The terraces of our world are mostly still used – but how many balconies, especially in the cities, lead a completely superfluous shadowy existence as a storage place for all sorts of things. It’s a pity, one can only say, since the balcony, like the terrace, can become a seasonal room that can be used for a long time, which with potted plants is quite reminiscent of a garden. Skilful planting with potted plants really does not entail excessive stress, read more about why hardy potted plants are so popular below.
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Why hardy potted plants for balconies and terraces?
Because we want you to be able to enjoy your balcony and patio without too much work and because we know that most people these days have a lot more to do than choosing and caring for their plants. That’s why we’ve put together a selection of hardy perennials that you can use to equip your balcony and terrace more permanently than with other ornamental plants – perennials always live longer than one season and are (usually) only sold by us if they are native plants or at least plants that can do something with our climate, and that usually means that perennials are easy to care for.
So it’s no wonder that these comfortable perennials are all the rage for pots on the patio and balcony boxes. Incidentally, both of these can be a little larger for the perennials, in a ridiculously narrow balcony box a few centimeters deep, a perennial could have difficulties developing. If you choose a little more generous planters, which are also offered in large quantities today, and then also keep an eye on the requirements for the potting soil in addition to the light requirements, you can be proud of a magnificent planting pretty quickly.
The planter needs a drain on the bottom for almost all plants and a layer of gravel above it to avoid stagnant moisture. Exception: aquatic or marsh plants, which like these “wet feet” and are sometimes very well suited to being kept in damp tubs. In principle, anything that can store nutrients and water is suitable as potting soil, e.g. For example, a simple mixture of equal parts compost, sand, and clay usually works very well. When your plants are doing well they will grow vigorously, then they will need to be repotted occasionally, every two to three years on average. You can cut away the oldest parts of perennials including the root and only plant the young, strong shoots in new soil.
Hardy pot plants for the sunny side
“On the sunny side of life” not only people feel comfortable, but also plants, where possible, balconies and terraces are designed in such a way that they are at least partially in the sun. Plan in advance where the planting and where the “people areas” are to be located – permanent tanning is e.g. E.g. better tolerated by plants than by humans, well thought-out planning usually shows us that the sunniest spots are reserved for the plants.
Here is a summary of the pot plants suitable for the sunny side of the balcony or terrace, sorted by flowering time, flower color and (minimum) size:
- Mediterranean Spurge, Euphorbia characias ssp. wulfenii: Shows unusual, green-yellow inflorescences from April to June, grows to a height of 80 to 130 cm, all in all an impressive appearance.
- Dwarf Pentecost carnation, Dianthus gratianopolitanus: The fairly new variety “La Bourboule Blanche” shows its clearly carnation-scented white flowers in May/June, remains 5 cm low and dainty.
- Bubikopf, Pratia pedunculata: From May to October, you can experience a light blue carpet of star-shaped flowers with this gorgeous ground cover, which grows to a height of only around 5 centimeters.
- Pasque flower, Pulsatilla vulgaris, is available with violet, but also white and deep red flowers, which z. B. the variety “Red Glocke” forms April/May, grows 20 cm high.
- Upholstery Gypsophila, Gypsophila repens: The “Pink Beauty” flowers beautifully dark pink from May to July, is only 10 cm high, but is willing to flower and undemanding.
- Goldbasket, Chrysogonum virginianum: Flowers all summer, bright yellow from May to September, grow to a height of around 25 cm, and the pointed-leaved foliage also looks enchanting.
- Feather carnation, Dianthus plumarius Nanus: The “Sweetness” variety blooms in June/July with flowers in all shades from light pink to dark red, grows to a height of around 20 cm, and also has an intense scent of carnations.
- Garden Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia: ‘Blue Cushion’ is a good container cultivar, displaying profuse light purple flowers in June/July, growing 25 – 35 tall and forming grey-green foliage in compact cushions.
- Cranesbill, Geranium: Is offered in many breeds that form flowers in all shades of blue to red from June to October and grow between 40 and 70 cm in height.
- Day lily , Hemerocallis hybrid: The “Green Flutter” variety is right on trend with its greenish-yellow flowers that appear in June/July, grows to a height of around 75 cm, is vigorous, and light shade is also acceptable.
- Everlasting shrub, Helichrysum italicum of the “Silber Nadel” variety, flowers yellow from July – September and grows to a height of 40 – 50 cm. The flower is a nice contrast to the silvery foliage.
- Bearded Beard, Caryopteris clandonensis: The ‘Kew Blue’ cultivar has striking deep blue flowers from July to October, grows to 100cm tall and bears attractive grey-green leaves that grow towards the bush.
- Gold-haired Aster, Aster linosyris: rich yellow flowers in August and September, 30 – 40 high, the flowers appear in dense clusters, likes drought and is also very decorative when not in bloom.
