Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Phil
Here are the best plants for a balcony garden.
These are perfect If you live in an apartment or condo unit. They are likewise a good option if you’re short on space or don’t have a garden.
Below, I’ll show you the best plants for your balcony no matter if it receives lots or very little sunlight. You’ll find amazing options to grow for different circumstances whether you want to plant herbs, flowers or houseplants all of which do very well in small spaces and in containers without sacrificing beauty.
Best Plants for A Balcony Garden
Rosemary is one of the best herbs to grow if your balcony received a lot of sunlight. It loves the exposure and will grow to look beautiful as well.
Do note that like other herbs, rosemary is native to the Mediterranean. As such, it won’t survive through cold winters.
The good news is, you don’t need it to.
If you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 it will be happy outdoors all year round with no threat of frost. But, below zone 9, it will survive as an annual.
That said, since you’ll be harvesting it, you don’t need them to go through the brutal winters.
Plant them in the spring once the weather gets warmer, this will let you enjoy them during the warmer months of the year.
In addition to rosemary, another amazing herb that does well in full sun is oregano. That said, it won’t mind partial sun or partial shade as well. So, feel free to grow this perennial herb in your balcony as well.
Oregano are lovely to look at thanks to their adorable oval-shaped leaves.
They’re likewise delicious to cook with, especially if you enjoy Mexican or Spanish foods where the herb is a staple ingredient.
Oregano is hardier than rosemary. It does well in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 through 10, which makes it more versatile as far as planting ang growing outdoors.
Other sun loving herbs that are perfect for containers in balconies include:
If your balcony happens to get more shade than sun, you may want to shift your attention from the herbs above to the next ones.
That’s because sun-loving herbs won’t get enough exposure they need. Although in some cases the light may still be sufficient, so do give it a try.
That said, there are herbs you can turn to that will grow very well in shade or lower light conditions.
The first one is mint.
Mint is a very popular herb which I prefer growing in a container rather than the ground. That’s because they’re very aggressive growers. And, as ground cover, they spread all over the place which makes them bothersome.
In a container, you don’t have to do extra maintenance work to keep mint from growing past its area to other plants in your garden. The pot takes care of that for you.
In addition to mint, you can grow peppermint and spearmint. Care is pretty much the same.
Mints are hardy to USDA zones 3 to 11 which makes them easy to grow almost anywhere you live.
Parsley is another very popular herb that you can enjoy in your food. It will always hold a place in my heart because it was my late grandpa’s favorite.
He’d always add some parsley to the end or beginning of his meal depending on what the dish was. And, I grew up seeing him enjoy it.
Parsley is another herb that does very well in shaded conditions. And, they take about 12 to 14 weeks to be ready for harvest. If you start with seedlings it may just take 3 weeks or a little over that to harvest.
This makes it easy to grow a few times a year.
But, do be careful with cold conditions. The plant won’t survive through winter. And, parsley grown in the cold tends to taste bitter. So, I suggest avoiding it.
Besides the mints and parsley, other shade-loving herbs you can grow in your balcony include:
In case you want to decorate your balcony with attractive blooms and colors, flowers are the way to go.
Marigolds are stunningly bright flowering plants that are perfect for growing in planters. You can opt to go with good sized pots or rectangular planters.
Although avoid going too small as these look better when grown as a bunch where you see multiple blooms sticking out close to one another.
Marigolds come in many varieties. And, their blossoms look different depending on the variety you go for. This gives you the ability to select what you want.
They bloom in the summer and will grow to as high as 3 feet tall. But, they seldom reach this height in containers which limits their growth.
Marigolds need full sun. They aren’t too fussy about soil though. As long as the pH stays between 6.0 and 7.0 they’ll happily grow and bloom beautifully.
Another lovely flowering perennial that’s perfect for a sunny balcony are chrysanthemums. Mums feature large fluffy blooms of varying colors. You can pick from white, pink, purple, red, maroon, lavender, yellow and others.
They bloom a little later as well. This makes them perfect complements for flowers that fade by the end of summer. By that time, your mums will start blooming all the way through fall. Thus, giving your balcony consistent colors throughout the year.
Geraniums feature another kind of flower. They look very different from chrysanthemums and marigolds because they don’t feature large flowers.
Instead, you get small to medium sized blooms in number. This lets you grow them in a planter to produce a dense bunch of them.
Doing so gives your balcony a stunning look from the street level. Because from a distance, it is harder to appreciate the fewer, bigger blooms. But, no one will every miss and entire carpet of colorful flowers.
Geraniums vary depending on the variety you get. They can grow as tall as 2 feet high and enjoy, moist, well-draining soil.
They do well in full sun as well. Although some will won’t mind partial shade.
Besides geraniums, chrysanthemums and marigolds, you can also go with petunias which enjoy lots of sunlight and look amazing as well.
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If you want to grow lovely flowers but your balcony doesn’t receive tons of sunlight, you can opt for hydrangeas instead.
Hydrangeas will thrive in lower light conditions and partial shade. They will grow in whatever soil you place them which makes them amazingly easy to care for.
These shrubs are mainstays of gardens because of their beauty. And, they’re perfect for balconies as well.
But, you’ll likely have to grow one bunch per medium to large pot to get the full effect. This lets you have different colors if you wish, one per container.
That said, you can grow a bunch in a large container and have them kind of overflow which produces a great look as well.
Impatiens will likewise give you lots of color in a shaded balcony. They produce many blooms that are stunning to look.
But, do note that they enjoy warm conditions. As such, they’re only perennials in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12. Below that, they’re annuals.
The good news is, since they’re in your balcony, you can easily move them indoors once the cold months come. Since they thrive in shade, indoor lighting won’t be a problem.
In addition to herbs and flowers, houseplants are another great option for balconies.
One example is the snake plant.
This is a very easy plant to care for. And, it is stunning to look at thanks to its unique foliage.
Like the other houseplants below, you can easily move them indoors and outside without any problems. They all prefer bright, indirect light. And, will tolerate lower light conditions which is what most indoor spaces have.
You do want to keep them away from long hours of direct sunlight or too much rain though. The cold is another thing to avoid.
But beyond these 3 things, they’re pretty much easy going. And, they’re beautiful to look at.
Golden pothos are not only gorgeous but they are very versatile as well. They feature lovely heart-shaped leaves on vining stems which allow you to grow them in containers, planters or hanging baskets.
Additionally, you can opt for variegated pothos as well that just look exactly like it except its leaves feature white or yellow patterns.
Golden pothos can grow up to 40 feet long. But, in containers they’ll be somewhat shorter. You can likewise prune them as needed to achieve the look you want.
They’re likewise perfect for both bright balconies as well as low light conditions. As long as you keep them away from direct sunlight and intense heat, they’ll be happy.
Peace lilies are what I recommend if you want a houseplant that combines beautiful flowers with exotic looking leaves. It is rare to have plants with blooms and foliage that are likewise gorgeous.
But, that’s the case with the peace lily.
Like the other houseplants in our best plants for a balcony garden, peace lilies don’t like intense, direct sunlight, which can burn its leaves. Instead, supply it with medium, indirect light for optimum growth.
Spider plants are a combination of pothos and snake plants. That is, they feature long beautiful foliage. But this time the leaves arch outwards.
This makes it very versatile as well as you can grow it in hanging baskets as well as containers.
They are also very easy to care for and will tolerate a lot of neglect. Thus, making them a great option if you’re a beginner or are very busy.