If you only have a north-facing balcony, you don’t have to do without flowers, green plants, vegetables and herbs. Because not every plant needs sun to thrive. There are also various shade plants for all varieties, which can be cultivated well on the shady and often dark north balcony. So it can also bloom and flourish on the north-facing balcony in summer and a sufficient harvest of various vegetables and herbs is provided.

Plants for a shady north balcony

Whether blooming flowers, herbs, vegetables, green plants or fruit, every single plant is adapted to the local conditions of its home. And so, in addition to the many sun-hungry plants, there are also enough plants that can be planted on a north-facing balcony and thrive here because they are not used to anything else. It is therefore important, if the north side is beautifully colorful in summer and herbs and vegetables are to be grown for the kitchen, that care must be taken to ensure that these shade can be tolerated well. Therefore, when choosing plants, the following should also be considered:

  • always choose plants that match the location
  • grow better and stronger
  • don’t get sick that easily
  • can better intercept a pest infestation
  • Mediterranean plants are unsuitable
  • Sun-hungry herbs and vegetables don’t taste good
  • Balcony flowers do not bloom
Note: If you choose sun-loving plants for a ‘north-facing balcony’ in the shade, then they are much more susceptible to various diseases and pests and usually only grow stunted. Bell peppers, aubergines or cucumbers are not suitable here either.

Vegetables and salads for the shade

Many green vegetables and salads can thrive in the sun, but are also in good hands in a shady spot. Because of the large, green leaves that give off a lot of moisture when exposed to intense sunlight, a place in the shade is definitely more suitable for these plants. And there are vegetables and salads that can withstand the sun, but do not necessarily need them for healthy growth and therefore also cope well with shade. The vegetables and salads suitable for the north-facing balcony include the following:

  • all leaf salads, lamb’s lettuce and rocket
  • Spinach and chard
  • Peas and beans
  • Asian salads such as Pak Choi or Mizuna
  • Types of cabbage such as kale or kohlrabi
  • sorrel
  • Turnip stalk
  • rhubarb
  • Beetroot

If you can manage with smaller specimens of different types of vegetables, you can also grow carrots, potatoes, radishes or broccoli in the shade, but here the harvest comes later and remains quite clear, the harvested specimens also remain smaller than those cultivated in the sun. Different varieties of sun-hungry tomato plants in particular often want a shady place in summer, otherwise the sun will burn the red tomato fruits.

Note: Vegetables and herbs cultivated in the shade are a little slower to develop, but in the end they still produce a rich and tasty harvest if the care is right.

Herbs suitable for shade

There is a large selection of herbs that are suitable for the shade and the herb bank on the balcony can then be a little larger and more extensive. The following herbal plants are usually well suited for the north-facing balcony:

  • Cress like watercress or garden cress
  • Chervil and lovage
  • Parsley, dill and chives
  • Wild garlic, mint and lemon balm
  • Garlic and chives
  • Oregano is very resilient (try)

With these herbs it is usually sufficient if they get an hour of sun in the morning or in the evening and then spend the rest of the day in the shade. With the delicate herb dill, for example, it would burn in a sunny location in the summer months.

Tip: Many herbal plants get along well with shade if they get a ray of sunshine in the morning or evening. Therefore, herbs cultivated in bowls or pots that are cultivated on a shady north-facing balcony can move to the windowsill of a west or east window for two hours in the morning or evening.

Balcony flowers for the shade

There are also blooming flowers for shady balconies, because not everything that blooms wants to be exposed to full sun, especially in midsummer. Many flowers and especially large or even very small delicate leaves burn quickly in the sun. The following balcony flowers offer a colorful variety, especially on a dark north balcony:

  • Balloonblumen
  • Begonien
  • Busy Lizzie
  • Fuchsien
  • Hortensien
  • Loyal to men
  • beautiful muscles
  • Waldglockenblume
  • Decorative tobacco

Since all of these balcony flowers have a different flowering time, these, when combined correctly, offer a colorful variety from spring to autumn. For example, the Busy Lieschen offers a bloom from May to autumn, fuchsias in many different colors throughout the entire summer and loyal to men from June to October.

Care of the plants in the shade

Not as much water evaporates in the shade, so the vegetables and balcony flowers need less watering here. Above all, you should avoid watering too much so that waterlogging cannot damage the plants. In this way, however, the plants can be placed on a predominantly shady north-facing balcony in such a way that they still receive enough light. Because with a balcony facing north it is always the case that the sun always shines a little on one side for a few hours, either in the morning from the west or in the evening from the east. You can also use the following tricks:

  • prefer in spring in a sunny place
  • this can also be a windowsill
  • set up a small pond
  • for example in a larger bowl
  • the water reflects incident light
  • Paint the wall of the balcony white
  • also light-reflecting
  • Do not place plants too close together
  • otherwise they shadow each other
Note: When cultivating the plants on the shady balcony, the time of year is often important. Many of the vegetables and herbs presented here can withstand the light spring sun, but the hot sun in summer can do more harm than good.

There are also some plants growing on a shady north-facing balcony, be it herbs, vegetables, salads or colorful balcony flowers. If a few tips are observed here and if the care is correct, a rich harvest can also be expected from the cultivated useful plants. Balcony flowers, ideally combined, also offer a colorful balcony from spring until well into autumn.

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