20 Best Plants for Balconies: Thriving in Sun and Shade

If you have a balcony, you know how valuable it is to have a little slice of outdoor space. Whether you’re in a bustling city or a quiet suburb, a balcony can be a great place to relax, entertain, and enjoy the fresh air. One way to make your balcony even more enjoyable is by adding some greenery. But with limited space and sunlight, it can be tough to know which plants will thrive. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best plants for balconies.

When choosing plants for your balcony, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the amount of sunlight your balcony gets. If it’s in full sun all day, you’ll need plants that can handle the heat and direct light. If it’s in shade for most of the day, you’ll need plants that can thrive without a lot of sun. Second, think about the amount of space you have. If your balcony is small, you’ll want to choose plants that won’t take up too much room. And finally, consider your own preferences and needs. Do you want plants that are easy to care for? Or do you want to grow your own herbs or vegetables?

With these factors in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best plants for balconies. Whether you’re looking for something low-maintenance or something that will add a pop of color to your space, we’ve got you covered. From herbs and vegetables to flowers and succulents, there’s something for everyone on this list. So, let’s get started and find the perfect plants for your balcony!

Sun-Loving Plants

If your balcony gets plenty of sunlight, there are many plants that can thrive in these conditions. Here are some of the best sun-loving plants to consider for your balcony:

Flowers

  • Geraniums: These colorful flowers are a popular choice for balconies. They come in a range of colors and can bloom all summer long.
  • Petunias: Another popular choice for balcony gardens, petunias come in a variety of colors and can add a pop of color to your space.
  • Marigolds: These bright yellow or orange flowers are easy to grow and can help repel pests like mosquitoes and aphids.

Herbs

Herbs can be some of the best plants for balconies.
  • Basil: This fragrant herb is easy to grow and can be used in a variety of dishes. It also repels mosquitoes.
  • Rosemary: This hardy herb is perfect for sunny balconies and can be used in a variety of dishes.
  • Thyme: This low-maintenance herb is perfect for sunny balconies and can be used in a variety of dishes.

Vegetables

  • Tomatoes: If you have enough space, tomatoes can be a great addition to your balcony garden. They need plenty of sunlight and regular watering.
  • Peppers: Another great vegetable to grow on a sunny balcony, peppers come in a variety of colors and can add some spice to your cooking.
  • Cucumbers: These refreshing vegetables need plenty of sunlight and regular watering, but can be a great addition to your balcony garden.

Overall, there are many great sun-loving plants to choose from when creating a balcony garden. Whether you prefer flowers, herbs, or vegetables, there are plenty of options to suit your space and your tastes.

Shade-tolerant plants

If your balcony doesn’t get much direct sunlight, don’t worry! There are plenty of beautiful plants that thrive in the shade. Here are some of the best shade-tolerant plants for your balcony:

Ferns

Ferns can give an elegant and charming look to balcony gardens.

Ferns are a classic choice for shady balconies. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, from delicate maidenhair ferns to large Boston ferns. They’re also easy to care for – just make sure they have enough water and don’t let them dry out completely. Ferns are great for adding texture and movement to your balcony, and they’re also known for their air-purifying qualities.

Begonias

Begonias are another great choice for shady balconies. They come in a wide range of colors and textures, from the classic wax begonia with its shiny leaves and pink or white flowers, to the more exotic rex begonia with its colorful foliage. Begonias are easy to care for and can bloom all summer long with the right care. They’re also great for adding a pop of color to your balcony.

Pothos

Pothos is a great choice for a low-maintenance, trailing plant on your balcony. It’s also known as devil’s ivy because it’s almost impossible to kill. Pothos can handle a range of lighting conditions, from bright indirect light to low light. It also grows quickly and can trail down the side of your balcony, adding a lush, tropical feel to your space.

When choosing shade-tolerant plants for your balcony, make sure to consider the lighting conditions and temperature. Most shade-tolerant plants prefer cooler temperatures and moist soil, so make sure to water them regularly and keep them out of direct sunlight. With the right care, these plants can thrive and add beauty to your balcony all summer long.

Low-Maintenance Plants

If you’re looking for the best plants for balconies, you’ll want to consider low-maintenance options. These plants require less attention and care, making them perfect for those with busy schedules or little gardening experience.

