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Is your balcony looking tired? If so, it’s time to inject some life into your small outdoor space with a few well-chosen plants. Whether you have a sunny, shady, or windy balcony, there are plenty of plants that thrive in testing environments. Add a few of them and you’re sure to be the envy of your nosy neighbours!
Citrus trees: Kumquats, lemons, oranges, and other citrus trees thrive on sunny balconies. Not only will they provide a burst of colour and fragrance, but you’ll also get to enjoy fresh, homegrown fruit!
Flowers: Brighten up your balcony with colourful flowers like hydrangeas, African daisies, geraniums, and petunias. These plants are sun-chasers and are sure to brighten up any tired-looking space.
Large plants: If you have a larger balcony, consider adding some impact with a plant like a Canary Island date palm or a fig tree. These plants naturally add height and drama to dreary spaces. Just make sure you’ve got the room before potting!
Fatsia japonica: This glossy-leaved plant is perfect for adding drama to a shady balcony. Its large, tropical-looking leaves add interest without much sunlight and create a calming, contemporary aesthetic.
Ferns: No plant loves shade more than ferns. They thrive in low-light and damp conditions, making them perfect for a shady balcony. Consider planting up a trough with a few different ferns for a low-effort, high-impact display.
Ivy: Ivy is another great plant for a shady balcony. Its trailing vines will add some greenery to your outdoor space, and you can either let it tumble over the edges of a pot or train it up a wall.
Umbrella bamboo: With its tall, dense growth, umbrella bamboo is perfect for providing shelter from strong winds. Plant a few of these in pots or containers to create a green wall on your balcony.
Bay trees: Another great plant for providing shelter from the wind is the bay tree. Its fragrant leaves also add a lovely aroma to your outdoor space.
Grasses: Make the most of the UK’s unrelenting breeze by planting some grasses on your balcony. These plants will sway cheerfully in the wind, creating a calming atmosphere. We love festuca glauca or angel hair grass.
Balcony Container Gardening
By growing your plants in pots and containers, you can create a beautiful outdoor space even if you don’t have a lot of room. Here are a few tips for container gardening on your balcony.
Choose the right containers: When it comes to container gardening, the sky’s the limit. You can use just about anything as a container, from traditional pots and planters to repurposed items like buckets and old tires. Just make sure that your containers have adequate drainage and are the right size for the plants you want to grow.
Use the correct soil: Container-grown plants have limited space for their roots, so it’s important to use the right soil. Look for a soil mix specifically formulated for containers with the necessary nutrients and drainage properties for your plants. Alternatively, you can mix your own soil using a combination of potting soil, compost, and perlite or vermiculite for drainage.
- Water regularly: Container-grown plants dry out faster than those planted in the ground, so make sure to check your plants regularly and water them as needed. You may need to water daily during hot, dry weather.
- Use fertiliser: Container-grown plants also have limited space for nutrients, so it’s important to fertilise regularly to keep them healthy. Look for a balanced fertiliser and follow the instructions on the package for the correct amount to use.
- Protect from extreme weather: If you live in an area with extreme temperatures or weather conditions, make sure to provide protection for your balcony plants. This can include moving pots to a sheltered location during extreme heat or cold, or providing shade during the hottest times of the day.