Just because you live in an apartment or condo doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful garden to enjoy. Even the tiniest of balconies or patios can support a lush and rich outdoor garden. The secret is finding the best plants to suit your specific conditions.
In order to choose the best plants for your balcony or patio, consider the climate in you area, the unique conditions of your space, and what purpose you would like your balcony to serve. By selecting plants that fit within those parameters, you can be certain that you’ll achieve the best results.
Consider the overall local climate
Not only should you consider the specific conditions present on your balcony, but take note of the climate in your area. The best choices for any location are plants that are native to your area. These plants are already adapted to the conditions your climate presents, and you will have the most success with your balcony garden if you stick with these varieties. A trip to your local garden center or home improvement store will reveal what types of plants are native to your environment. If you have any questions, ask the staff. They generally have a lot of great information and can help choose plants suitable for your area.
While native plants are best, it is possible to grow non-native plants, particularly if they originate in a climate that is similar to yours. You’ll have the least success with plants from very different climates, although it is still possible that they can thrive. They will just require more attention and maintenance, such as bringing cold sensitive plants inside when the temperatures drop.
Notice the climate conditions
The other important consideration is the micro-climate of you particular patio or balcony. Is your balcony sunny all day? Do you get much shade? Does the temperature ever fall below freezing at night? These are all conditions that you need to be aware of in order to choose the most appropriate plants. Even if your local area climate is hot and sunny, your balcony may be in the shade all afternoon and remain cool, so it is important to choose plants that can survive those conditions.
A hot climate with full sun is great for plants such as bougainvillea, cacti and other succulents, and ornamental grass. You can even raise vegetables such as zucchini and tomatoes depending on the size of your space.
A shady balcony that remains cool will have different needs. Plants suitable to these conditions include ferns, palms and impatiens. It will also be a great place for growing different types of lettuces, carrots and root vegetables.
How will you use your balcony?
That last important consideration is to think about how you want to use your balcony. If you are looking to simply add a little beauty and soften the view, then ornamental plants are the ones to choose. You can select plants based on color, texture and even fragrance. You may, however, want to create a small vegetable or herb garden on your patio to add some fresh flavor to your dishes, in which case you can grow vegetables and herbs in containers.
No matter your taste, you can create a beautiful balcony garden with any amount of space. Just pay attention to your particular conditions and you can have a successful and satisfying garden space.