Very few people in a city can fulfill their wish for a garden, but since most apartments have a balcony, this can serve as a substitute. In combination with hanging baskets, flower pots and tubs, even a small area can become a thriving and fertile microcosm. When choosing the right balcony planting, the direction and duration of the sun’s rays play a major role. It is important to take these factors into account. In addition, suitable plants should be chosen depending on the season, which can cope with the corresponding weather conditions. The more robust the balcony plants, the less sensitive they are to the damaging effects of cold, rain and wind.

Location, plant substrate, repotting

When planting balconies, it is always important to note the direction in which they are aligned. This orientation determines the site conditions at hand, as well as the close proximity to other buildings, which absorb the sunlight. Therefore, the balcony owner must find out in detail about the requirements of the respective plants before buying, so that they have an ideal chance of undisturbed thriving and good growth. If the balcony is planted under unsuitable living conditions, the wrongly selected plants will never bloom profusely, but will quickly wither.

  • Flower boxes and pots on a sunny south side get a different balcony planting than on a shady north side
  • Select qualitatively valuable and nutrient-rich plant substrate
  • A lack of soil contact is compensated for by nutrient-rich plant substrate
  • A sunny location protected from excessive rain and wind is ideal
  • Roots need a good supply of oxygen
  • Excess water must be able to run off unhindered
  • Insert drainage at the bottom of the pot
  • If root growth gets out of hand, repotting into larger containers is necessary
  • If the soil in the balcony plants is compacted, it must be loosened
  • Regularly remove fallen leaves and flowers

Sowing, planting and propagating

When designing a flower box with different types of plants, it is important to ensure that they are compatible in all respects and that they have the same living conditions. If one plant prefers rather dry periods and the other needs more water, they can never thrive together in one box. Most balcony owners buy the plants they want already grown in specialist shops, if you want to save a little here you can also sow them and grow them from an early age. However, in this case you need a bit of patience and have to work and wait longer for a convincing result.

  • Only put matching plants in a common flower box
  • Inform yourself comprehensively about the requirements and compatibilities of the plants before purchasing
  • Plants mixed together in the wrong way will never thrive together
  • Take the plant out of the pot and place it in a sufficiently large, previously dug hole
  • Gently press down the soil on the surface with your hands
  • The balcony is immediately greened with mature plants
  • Seeding saves money, but takes a lot more time
  • Start sowing in good time and be patient
  • Some plants are easy to propagate with seedlings

watering and fertilizing

Every balcony plant has slightly different watering requirements, so you should always proceed with tact and check the boxes and pots regularly. Neither too much nor too little water is appropriate, but rather harmful. Rainwater is particularly good for watering the plants because it is not as hard and calcareous as the tap water in most regions. A container for catching rainwater still has space on most balconies and in this way it can already be put to good use. If you travel a lot and travel frequently, you should think about automatic irrigation systems. A helpful neighbor can also take over this neighborhood service.

  • Usually keep root balls evenly moist, never too wet or too dry
  • Check with a finger test before watering again
  • Top layer of soil should be dry before watering again
  • Water more frequently during the summer months and dry periods
  • Flower boxes with a watering reservoir are ideal, so the plants can easily get by for 2 – 3 days without watering
  • Set drainage in the bottom of the box so that excess water does not accumulate
  • Fertilize from spring to fall
  • Fertilize about once a month, a little more during flowering

Balcony planting in the change of seasons

Depending on the season, appropriate plants for the balcony must be selected. If you want to start sowing, you can do this in winter in the living area and plant the plants outside at the beginning of spring. This saves time and money, and the balcony is planted quickly and inexpensively. A colorful mixed flower box with different flowering times ensures plants that bloom all the time, even if not at the same time. The variety of colors of the balcony plants can be selected just as variably. A mix of spring bloomers, summer flowers, autumn foliage and flowering plants and an evergreen plant is ideal, with a little grass and ferns in between to loosen things up.

The balcony in spring

Early-flowering plants are already pleasing to the eye at the end of winter, these colorful harbingers of spring are an ornament for every balcony and, because of their manageable size, fit into any window box, but they also look very nice in combination with late-flowering plants in pots and tubs.

