It’s spring, and you’ve got a balcony that needs some life. You want to grow some balcony plants but don’t know where to start. There are so many plants that can do well in the small space of a balcony, even if it is just 6 feet by 3 feet.
No matter how much we love our plants, it is difficult to find a healthy plant that can thrive on limited light and water from a balcony. When you are looking for the best plants for the balcony, you should be thinking about choosing hardy varieties that will not need as much attention as other plants.
When you live in a city, like New York, your living space is small and precious. If you have a balcony or patio, it’s even more valuable – so use it wisely. A lot of people even try to grow their own vegetables on the balcony, too.
Here’s a list of some common plants for balcony you can grow:
Pelargoniums, also known as geraniums, are ideal for balconies, typically grown as annuals in zones 9-11. These flowers can be found in colors like pink, white, and purple, creating a colorful display for any balcony.
A good choice for the apartment balcony garden, sometimes referred to just as mums, chrysanthemums grow best in zones 5-9. These flowers bloom late in the summer, offering color at a duller time of the year.
You can find chrysanthemum flowers in just about any color, including pink, yellow, purple, and red. They’re the ideal specimens for hanging baskets or pots, growing to about two or three feet in height.
Begonias are tough little flowers that require minimal water in order to produce gorgeous and bright blooms. They perform best as annuals in zones 3-11, but must be brought indoors during cold weather. They like a bit of shade and not a lot of heat, so consider bringing them indoors or putting them in the shade during these kinds of conditions, too.
As perennial plants in zones 9-11, many northern gardeners believe that petunias are not options for them. However, that’s not the case – you just need to grow these flowers as annuals or consider growing them in containers right on your balcony. They require full sunlight for five to six hours per day and can handle drought-like conditions with ease.
5. Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum, or Japanese maple trees, are great choices for shady, sheltered balconies. That’s right – you can even grow trees! Just look for varieties that are slow-growing or dwarf in nature so they won’t get too tall or heavy.
Not only can marigolds provide some much-needed pest control for your balcony garden, but they also require minimal water to survive. They typically bloom from early spring to early fall in zones 2-11 but you may need to bring them indoors at the first sign of a frost.
Pansies are a perfect early spring bloom for your balcony flower pots, especially when you’re in need of some color. They can be found in all kinds of colors, from purple to orange.
They like cooler temperatures which makes them ideal plants to plant around this time of year as they’ll last until it gets super-hot outside.
It’s also possible for these flowers to rebound if you keep trimming the spent blooms back while keeping them shaded during fall with cool weather on its way.
8. Morning Glory
With flowers ranging in color from white to blue, the morning glory is the perfect choice for any colorful balcony garden. These plants grow on vines so they can easily be trained to cover any section of the balcony you’d like. They can grow to fifteen feet or more in length!
Growing best in zones 3-10, these flowers require full sun but very little water.
No list of balcony plants would be complete without mentioning a few edible crops as well. Lettuce is a great example of balcony vegetable.
This plant is super easy to grow on a balcony and with dozens of varieties to choose from, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a plant that suits your fancy. All you need is a shallow window box to grow lettuce – keep the plants moist while they’re sprouting and keep cutting all summer long, all without leaving your balcony.
A vining plant, jasmine is a great option to consider growing if you want to grow a screen on your balcony. It also offers a heavenly scent that you’ll enjoy wafting into your home as you open up your windows each summer evening!
Another trailing plant to consider for your balcony is the verbena. These can be planted in hanging baskets or even in a planter or window box. Hardy in zones six through ten, this plant can be found in all kinds of sizes and colors. It’s also quite a drought-tolerant little plant!
Tomatoes are considered classic balconies plants. They can be grown in just about anything, from a traditional container to a hanging basket or even a window box. A warm, well-lit balcony is best for these heat-loving crops.
13. Sweet Alyssum
Sweet alyssum is another gorgeous annual, known for its delicate flowers and sweet fragrance. It flowers from early spring all the way until the first frost and is a favorite of pollinators.
