriving balcony garden that will provide you with fresh herbs, vegetables, and flowers all season long.
The Benefits of Balcony Gardening
If you live in an apartment with limited outdoor space, balcony gardening is a great way to bring some greenery and fresh air into your life. Not only does it allow you to grow your own herbs, fruits, and vegetables, but it also provides a number of other benefits for your mental and physical health.
Mental Health Benefits
Spending time in nature has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health. Balcony gardening allows you to connect with nature and experience the benefits of being outside, even if you don't have much space. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as you watch your plants grow and thrive.
Physical Health Benefits
Growing your own fruits and vegetables can also have a positive impact on your physical health. It allows you to have fresh, organic produce right at your fingertips, which can be more nutritious than store-bought produce that has been shipped from far away. Additionally, gardening can be a great form of exercise and can help reduce stress levels.
Small Space Gardening
One of the biggest advantages of balcony gardening is that it allows you to garden in smaller spaces. You can use vertical gardening techniques, such as hanging baskets or trellises, to maximize your space and grow more plants. You can also choose plants that are well-suited for small spaces, such as herbs, lettuce, or cherry tomatoes.
Patio Garden/Photo Credit: Gotta Be Worth It
Balcony gardening also allows you to enjoy your outdoor space more. You can create a cozy outdoor oasis by adding some comfortable seating, string lights, and other decor. It's a great way to make the most of your limited outdoor space and enjoy the fresh air.
Overall, balcony gardening is a great way to bring some greenery and fresh air into your life, even if you don't have much space. It provides a number of benefits for your mental and physical health, and allows you to enjoy your outdoor space more.
Choosing the right plants for your apartment balcony can be a great way to add some greenery and life to your outdoor space. Whether you have a lot of sunlight or just a little, there are plenty of options to choose from.
When it comes to the best choice for a low-maintenance plant, succulents are an excellent choice. They require very little water and can thrive in a variety of conditions. If you're looking for a good option for a shady balcony, ferns are a great way to add some greenery without needing direct sunlight.
For those looking for a pop of color, petunias are an excellent choice. They come in a variety of colors and can be grown in hanging baskets or pots. Another great choice for a colorful balcony is geraniums. They are easy to care for and bloom all summer long.
If you're looking for a plant that can also provide food, tomatoes are a great option. They can be grown in pots and require a lot of sunlight, but can produce a bountiful harvest. Herbs are also a great way to add some flavor to your meals and can be grown in pots on your balcony.
Overall, there are many good choices for plants to grow on your apartment balcony. It's important to consider the amount of sunlight your balcony gets and how much maintenance you're willing to do. With a little bit of research and some trial and error, you can create a beautiful and thriving outdoor space.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some low maintenance plants that do well on an apartment balcony?
If you're looking for low maintenance plants that can thrive on your apartment balcony, consider succulents like cacti or jade plants. These plants require minimal watering and can withstand the heat and dryness of a balcony environment. Other low maintenance options include snake plants, spider plants, and pothos.
What are the best plants for a sunny balcony?
If your balcony gets plenty of sunshine, you have a wide variety of plants to choose from. Consider sun-loving herbs like basil, thyme, and rosemary. You can also grow vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. Flowers like marigolds, petunias, and zinnias also thrive in full sun.
Patio tomatoes/Photo Credit: Park Seed
What are some evergreen plants that are suitable for a balcony?
If you're looking for evergreen plants to add some greenery to your balcony year-round, consider plants like boxwood, holly, or juniper. These plants are hardy and can withstand colder temperatures. You can also consider dwarf conifers or small shrubs like dwarf Alberta spruce or dwarf Japanese maple.
What are some great flowers to grow on a balcony that gets full sun?
If your balcony gets full sun, you have a wide variety of flowers to choose from. Consider planting geraniums, marigolds, petunias, or zinnias. These flowers are hardy and can withstand the heat of a full sun balcony environment. You can also consider planting sunflowers, which can add a pop of color and grow quite tall.
What are some plants that can be grown on balcony railings?
If you're looking to add some greenery to your balcony railings, consider plants like trailing petunias, sweet potato vines, or ivy. These plants can drape over the railing and add some visual interest to your balcony. You can also consider planting herbs like oregano or thyme in hanging baskets that can be attached to the railings.
How can I beautify my balcony with plants?
To beautify your balcony with plants, consider using a variety of planters and containers in different shapes and sizes. You can also add some visual interest by using trellises or hanging baskets. Consider using plants with different textures and heights to create a layered effect. And don't be afraid to get creative with your plant placement – you can even hang plants from the ceiling or create a living wall with a vertical garden.
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