Flowers for a Balcony

Written by dan ketchum
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Flowers for a Balcony
Balconies provide wonderful opportunities for minigardens. (balcony image by gajatz from

As most balconies receive direct sunlight accented by bouts of partial shade throughout the day, they are well suited to support a large selection of flowers. Many of these flowers display vibrant blossoms and produce pleasant scents, taking advantage of both the airy and protective qualities of a balcony to bridge the gap between indoor and outdoor environments. Garden stores provide balcony-friendly flowers that flourish in moderate temperatures and require only a bit of care.

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The periwinkle flower is an popular potted plant that is well suited to the balcony environment. The periwinkle is a hardy, long-living flower that requires very little care or attention and flourishes at a moderate growth rate even in poor soil with little watering. Periwinkle grows in full sun or partial shade, so it accommodates the combination of direct sunlight and varying shadows that occurs on the typical balcony. This plant grows up to 3 feet tall and sprouts small blue, pink, red, white or violet blossoms, which have five petals and accent the plant’s glossy leaves and wood-like stems. The tube-shaped flowers of the periwinkle span about 3 inches across. Periwinkle grows natively in North America, Europe, China and India.

Flowers for a Balcony
Periwinkle flowers are distinctive and low maintenance. (Periwinkle image by Jeffrey Banke from


Gardenia is a fragrant plant that makes its home on patios, porches and balconies across the world. Ideal as an ornamental potted flower, gardenias flourish in temperatures between 20 and 23.3 degrees Celsius during the day. Though the plant prefers temperatures of around 15.6 degrees C at night, it can endure harsh winter climates without damage--mid-range temperature requirements and general hardiness make the plant well suited for balconies. This evergreen plant requires little maintenance; it simply needs moisture and humidity in a loose, drained soil to reach heights from 2 to 8 feet. Gardenias sprout large white flowers with layers of petals that emit a distinctive sweet perfume.

Flowers for a Balcony
A light breeze carries the gardenia's scent indoors from the balcony. (gardenia image by Igor Zhorov from


The mandevilla, once known as the dipladenia, displays large, vibrant-pink flowers and long, glossy evergreen leaves. Mandevilla plants do well in balcony environments, as they prosper in direct sunlight accented by midday shade. Though frost threatens these plants, they can survive drought. Despite harsh conditions, mandevilla is known to grow back from the roots in the spring season. This flowering plant reaches heights up to 10 feet. Adventurous balcony gardeners may even take advantage of the mandevilla’s vine qualities, letting it extend from its pot and twine around the rails or bars of a balcony environment.

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