  • Typical spring flowers with an early flowering period: crocus, hyacinth, tulip, snowdrop, lily of the valley
  • Do spring planting in late fall
  • Plant the bulbs under the autumn bloomers
  • Leave the leaves of the robust early bloomers after they have faded until they dry up on their own

The balcony in summer

Most plants flower during the summer months as they can thrive here in ideal living conditions with plenty of sunshine and long periods of rain

  • Classic summer flowers: geraniums, begonias, daisies, roses, slipper flowers, summer carnations, manly flowers, petunias, vanilla flowers, marigolds and verbena
  • Complete balcony planting for the summer by the end of May at the latest
  • Many summer flowers are only annuals and must be replanted every year

The balcony in autumn

Most of the plants stop flowering by mid-October at the latest, but there are still a few late bloomers that don’t let the cold autumn nights stop them from blooming magnificently.

  • Ideal autumn plants: heather, lavender, bud bloomers, asters, chrysanthemums, heather, pansies, stonecrop
  • Begin autumn planting from the end of August
  • At the beginning of the frosty nights, cover with brushwood or foil at night
  • The protection extends the duration of the flowering period
  • Prune after withering and winterize

The balcony in winter

There are also frost-hardy plants for the winter time that still shine in a lush green. The evergreen varieties are very robust and can withstand prolonged cold periods with frosty temperatures and permanent snowfall. Since hardy varieties usually have a slightly larger growth, they should be placed in tubs or other large containers.

  • Evergreen and frost hardy plants: conifers, boxwood, garden bamboo, hosta, vinegar tree
  • Balcony planting for the cold season should be completed by early autumn at the latest
  • During heavy snowfalls, protection from pine branches helps to protect against broken plants

Window boxes, potted plants, fruit, vegetables and herbs

When deciding on the right flower pot, the final size of the plant plays an important role. Only small plants belong in the small-format flower boxes, large-format plants such as bushes, trees and shrubs must be planted in tubs. Lemon trees, vegetables and herbs, which you can even use for consumption, also grow on the balcony. Many of the Mediterranean herbs are relatively easy to care for and can survive longer periods of drought unscathed.

  • Place small plants in window boxes and pots, large plants in tubs
  • Fruit trees in tubs even bear fruit on the balcony
  • Berry bushes and strawberries also thrive here
  • Homegrown lettuce, tomatoes, chili peppers and peppers enrich every menu
  • Create a herb garden for the kitchen
  • Possible kitchen herbs: parsley, basil, thyme, mint, lemon balm, chives, sage, dill, garden cress, chervil, marjoram, lovage, oregano, savory, rosemary, etc.

Traffic light, climbing and hanging plants for the balcony

Hanging plants are ideal for the outside railing of the balcony, as they have enough space to grow unhindered. Climbing plants beautify the walls and can also serve as a privacy screen. Traffic light plants are practical if no flower boxes can be attached to the outside railing.

  • Climbing plants on a trellis protect against prying eyes
  • These include the golden vine, grape vine, tree shrike, wisteria, trumpet flower, forest ivy, jasmine, sweet vine and Virginia creeper
  • Vines can even bear grapes after a certain age
  • Hanging plants can grow from the ceiling as well as over the outside of the balconies
  • These include: hanging petunias, fuchsias, fan flowers, hanging geraniums
  • Traffic light plants can be used in a variety of ways, and can be moved indoors in bad weather
  • Popular traffic light plants: fuchsias, begonias, petunias, hanging pansies, hanging snapdragons

diseases and pests

To ensure that the plants on the balcony are not attacked by greedy pests and disadvantageous diseases, the boxes and tubs should be checked regularly. This is the only way to prevent any pest or disease infestation in the long term or to combat it quickly. Special protective sticks from specialist shops can prevent the worst from happening in advance; these should be stuck in the potting soil as a preventative measure. In the local latitudes, heavy thunderstorms with torrential downpours or even hail often occur in the warm months. If damage occurs after this, the affected parts of the plant must be removed immediately.

  • Periodic control of plants and vessels
  • Aphids and whiteflies often hide under the leaves
  • Remove damaged parts of plants promptly after storms
  • Decayed plant parts are an ideal breeding ground for fungi
  • Fungal diseases can eradicate balcony plants within a short time

The balcony is an ideal retreat to escape the noise and stress of everyday life and can serve as a substitute for a missing garden. With a lush balcony planting, this place becomes a green idyll with a high relaxation factor. It can serve as an additional room, outdoors in the fresh air and as a place to recharge your batteries. If the balcony plants are suitable for each other and selected according to the site conditions, they can thrive without any problems and please the balcony owner with a remarkable and long-lasting growth.

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