How to plant a garden on your balcony – Balcony and terrace gardeners can hardly wait for the Ice Saints. Because only when they are over and there is no longer a threat of frost do most people start planting their balcony boxes – and color finally arrives.
However, to enjoy the flowers’ splendor throughout the summer, a few things must be considered when planting.
With our professional tips, it is getting guaranteed to succeed.
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Table of Contents
What plants are suitable for the balcony?
The appropriate balcony plants for your balcony are based primarily on the natural light conditions.
While in the garden, the desired plant’s right location is often getting sought; it runs the other way somewhat around on the balcony. The site conditions are mainly getting fixed here.
The terrace offers either a lot of light and sun, partial shade or little light, and therefore mostly shade. However, you can use any sun exposure for versatile planting:
North balcony gardening
- Examples of plants: Begonias, busy lilies, laurel cherries, conifers, fuchsia, bellflowers, ferns, dappled spirea, boxwood, balloon flowers.
- Light conditions: little light, much shadow
- Ideal plants: plants for shady places
South balcony gardening
- Examples of plants: Geraniums, petunias, daisies, rosemary, lavender, olive trees, oleander, sage, thyme, dahlia
- Light conditions: much sun, little shade
- Ideal plants: plants for sunny locations
East balcony or West balcony gardening
- Examples of plants: Boxwood, petunias, verbena, dahlia, bellflower, busy lily, marigolds, daisies, fan flower, sage, male chaffinch, liverwort.
- Light Conditions: Partial shade
- Ideal plants: plants for partial shade locations.
Sunlight on the balcony
Even a south-facing balcony can be somewhat shady, for example, due to neighboring buildings. Therefore, the decisive factor for choosing the right balcony plants is not the compass direction but the sunlight’s intensity.
If necessary, include the house wall and balcony parapet in the planting to benefit from more natural greenery.
In the case of a rented apartment, you may want to discuss with the property management or landlord before planting – for example, with climbing plants or plants that grow very large.
Another important factor when planting balcony plants is the available space. Since some types of plants spread extensively, the balcony’s design determines the number of plants and their future size.
How to plant a garden on your balcony?
Plants have different requirements for their environment: some prefer it sunny, others shady, still others like to be getting protected from the wind. The most crucial factor is whether the balcony faces north, south, east, or west. Let us check out the facts below.
1. Balcony flower boxes and potting soil for proper planting
It would benefit if you did not start planting your balcony too early. Even the first rays of sunlight will not protect you from frost. If you desire to be on the safe side, you should wait until after the Ice Saints in May.
- You can choose the flower box in advance. It would help if you decided on large flower boxes because then the soil can not dry out too quickly. Make a choice depending on the conditions on your balcony.
- In a second step, you should buy high-quality potting soil because it stores water much longer.
- When you fill the flower boxes, be sure to apply three layers. First comes the drainage layer, which allows the water to drain better. Here, opt for a layer of expanded clay. Then you should prevent silting and place separating fleece in the flower box. Finally, follow the substrate with a slow-release fertilizer.
- Do not fill the flower boxes to the brim, but leave a so-called watering edge of 1 to 2 cm. In this way, the water can distribute optimally and does not overflow directly.
2. Find suitable plants for south and north balconies.
When it comes to planting, you should check whether your balcony is the sunny south balcony or the somewhat shady north balcony. According to this, you should then choose the appropriate plants. It is essential because the plants tolerate more or less sunlight in each case.
- On the south balcony, for example, you can place hanging geraniums, marigolds, and magic bells as well as the strawflower, the blue bay, or the fairy spur.
- On the other hand, for your north-facing balcony, plants such as the common nettle, hydrangea, or ivy, as well as fuchsias, tuberous begonia, or deadnettle, are suitable.
- Be sure to check in advance what conditions predominate on your balcony and look at the plants’ exact needs. Seek advice on this if necessary.
3. Plant your favorite balcony plants correctly.
The next step is to plant the flowers correctly. Here it would help if you distinguished between pre-grown and homegrown flowers.
- For pre-pulled plants, make sure that the roots are visible.
- For homegrown plants, the key is to sow the seeds according to package instructions.
- Afterward, press the plants well and not allow any voids to form; otherwise, you will unintentionally encourage rot.
- Do not opt for plants that are too tall because they quickly bend. Besides, you will extract a lot of water from the soil, which is terrible for relatively small balcony flower boxes.
- Don’t squeeze the flowers too close together. As a rule of thumb, you can recognize that you should place no more than seven plants per meter.
4. Water and care for your balcony plants properly.
To prevent the plant from dying, be sure to water and care for them regularly. There are a few necessary pieces of details to keep in mind.
- Water the plants best in the morning or the evening. Be sure to avoid watering the flowers in direct sunlight.
- Do not allow waterlogging to occur. Instead, water slowly and never let the plants drown in water.
- Cut off or carefully break out any wilted flowers regularly. In this way, the plant can regain enough strength for bud formation.
FAQ How to plant a garden on your balcony
When to start planting the balcony?
Although the temperatures are sometimes spring-like already in March, you should wait some time before putting your new plants outside in the ground. Balcony plants are not allowed outdoors until May at the earliest. It is even best to wait until the Ice Saints have passed on May 16.
What plants for the balcony south side?
Other popular summer flowers for south-facing balconies include Hussar's button (Sanvitalia), vanilla flower (Heliotropium arborescens), daisy (Bellis perennis), Cape daisy (Osteospermum), blue daisy (Brachyscome multifida), and black-eyed Susanne (Thunbergia alata).
What flowers can I plant in balcony boxes now?
Plants for a sunny location, which are particularly suitable for window boxes, include blue fan flower, clematis, chrysanthemums, fat hen, geraniums, daisies, lavender, noonday gold, petunias, or even beauty mallow or vanilla flower.
What can you plant on the balcony in March?
It is especially suitable for the typical spring bloomers such as daffodils, daffodils, tulips, crocuses, and hyacinths. They can be quickly grown on the windowsill from February. If the weather and temperatures allow, then the flowers come outside from March.
Which perennials tolerate a lot of suns?
Most perennials love the sun, so the selection is correspondingly large. For example, verbena, girl's eye, yarrow, peony, phlox, fat hen, cranesbill, or pasque flower are suitable for regular locations, i.e., neither barren nor exceptionally moist soils.
Which balcony gets the most sun?
A balcony with southern exposure is what most sun-worshippers want because it gets the most sun. It is where you tan at home and enjoy iced drinks. That's why a south-facing balcony is perfect for sunbathing.
What plants balcony all year round?
For sunny balconies can be planted, among others, geraniums, daisies, chrysanthemums, clematis, lavender, and petunias. Plants for the semi-shaded location also include begonias, dahlias, fuchsias, monkshood, and bellflowers.
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