A darling on the balcony and one of the common terrace plants, sweet alyssum grows well as long as it has space to sprawl down the edge of a planter or hanging basket. It grows well in the sun but can also tolerate some shade – just make sure you keep it well watered in all environments.
This tropical climber is a master when it comes to adapting to the heat – one of the must-have plants for apartment balconies in hot climates! The plant comes in beautiful shades from pink and red, but it needs something tall for support.
For gardeners in colder climates, just bring this beauty inside (but watch out – lower light levels tend to decrease its leaf production). Mandevilla prefers mostly full sun exposure during the day with some protection from hot afternoon rays on warm days.
This gorgeous perennial, sometimes referred to as coral bells, produces leaves in just about every shade, from deep red to lime green. It has delicate flower spikes that are far from ostentatious, yet will do quite well in a pot on your balcony. It can be grown in both sunny and shady conditions.
Fuschia is a gorgeous annual that can be found in shades like purple, red, and pink. Though this plant looks best in a window box or hanging basket, it can really be grown in any setting, including in any other style of container on a balcony. Plus, it will bring droves of butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard. Another benefit of this plant? It thrives in full shade.
17. New Guinea Impatiens
New Guinea Impatiens can be found in all kinds of vibrant, cheery colors, from hot pink to a more muted peach. These plants offer all-season color and are great choices for balconies for several reasons. First, they do great in pots – just keep them out of hanging baskets, which typically don’t conserve water well enough. They need shade and don’t require regular deadheading.
Hydrangea is another large shrub that grows surprisingly well on an apartment balcony.
As long as you choose a dwarf variety of hydrangea and choose a pot that won’t be sensitive to fluctuations in temperature (some pot materials can crack in cold weather), you shouldn’t have any problem growing hydrangeas on your balcony year-round. Plus, they thrive in partial shade.
Lavender is one of the perfect balcony privacy plants to brighten up any home! This herb is a low-maintenance option that grows beautifully in pots and even on sunny balconies. Lavender can live for years, offering an incredible fragrance while it blooms during summer months before petering out around late September or October.
Full sun exposure will ensure these plants grow healthy and strong so they’ll bloom longer through the year – and you are sure to enjoy their soft purple hues from your balcony garden bed all season long!
The lobelia is a low-growing, blue or purple flower that thrives in the peak of summer. The plant prefers morning sun and afternoon shade to bloom best but will do okay with mostly shade as well. If it stops blooming, trim its stems back and they’ll grow right back when cool weather arrives again! It’s the ideal plant for the low-maintenance balcony gardener. Plants grow to about three or four feet tall.
If you’d like to lend a more tropical feel to your balcony garden, consider growing hibiscus. This exotic plant can get quite large, so be sure to read the label on your specific variety first. If you live in an area that experiences harsh winter weather, you can even bring this plant indoors to help it get through the winter months – just make sure it still gets plenty of sunlight.
Want more balcony gardens ideas? Another great fruit plant to consider growing if you’re interested in an edible balcony garden is the strawberry plant. These are super easy to grow in containers, especially if you have full sunlight.
Looking for more balcony flowers ideas? You might be surprised to see the name “rose” on this list, but believe it or not, roses are actually quite easy to grow on a balcony. Just choose a rose shrub or miniature variety rose, as these will perform better in pots. It will also need about six hours of sunlight per day in order to bloom adequately.
How to Bring Your Balcony to Life
While a balcony can feel like the perfect private oasis, it’s likely your space is lacking one important thing: plants.
Whether you’re on floor level or 20 stories up in an apartment building, container planting will instantly make any outdoor environment more attractive and inviting for both humans and animals alike!
Bring some color to your life with window boxes full of flowers that are pollinated by butterflies and hummingbirds; plant fragrance-rich herbs such as lavender or even consider growing some edible crops, too, so they’ll always be something fresh from home waiting when you come back after work.
Also see more hanging succulent plants and patio plants you can grow.
*image by nadtochiy/depositphotos