March 13th, 2014

Balcony Friendly Plants

Balconies and rooftops would have to be among the most formidable sites in which to garden.  We like to think of balcony gardens and rooftop gardens as having their own micro-climates. The conditions up on a balcony are often completely different to the ground floor; for example the wind is generally stronger, hotter and drier.

Balcony gardens can basically be classified in two ways - successful and unsuccessful.  We've all seen an unsuccessful balcony garden before - half dead wilting pot plants surrounded by a pile of dropped leaves.  The plants - even with the help of an irrigation system - struggle from day one and never take off.  Often my clients tell me they have the dreaded black thumb and that they just can't get anything to grow on their balconies. Most of the time, they've just picked the wrong plants to begin with. Next time you're at the local nursery shopping for balcony friendly plants, don't ask yourself 'Will this grow?', rather ask yourself 'Will this plant love it up there on my balcony and absolutely thrive up there?'  We have a golden rule when specifying plants for balcony gardens and rooftop gardens - PLAY IT SAFE! Fortunately these days there is an abundance of interesting funky plants that not only grow on balconies but actually thrive.  While the list of balcony friendly plants is enormous, here's some of our favourites which can handle even the toughest of conditions:   Giant Yucca - Yucca elephantipes Indian Hawthorn - Raphiolepis indica Century Plant - Agave attenuata Crassula - Crasula ovata Blue Chalk Sticks - Senecio serpens Echeveria - many varieties

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