Balcony Plants

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by lily, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Abbotsford, British Columbia
    I have a 3rd floor corner balcony. It faces south east and south west. Here is my dilemna: On the south east side, I receve morning sun, and in the afternoon it is shaded. On the south west side, it is shaded in the morning and sunny in the afternoon. So, you can see it is confusing for me to determine where to put what plants where. I would like to know what the most suitable container plants would be for me to grow on this balcony. I am a new gardener so I really appreciate any suggestions and recommendations.
     
  2. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    975
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    You have enormous opportunities with a corner balcony. Depending on your budget and tastes, there are inumerable plants and combinations from which to choose.

    In general, annuals and tender perennials (salvias, pelargoniums, nasturtiums, lavatera, verbena, etc.) are good choices for a sunny exposure, where you want continuous flowering over the summer. Larger, more permanent screening plants (broadleaf evergreens, conifers, deciduous shrubs, etc.) can be used for shading the horizontal rays of the setting sun. Into such plants, herbaceous climbers can be threaded for added summer appeal.

    For the southeastern exposure, both sun and shade-loving plants can be grown. Most shade lovers are happy as long as they are adequately watered and are kept out of the afternoon sun. Some good choices here include broadleaf evergreens, Japanese maples, begonias, ferns, hostas, etc. It is worth experimenting with containers. You may find that many mixtures are pleasing, especially where you mix bold and fine textured plants.

    The most important considerations are 1) whether the plants are suited to their exposure, and 2) if adequate water is available. Balconies are generally windy, so plants dry out quickly. This necessitates good-sized containers (larger containers have a larger reservoir of moisture) and plenty of water (many plants in pots require watering at least once a day in summer). To reduce weight on the balcony, pots should be filled with lightweight "planter mix" rather than with soil.

    Garden centres are excellent places to go for advice on plant choices (check out the Shop in the Garden). Staff are often trained in horticulture and have personal experience with container gardening.
     
  3. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Abbotsford, British Columbia
    Hi Douglas,
    Thank you very much for your quick reply. I am really happy to know that my balcony has ideal light for so many wonderful plant varieties. This year I used organic soil for my flowers. Next year I'll use light weight potting soil as you suggested. I printed out your reply so I can use it to guide me in my gardening for next spring. Again, thank you for your help!
     
  4. Balcony on Sth Side/ Veggies in pots

    hi experts of pots and plants

    my question is a variation of the above:
    new from california, i need to know which plants to choose for my south side 3rd floor balcony to have a feature, flowers and pickings in the winter.

    objective:
    1. choose one large feature plant (preferably with largish purple flowers ... that actually stay green (or even in bloom) in the coming winter months and beyond...
    2. choose several veggy plants that actually will grow in the winter and grow in mid-size planters, of say < 1 foot high.

    suggestions??
    thank you in advance for your help!

    astrid
     
  5. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    princegeorge b.c
    Hi Lee:
    Can you define how large a specimen plant you are looking for > ie. height width.

    Also what type of veggies do you use in cooking? As there are several types that might work. Or are you looking for ornamental or practical use ?

    Also keep in mind that if you live in a Strata that you may need to get approval from the council to plant on the balconey as in alot of cases it is considered Public property

    Redards
     
  6. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Vancouver
    My neighbour has some very healthy scarlet runner beans covering her balcony.
     
  7. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Abbotsford, British Columbia
    ~stoneangel~
    I'm not sure what 'scarlet runner beans' look like so I'll do a search on this forum and on Google. Thanks very much for letting me know about these. I wonder if they are a quick grower?
    Lily
     
  8. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Vancouver
    They are a variety of beans and have nice orange flowers and can grow to a height of 6 ft. Usually you sow them in May. They last until the frost gets them. I have ivy that grows up a lattice on my balcony. It's in a rather small pot, so I can actually move it around my balcony with someone helping.
     
  9. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Here's a picture of a minature ivy I have on a trellis.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 29, 2007
  10. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Here's a pic of the aforementioned scarlet runners.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page