Balcony Garden Ideas and Solutions

All awesome balcony garden ideas start with a vision and a plan. Do some soul-searching to figure out what function you want that place to serve. Think of your balcony garden as a product. If it doesn’t do what you want it to do, you won’t like it no matter how pretty it looks. Start with the end in mind. Ask yourself three basic questions such as:


  • How do I want to spend time on my balcony?
    – Gardening, entertaining, reading, relaxing, etc.

  • Are there any special events or activities that I’d like my balcony to accommodate?
    – Intimate dinner, party for two or more, quiet contemplation, etc.

  • How many people are likely to join me?
    – Mostly one or two but sometimes up to X

Once you have a pretty good idea of how you’re going to use that space, put it down on paper. This will help to turn your balcony garden ideas into a reality in a more manageable manner.


Get to know your balcony.

Get to know your space before running out to the garden store. Not all balcony garden ideas will work on your balcony. Spend a day making notes about where the light hits, how long it stays, and any periods of shade. Note the direction that your balcony faces. Knowing these basic details will help you to select the best plants and products of balcony garden ideas for your space. Plants have needs that you have to provide for so they can flourish. Well designed container gardens will help you to meet those needs. I designed Garden365 container gardens to meet unique needs of urban gardeners in terms of mobility, ergonomics, and versatility so that’s a great place to start. There are many others to choose from.


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Check to make sure your balcony can handle the load.

Not all balconies are built to the same standard. Gardening containers can add a lot of weight to the structure so it is wise to check with someone before proceeding with new balcony garden ideas. Talk with your landlord, property manager, or an engineer to make sure it can. In most cases you’ll get the green light but it is always good to make sure.


Start with small incremental steps.

Time and money are in limited supply for most of us so don’t bite off more than you need to all at once. Quality plants and gardening containers can be expensive. Realize your balcony garden ideas in small incremental steps. Start with a small project and do it well. Then relax and celebrate your accomplishment as you go along. Then rinse and repeat until all your garden dreams are realized.


Less is more.

Once you get a good idea of how much your balcony can handle choose your containers accordingly. It is better to go with fewer large planters than many small ones. Large gardening planters and containers hold more soil, water, and nutrients. In result they’re more forgiving and your plants will thank you for your generosity with gorgeous blooms. Balconies can also get windy so large planters are a must in most cases of balcony garden ideas.


Keep it off the floor

Moisture can damage even the toughest of surfaces like concrete so it is important not to put gardening containers directly on the floor of your balcony. That’s why all of Garden365 gardening planters are designed to provide for airflow underneath. Elevated and mobile planters are also much more comfortable to work with so you really can’t go wrong.


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Use top dressings and mulches

Balconies can get a lot of sun and wind. The combination of the two can quickly dry out your soils and kill even the most draught resistant of plants. Using top dressings such as pebbles, bark chips, or agricultural grit helps to keep the moisture from evaporating. It also adds a great finishing touch to tie your container gardens together aesthetically.


Make room for seasonal accents.

Your balcony garden ideas should include a way to celebrate the seasons by adding seasonal accents to your garden. Seasonal flowers and holiday ornaments are a great way to spruce up your garden with a celebratory touch.


Aim for minimum maintenance.

Maintenance is a chore so you’ll want to keep it to a minimum. I’m pretty sure you didn’t include it when you sat down at the beginning and contemplated long and hard about your balcony garden’s greater purpose. Here are some useful ways to keep needless maintenance from creeping back in:


  • Use large containers to provide your plants with more essential nutrients.
  • Use quality soils and growing mediums specifically intended for container gardening.
  • Use top dressings and mulches in all containers to keep plants well hydrated.
  • Automate plant watering if possible using an automated drip irrigation setup.
  • Use fewer larger container gardens to keep clutter to a minimum.

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Best Balcony Garden Ideas

I hope my tips sparked some great balcony garden ideas of your own. Realizing your vision will undoubtedly prove very rewarding. Take your time and enjoy the journey. I love hearing from urban gardeners and gardenistas so please so please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.


  • Rachel

    Can I put fish in your water garden? Along with the lotus and other water lilies.

    • Hi Rachel! Goldfish are small and hardy and do well in small ponds. Check out shubunkin. They’re very similar to koi but cheaper and better suited to patio ponds.

      There are a number of dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties of water lilies you can choose from for patio ponds. I grew “Dorothy Lamour” Water Lily in my water garden with excellent results.