Almost any plant that can grow in the ground can also grow in a pot on a balcony. Cold-sensitive plants can go indoors for the winter and move back to the balcony in the spring. If you prefer vegetable gardening, plant tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers or squash. If you like peaches and lemons, plant dwarf fruit trees. Flowers, tropical foliage, shrubs, succulents and herbs can also grow in pots.
Petunias, one of the most popular spring flowers, do just as well in pots on a balcony as in the ground. The large flowering petunias, grandifloras, grow single and double blooms. The singles reach up to 5 inches across and sometimes have ruffled or fringed edges. Some singles are also trailing, which make them ideal for balcony boxes and hanging pots. The other type of petunias, multifloras, produce many more blooms than the grandifloras, although they are smaller. These compact plants outshine the large grandifloras with their disease resistance and ability to withstand rainy weather. Introduced in 1995, the Purple Wave petunia garners rave reviews from gardening enthusiasts who admire the burgundy-purple colour and adaptation as ground cover and a hanging basket specimen.
Meyer lemon (Rutaceae), a dwarf lemon tree, can grow in pots on balconies in warmer climates. The evergreen plant produces fragrant flowers in the spring that turn into juicy lemons with less tartness than the standard lemon tree. It grows around 6 feet tall. Plant in a potting soil specifically formulated for fruit trees.
If you want dense foliage and low maintenance in a balcony plant, try the rubber plant. Requiring a daytime temperature of at least 29.4 degrees Celsius and a nighttime temperature of 18.3 degrees C, the rubber plant can come indoors during cooler seasons. Rubber plant also acts as a screen separating your balcony from your neighbours balcony. The dark-green, oval leaves are especially lovely and shiny when kept clean and treated with a commercial leaf-shine product.
Make sure your balcony gets eight hours of sunlight a day if you plan on growing tomatoes. Most varieties of tomatoes grow just as well in pots as they do in the ground, but make sure the pots have drainage holes. Plant tomatoes in a potting soil formulated specifically for vegetables. The soil in pots dries out much faster than garden soil, so check your tomatoes every day for moisture. During summer month, watering every day is essential.
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