Succulents

Succulents are a popular choice for low-maintenance plants. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they’re easy to care for. Succulents store water in their leaves, which means they don’t need to be watered as often as other plants. They also prefer bright, indirect light, making them ideal for balconies.

Here are some popular succulents to consider for your balcony:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Echeveria
  • Jade Plant
  • Haworthia

Snake Plant

The Snake Plant (also known as Mother-in-Law's Tongue) is definitely one of the best plants for balconies.

The Snake Plant, also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, is another low-maintenance option for your balcony. It can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, from bright to low light, and it doesn’t need to be watered often. In fact, overwatering can harm this plant, so it’s best to let the soil dry out between waterings.

ZZ Plant

The ZZ Plant is a great choice for those who want a low-maintenance plant that can tolerate low light conditions. It’s also drought-tolerant, meaning it can go long periods without water. The ZZ Plant has glossy, dark green leaves that can add a pop of color to your balcony.

In conclusion, low-maintenance plants are a great option for those who want to add some greenery to their balcony without a lot of fuss. Succulents, Snake Plants, and ZZ Plants are all great choices that can thrive in a variety of light and water conditions. Consider adding one or more of these plants to your balcony for a touch of natural beauty.

Vertical Garden Plants

When it comes to creating a beautiful green space on your balcony, vertical gardens are a great option. These gardens are perfect for small spaces, and they can add a lot of character to your outdoor area. Here are some of the best plants for balconies that can be grown in a vertical garden.

Climbing Plants

Climbing plants are a great choice for a vertical garden, as they can grow up trellises or other supports. They are perfect for adding a touch of greenery to a wall or fence. Some of the best climbing plants for balconies include:

  • Clematis: This plant produces beautiful flowers in a variety of colors, including purple, pink, and white.
  • Ivy: Ivy is a hardy plant that can grow in a variety of conditions. It is perfect for adding some greenery to a wall or fence.
  • Jasmine: Jasmine is a fragrant plant that produces beautiful white flowers. It is perfect for adding some scent to your balcony.

Hanging Plants

Hanging plants are another great option for a vertical garden. They can be hung from hooks or other supports, and they add a lot of visual interest to your balcony. Some of the best hanging plants for balconies include:

  • Boston Fern: This plant has beautiful, feathery fronds that look great hanging from a basket.
  • Spider Plant: Spider plants are easy to care for and produce small, white flowers.
  • String of Pearls: This plant has small, round leaves that look like pearls. It is perfect for adding some texture to your vertical garden.

Trellis Plants

Trellis plants are a great choice for a vertical garden, as they can grow up trellises or other supports. They are perfect for adding a touch of greenery to a wall or fence. Some of the best trellis plants for balconies include:

  • Morning Glory: This plant produces beautiful, trumpet-shaped flowers in a variety of colors, including purple, pink, and white.
  • Peas: Peas are a great choice for a vertical garden, as they can be grown up a trellis and produce edible pods.
  • Sweet Peas: Sweet peas produce beautiful, fragrant flowers in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, and white.

Bonus: Best Plants for Balconies

Balcony Plant Suggestions from Down Under

The Kangaroo Paw is aptly named and a great balcony plant that will add a great deal of color.
The Kangaroo Paw adds some lively color and would be a fantastic addition to your balcony garden.

Are you looking to transform your balcony into a lush green oasis? Whether your balcony is in full sun or deep shade, here are some additional ideas all the way from Australia (unless you’re already there 🦘). From the colorful Kangaroo Paw (source: WWF). Some of these plants include the Bottlebrush, Gum tree (Eucalyptus), Kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos), and Wattle (Acacia) as well as some others.

Hanging Plants for that touch of class

Also, look to the low-maintenance Creeping Jenny or other beautiful hanging basket options in this article by Melanie Griffiths. (source: Homes and Gardens)

Start growing your own green retreat today with the best plants for balconies! There are so many great options for the best plants for balconies. Many can be grown in a vertical garden. Climbing plants, hanging plants, and trellis plants are all great options that can add a lot of character to your outdoor space. Choose the best plants for your balcony based on your personal style and the amount of sunlight your balcony receives. Refer to our article, “Types of Vertical Gardens: Guide to Creating a Stunning Green Wall” to learn more about trellis gardens.

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