The easy part was figuring out which plants to use for your balcony garden. The challenge was finding the right containers and planters for a small-space garden. As I have learned, dear blog reader, a container is essential to growing a balcony garden.

The right plants to choose for your balcony garden have less to do about what you want, and more to with what you can take care of. How to select the right plants for your balcony and how to find the perfect planter.

What To Consider Before Starting A Balcony Garden

1. How much space you have. Plants grow. It’s an interesting idea. We filled our first balcony garden with plant babies, and learned quickly that they grow very fast. Your beautiful balcony garden could quickly turn into a jungle if you don’t plan carefully.

2. How much maintenance are you willing (and able) to do.  Container gardens, which are what we grow in our balconies, need lots of water. How often are you home? You’ll need to have someone watch over your plants every day if you plan to travel.

3. How much sun (or light) you get.  It’s obvious that not all plants thrive in the shade, and vice versa. It’s a fact. Plants that are adapted to your climate can only be grown.

How To Choose The Right Containers For Your Balcony Garden

We didn’t think about choosing the containers that would work best for our balcony garden until we began this project. Like many, we assumed that any container will work. We were wrong. The balcony garden is different than the traditional in-ground garden, and container selection is an important factor.

Plants First

Although it may seem counterintuitive, choosing your plants is crucial. Before you can choose the best container for your garden, you need to understand what type of root system a particular plant has. Not just the width is important, but also the depth. Some plants, like herbs, thrive in shallow containers whereas others (like vines), need more space to develop.

Balcony Climate Consideration

Balconies fall into the following categories. It is crucial to choose containers and plants that are suited to your climate.

Windy Balconies

Choose heavier planters like ceramics or terracotta. Weight will keep them in place on windy days. You might be able to get a lot of wind protection on your balcony (like us). If that’s the case, then you should focus on designs that are below your railings and walls.

Very Hot Balconies

Surprisingly, very few plants can survive in extremely hot climates. Your balcony may be hotter than the city. You may consider succulents and herbs that can thrive in hot, dry environments. Choose garden containers that have good drainage if you live in a very hot area.

Shaded Balconies

A shady balcony is ideal for gardening. You can grow almost anything you like if you get indirect sunlight all day long, just as we do. You’ll need to use lighter containers if you must move your plants in order to catch the sun. Plastic or resin are good choices.

DIY Vertical Garden Planter

I can’t resist what I see in my mind. For our first balcony, I wanted to use a vertical cedar trough-style planter with cross-legs. Do you think I can find it? Nope! It was no longer produced. I found it on Etsy. My husband and stepfather are very handy and took my drawing to work.

This masterpiece was created by them and I could not be happier. The cedar trough was the perfect place for our herbs, and it gave our balcony garden a lovely height.

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