- Purple bells, Heuchera: Flowers in the “Mocha” variety from August to October, enchantingly cream-colored, between 30 and 50 cm high, with brown-black, large leaves, which is extremely attractive.
- Stonecrop, Sedum: Dull red flowers from August – October develop the hybrid “Purple Emperor”, the purple sedum, which grows to 40 cm high and has strikingly dark foliage.
- Dainty torch lily, Kniphofia galpinii: Flowers from August to October in a sometimes unusual shade of orange, grows to a height of 60 – 80 cm and looks absolutely magical.
- Gold stripe grass, Spartina pectinata: This ornamental grass shows light golden flowers in August/September, but with a height of up to 160 cm and a golden yellow color it is easy to enjoy all year round.
- Carpet myrtle aster, Aster pansus: The “Snowflurry” variety develops large numbers of white flowers in September/October, grows to a height of 15 – 30 cm, forms overhangs, tolerates drought and is undemanding.
- Diamond grass, Calamagrostis arundinacea var. brachytricha: Flowers September to November with silvery-pink flower spikes, grows to a height of between 70 and 100 cm in tubs, upright habit with overhanging leaves.
- Chinese reed, Miscanthus sinensis : “Morning Light” shows few silvery inflorescences in September/October, grows to a height of 120 to 150 cm, the white-colored variety is considered the most elegant of its kind!
- Japanese blood grass, Imperata cylindrica of the “Red Baron” variety delights all year round with the sometimes intensely red colored foliage, grows to a height of 30 to 40 cm.
That’s a lot of plants that do well in a sunny spot, including the most popular trend plants. With these suggestions, you will definitely be able to equip your balcony and terrace with plants that are willing to grow and that were not put together in a hurry or from the meager range of the next plant discount store. But with regard to the growth height, flower colors and general effect of the individual plants, you can put together a real design balcony from the above selection. However, individualists need not be satisfied with these first suggestions, the world of sun-loving plants is much, much larger.
Hardy pot plants for shady locations
As briefly explained above, sensible planting planning usually results in the sunniest parts of the balcony or terrace being full of plants anyway. Then there is only the question of whether additional accents should be set in shady corners with individual plants. In cities in particular, however, there are also unfavorably aligned balconies on which the sun is really rare. However, there is also plenty of choice among the perennials for planting on a balcony or patio area that is only “pampered” with partial shade or shade.
Here is a selection of hardy potted plants that also do well in shady locations, again sorted by flowering time and color and growth height to make planning easier for you:
- Primel, Primula: The “Gold Lace” variety shows its golden-brown flowers in April/May, which appear enchantingly old-fashioned with their golden edge, they grow to a height of 15 to 30 cm.
- Foam Flower , Tiarella: White or, in some cultivars (“Cygnet”, “Arpeggio”) cultivars, light pink panicles of flowers in April/May, attractive foliage and a height of 30 cm or more.
- Bergenia or Bergenia show their bright flowers in April/May, in the case of the hybrid “David” in an impressive pink, around 30 cm high, the small leaves turn a decorative reddish color in winter.
- Sedges suitable for shade are the gold-edged sedge, Carex dolichostachya ‘Kaga Nishiki’, the carpet Japan sedge, Carex morrowii ssp. foliosissima, the palm frond sedge, Carex muskingumensis, and the New Zealand sedge, Carex testacea, each with different (sometimes multiple) foliage colors.
- Goatsbeard, Aruncus Aethusifolius: The hybrid “Woldemar Meier” shows its 60 cm white flowers in June/July, the reddish stalked foliage, on the other hand, is only 30 cm high.
- Among the cranesbills, the mountain forest cranesbill, Geranium nodosum, is the shade tolerant variety, it displays purple flowers from June to October and grows 30-50 tall.
- Astilbe Glaberrima: The “Sprite” variety develops masses of light pink panicles of flowers in July/August, but otherwise shows rather dwarfish growth with a total height of around 30 cm.
- White-edged Funkie, Hosta hybrids: The “El Nino” variety has wonderful bluish-violet flowers in July/August, grows to a height of 30 – 40 cm and is particularly attractive in shady places with its thick blue-green leaves with a cream-white edge.
- The scarlet fuchsia, Fuchsia magellanica, according to its name, flowers violet to crimson from July to October, it grows to a height of 60 cm and has long been tried and tested by us for its winter hardiness.
- The lily cluster, Liriope muscari produces blue or purple flowers from August to October, in long decorative clusters, grows to 40 cm in height.
- Autumn Saxifrage, Saxifraga cortusifolia: Flowers white or pink in September/October above brownish or burgundy leaves that reach a height of 15 to 30 cm.
There are many suitable hardy tub plants for every balcony and terrace, of which the above selection only lists a few very popular plants for inspiration. You can find more in many other articles on relationque.com, and if this selection is still not enough for you, you could still think about potted plants that are not quite hardy, which then get particularly good winter protection.