How to pick plants for your balcony
Whether sunny, shady or windy, make your space glorious.
Turn your balcony into a little green haven with just a few well-chosen plants.
Conditions on a balcony can range from hot and sunny to cool and windy, depending on which way you face. Whatever the weather, you can make your space somewhere to enjoy. Here’s how to plant it up.
A sunny balcony
If your balcony gets sun for most of the day, lucky you. A great spot for tanning and a lovely home for many plants. You can almost have your pick of flowering and fruiting plants.
You can add some shade and privacy with a large plant like Phoebe the Canary Island date palm.
A shady balcony
A balcony that faces away from the sun can be a lovely spot for enjoying fresh air without too much heat. Pick some plants that are happy if they don’t see the sun.
Fats the fatsia japonica is fabulous to add drama and height. His leaves are big and glossy, which make him a great focal point, and he manages perfectly well in shade.
No plant loves shade more than ferns. They thrive in low-light and damp conditions. Plant up Fenton the mahogany fern and Beryl the golden shield fern in a trough for a low-effort, high-impact display.
Ivy is another winner for shady spots. Either let her stems tumble over the edges of a pot or let her grow up a wall.
A windy balcony
A bit of a breeze should be no barrier to enjoying your outdoor space. Choose plants that will shield you from the elements and plants that sway cheerfully in the wind.
Benji the umbrella bamboo has tall, dense growth, which will provide shelter from strong wind. You could use Laura the bay tree for the same purpose (she smells lovely too). Group a few to create a green wall.
Make a benefit of the breeze by planting grasses. They’ll move around as the wind blows through them. The sound of it is very calming. Try Esther the festuca glauca, with her smart blue-green colouring, and Amrita the angel hair.
It takes very little effort to completely change the feel of a balcony and turn it into an extra room. For more ideas, check out all our balcony plant picks.
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