Plant suggestions for my badly located balcony!

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by weepingwillow, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. weepingwillow

    weepingwillow Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Im fairly new to the world of gardening and I'm wondering if anyone can help me?

    I live in a fifth floor apartment in Cardiff and my balcony is rather depressing at the moment!

    The problem is finding plants that can survive here.
    My balcony is South East facing which gets the sun in the morning but not much in the afternoon. I also live right outside a very busy road and steelworks so the pollution is quite high. The sea is about a mile away so it also gets quite windy and I spose I have to take the salty sea air into account. Is there any plants that can survive these conditions?

    Ideally I would love tall, leafy green potted plants like bamboos and ferns, to give us some privacy, but my Fargesia murieliae is looking like it's on it's last legs!!

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated,

    Thanks again,

    Weepingwillow
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    What do you see growing in the vicinity?
     
  3. LilyISay

    LilyISay Active Member

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    If you don't need things on the balcony during winter, I'd go to your local nursery into the indoor tropicals and pick out a bunch of those. Indoor plants have to be able to cope with low light and pollution or they never make it into large scale production. Mine all go outside on the shaded porch for the summer- they thrive on it! Coleus is another great shade filler that gives good colour all season. Rinse off your plants with a hose or in the shower every month or so-lots of particulate from the road could be choking them a bit. (They need to be able to exchange gases from the bottom of the leaves.)
     
  4. Debby

    Debby Active Member 10 Years

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    Ron's idea is great. What's growing in a similar southeast-facing location? Ferns, hostas, corydalis, houttuynia, pulmonaria--should all grow well. A Japanese maple would be good, as would Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ Golden, Japanese Forest Grass. Lots of possibilities!
     
  5. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    I'd try tougher bamboos. In my experience, Fargesia murieliae is just looking for an excuse to die.

    I've had the best luck growing potted Phyllostachys aureosulcata (yellow-groove bamboo), which has a couple of beautiful cultivars, 'Spectabilis' and 'Aureocaulis.' Either of these, with their bright yellow canes, would look splendid in contrast with a black bamboo (P. nigra) which is, however, much more demanding in terms of watering and root space.

    Nandina domestica ("heavenly bamboo," though not a true bamboo) grows well in pots and tolerates various atrocities.

    I'm not very attentive to potted plants, so things that grow for me should grow for anyone. I like to combine unexpected things like bamboos with the sort of stuff everybody grows, like geraniums, which makes for a pleasing effect, I think.
     
  6. LilyISay

    LilyISay Active Member

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    Er, personally I wouldn't want to eat herbs growing in heavy pollution from a steelworks, but that's just my opinion.
    L
     

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