building a bountiful balcony
If you are a condo or apartment dweller who wishes for a backyard garden, we have good news. With some creativity and clever choices, you can transform your balcony into a verdant oasis.
Barren balcony walls can be spruced up with the right kind of plants. Due to limited balcony space, you’ll want to opt for greens, florals, vegetables and herbs that flourish in smaller pots. Here are our top tips for the best balcony plant choices and making the most of your limited space.
Top Tips for a Balcony Oasis
Determine what sunshine conditions your balcony gets. Many plants can get sunburnt in direct sunlight, while others wilt in shade, so research and choose accordingly.
Full sunlight. Mediterranean herbs like rosemary and oregano originate from dry heat so they do well in sunshine, along with sage and lavender. Tropical plants and succulents moved from indoors to outdoors in summertime also do well.
Shady conditions. If your balcony is shady, don’t despair – ferns, hostas and geraniums are among the plants that can thrive in shady conditions.
Winged friends. Flowers and other varietals attract bees and butterflies, helping the circle of life by pollinating as well as adding live to your balcony. Some plants and herbs are perceived by some pests as unpleasant smelling so you may wish to include those to keep them away.
Chilly weather. As cold weather creeps in, be sure to bring those tropicals and succulents inside, along with the herbs which are nice to have on hand in the kitchen anyway. Soil will freeze and certain pots will crack so bring those items indoors, too. For larger potted plants and perennials, blanket them in burlap to insulate them in dormancy and secure their longevity.
Water & Wind. If windy conditions affect your balcony, soil and leaves can dry up more easily. Secure plants or add weight to them so they are not knocked down by wind, or place them in a guarded spot so leaves aren’t blown away. Rain water is best for plants, so try collecting it in vessels to feed your plant babies.
A surefire way to brighten a balcony is with colourful blooms. The trick is knowing which flowers thrive well in balcony pots. Begonias, petunias, and chrysanthemums are all hearty and attractive choices. Low-maintenance flowers, from the humble and beautiful columbine varietals to dramatic canna lilies in full bloom, are also great potted picks. If you have tropical indoor plants, move them outdoors in summer.
Make the most of vertical space
Source some suspended planters so you don’t consume too much precious balcony floor space. We have a separate section devoted to creating a vertical garden. Hang containers or shelving from your walls or get creative by repurposing ladders and pallets to layer your pots upwards. A trellis covered in climbing plants can also make a beautiful and attractive statement as well as offer privacy.