Even if your balcony is on the petite side, you can still add a colorful hit of color with some well-chosen plants. Other than the size of the balcony, other key things to consider before you head to the garden center include how many green fingers you have, have much time and effort you’re prepared to put in, whether the balcony is blessed with more sun than shade, and the climate (not all plants appreciate high temperatures and 24/7 sunshine as much as we do). Once you know what you’re working with, narrow down the choice to pick a plant that’s been grown to flourish in that same environment. To get you started, here’s ten of the best balcony plants for small spaces.
Who can resist the colorful charm of a display of pansies? Available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and varieties, they can be easily grown in window boxes and planters, making them a perfect addition to a smaller space. Opt for a monochrome display if you want to keep things simple. If you want to go bold with color, introduce as many different varieties as you can get your hands on.
The salvia loves a small pot and is the perfect addition to a petite balcony. As Hortmag explains, hummingbirds and butterflies love the velvety green leaves and fragrant, long-stemmed flowers of the salvia (which, fun fact, not only happens to be a member of the mint family, but was a popular memory enhancer for the ancient Greeks and Romans) just as much as we do, making it a great option for people looking to attract as much fauna as flora to their balconies and gardens.
The petunia is a plant that loves to give. Known for their generous supply of abundant, purple blooms with dazzling white starbursts at the center, petunias are easy to grow (although just be careful to keep them topped up with regular doses of fertilizer) and add a big splash of color to even the smallest of balconies. When it comes to varieties, you have one of two options: the Grandiflora petunia with its big, showy blooms or the smaller but no less glorious Multiflora petunia with its petite but abundant blossoms.
If you’re after something a little unusual to jazz up your balcony, the Gazania should be right up your street. This uniquely beautiful plant (which, by this way, is excellent for container growing) is an arresting sight in full flower, with blossoms stretching 4 inches wide and available in a beautiful variety of bright yellow, orange, or red blooms, many of which come variegated with little dashes of hot pink. Just be conscious that the gazania comes in both annual and perennial varieties: annual varieties tend to be the most popular, offering extended flowering periods, and bigger, brighter blooms. Other than the fact it doesn’t like getting too wet, maintenance needs are minimal.
If your balcony is on the darker side, why not introduce a shade-loving Impatiens (or, to give it its common name, a Busy Lizzie)? Excellent for growing in containers and small enough not to take up too much valuable space, the Busy Lizzie has minimal needs. While it may lack the showy splendor of some of its horticultural rivals, its bright little blooms will add plenty of sunshine to even the shadiest spots.
Chrysanthemums are often dismissed as an “old-fashioned’ kind of plant, but in the right setting, they can dazzle. Available in enough sizes, shapes, and varieties to suit just about any space and condition imaginable, mums are easy to grow and even easier to maintain. Although they’re pleasantly unfussy in most respects, they don’t much like getting their feet wet, so be sure to plant them in a container that offers good drainage.
No matter how lovely your balcony is already, it’s going to be all the better with a begonia or two. Cheerful, bright, and delightfully low maintenance, a planter of begonias will need little more than the occasional drop of water and dollop of fertilizer to reward you with plenty of gorgeously vibrant blooms. Just be careful to choose the variety carefully if space is a concern – while the varieties that grow to just 6 inches tall will be ideal for tiny balconies, you might find yourself overwhelmed with a three-foot-tall monster if you’re not careful.
As Balcony Garden Web recommends, the Heliotrope makes a great addition to a small balcony. Bushy and possessed of eye-catching good looks, the heliotrope has vibrant clusters of purple or blue flowers set against a backdrop of dark green foliage. Best of all is the scent… although there’s some debate about whether the fragrance is more reminiscent of baby powder or cheery pie, you’ll not be able to resist taking in great big lungful’s, whatever it is.
If you’re looking for a plant that requires as little maintenance as possible, then say hello to your new best friend, the marigold. Loved for its cheerful, showy flowers, marigolds can survive the attentions of even the most neglectful gardener. Pop it in a planter, throw a little water in its direction every now and again, then sit back and look forward to a bright, golden display come spring.
Although they can look spectacular in a hanging basket, Fuchsia plants can also be easily grown in a planter on a balcony. As Better Homes & Gardens (https://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/annual/fuchsia/) notes, fuchsias are available in over 100 different species and thousands of cultivated varieties, giving you a huge selection to dip into and chose your favorite. Known for their unique, dropping blooms, a few fuchsia plants will add a hefty dose of color and vibrancy to even the smallest of balconies. With a season that lasts all the way from spring to early fall, they also give plenty of bang for their buck. As each variety responds to climate and sun/shade differently, be sure to check what type will do better in your particular area before you wind up investing in something that may not last the winter.