How to Choose the Right Plant for your Balcony
As big houses with conspicuous lawns and lush backyards make way for modern-day apartments, the balcony remains the only space that connects us with the outdoors. Since our frenzied lifestyles barely leave us any time for ourselves, we understand if you want to unwind by squatting down amidst hush greenery. So we cheer you to read on and discover how your balcony can truly be your gateway to leafy island. (Yeah! We said it!)
Choosing the right plants for your balcony:
You’ll surely love to have a thriving, modern garden on your balcony. One which delivers all the valuable perks of greenery without ever being messy and chaotic. It lends that additional blanket of sheer elegance, breathing freshness and color that just sets your home apart. But what are the right plants to grace this dream balcony of yours? While it’s easy to fall head over heels for a plant at the nursery or online and buy it on a whim, it’s best to do some homework beforehand. Let us give you a quick rundown of the factors you would need to consider on your way to evergreen bliss!
- Space: Whether you have a sprawling terrace or a modest balcony, there are always varieties and combinations of plants that can add structure, character and vitality to your outdoor space. Taller floor plants would be ideal for spacious balconies, while smaller balconies would do well with hanging plants and vertical gardens.
- Sunlight: The most integral aspect to look out for is the amount of sunlight your balcony receives. Does your balcony face the sheltered north, sweltering south, or the morning and evening sun of the east or the west? Observe during different times of the day to determine if it’s full sun (6 hours or more), partial sun (3-6 hours) or full shade (less than 3 hours). Then, choose varieties that are a good match for your balcony’s lighting conditions.
- Cost of decorating balcony: Most households prioritize furnishing their interiors, often leaving their balconies empty and neglected. This is because they consider it an enormous and impractical expense. However, you can build your own mini-jungle with ferns and vines or keep it minimalist with succulents without spending too much. Plus, you can grow herbs and kitchen supplies at home that will benefit you in the long run. All you need is a little creativity and an initiative – it’s absolutely worth it!
- Maintenance: Some plants succumb to high winds and need more protection. Also, some plants may not receive the desired sunlight all round the year. So it’s up to you to move them accordingly and give them a drink when required. But don’t let the task of maintaining your balcony garden intimidate you! You don’t need to spend big money and hours every day trying to perfect that aesthetic look. These green buds are reasonably forgiving and pretty easy on your wallet. Just reserve the weekends to check if they are doing fine.
Bearing the above pointers in mind, it’s time to find which plants fit perfectly into your balcony setting!
Best plants to spruce up your balcony
From floor plants and vertical gardens to herbs and greens that can be hung on the grills, there are ample alternatives once you decide to revamp your balcony. Below we have carefully curated a list of beautiful balcony plants that will give your aerial garden a complete makeover! Take a look…
- Petunia Plant
This bright, beautiful flowering plant is ideal for pepping up your balcony with color and fragrance. With their voluminous, cascading flowers petunias look incredible in hanging baskets or chic hanging planters.
- Boston Ferns
These elegant ferns with frilly leaves and hanging fronds work wonders in baskets dangling from your balcony’s ceiling. While hanging from the grills in pastel containers, they make even small balconies look lush and vibrant with greenery
- Money Plant
This easy-growing houseplant is a staple in every balcony garden. It comes in variegated shades of green and yellow, and also has air purifying properties. Hang it in decorative baskets or planters to bring prosperity and good luck.
The gorgeous and radiant Dahlia is a florist’s favorite. It blooms in a myriad of shades including red, orange, pink, white and purple. Arrange a few dahlias on the floor together to create a scintillating visual on your balcony.
Gerbera is a vibrant, low-maintenance daisy that brings a dash of color wherever it goes. The beautiful, prominent petals on this one make it a lovely addition to any apartment balcony.
One of the most popular and attractive flowering plants, chrysanthemums add oodles of dynamism to your balcony with a wide range of colors. These plants are the perfect for creating a flower bed for your dream garden.
Vertical Garden Plants
- English Ivy
These evergreen vines are commonly used for covering stone or brick walls on building exteriors to impart a lush, sophisticated vibe to the surrounding. You can duplicate the same effect on your balcony by creating a beautiful ivy wall.
Syngoniums are hardy, miniature plants that can grow into long vines over time. With their variegated dense foliage, these plants are keen on decking up your balcony garden walls.
Alocasia draw instant attention as vertical wall plants with their bold, arrowhead shaped leaves. Find a warm, bright spot for these stunning tropical greens and mist them regularly for best growth.
Compact and elegant, the Haworthia reserves the distinction of being a fantastic conversation starter. Similar to the beloved aloe plant, this charming polka-dotted succulent shows a red tinge when placed under full sun.
Bring home a set of these tiny, adorable plants to evoke a chirpy vibe in your balcony garden. These make for truly alluring displays when planted in bright-coloured mini-pots along the parapet of the balcony.
This long-trailing succulent is grown widely as an ornamental plant in terrace and balcony gardens. Sedums have thick, fleshy leaves and bear yellow flowers during summer and spring. Drape them in large hanging baskets and accompany them with other colorful succulents.
Herbal/Kitchen Garden Plants
Extremely aromatic and sun-loving, the rosemary thrives in balcony gardens. It is a versatile herbal plant that is used as culinary seasoning and has a lot of medicinal properties. Add some spice to your home (and life ;)) with this kitchen essential!
What kitchen garden is complete without the savoury Mint herb? Mint is widely used in cuisines, herbal teas and medicines. It is also an excellent air freshener and mosquito repellent. You're doing yourself a huge favour by growing this handy plant in your balcony!
Building your own balcony garden
Yes! Now you have all the necessary ingredients to begin modeling your ultimate green escape. But don’t rush to get it done! The pitfalls you might encounter on a balcony are different from the traditional garden landscape. Here, we bring you a step-wise guide to circumvent the challenges of transforming your balcony from a dull, dreary wasteland into a lush, fragrant and lively garden.
- Just like designing any other space in your home, it’s imperative to first visualize the structure or the appeal you’re looking to build. This way you’ll be able to choose the right color palette and plant arrangements to get the aesthetics on point.
- Depending on your vision and the space you’re endowed with, make a rough estimate of the investment required for your balcony makeover. Now you’re in control of your dream project!
- Put together a list of hanging plants, floor plants, wall pants or herbal plants that you’ll need. You can go for low-maintenance plants if you want it easy. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can go for the fancier varieties!
- Pick containers and pots made of plastic, metal or ceramic, since earthen pots tend to dry out faster. Acquire your fertilizers and garden supplies to ensure healthier, longer-living plants.
- Lastly, be careful not to add too much weight to your balcony garden. Strong winds or heavy showers may call for moving your plants to shelter. Also, keep in mind that your plants will grow. So make sure you bring them home smaller than the ones you ultimately want.
You’re good to go – it’s time to get planting! Initially, you may want to pick just a couple of plants, but once these conquer your heart, your balcony will want more. We recommend keeping tougher varieties like Echeveria, Money plant or Syngoniums first and gradually start introducing flowers to the mix. You can raise the bar by adding stylish hanging baskets and aesthetic planters. Slowly but surely, this will become the most alive and happening spot of your home!
Author: Siddharth Sharma
About the Author: Siddharth is a budding economics enthusiast and fervent admirer of the written word. He would love to see the world filled with innovative ventures and restore it's pristine habitats to their once dignified glory. When he's not writing, you can find him whipping up a delectable, wholesome meal. Siddharth is also a devoted plant parent and feels blessed to call Jaipur home.