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queenslandgardening.com
a companion to the Queensland Gardening Pages at www.calyx.com.au    

Balcony Gardens

A quick guide to finding more information on growing plants on balconies, verandahs, decks and patios with particular reference to Brisbane, Southeast Qld and similar climates

A balcony garden can be a simple as a single potted plant or as elaborate as an automatically irrigated mini-garden. Even a few plants can improve the look of a balcony, help to create an ambience for a small outdoor living area and softening the view from inside the house, especially if they're used to screen unsightly views.

Of course its also persoanlly satisfying to cultivate planst, and may be a good way for a beginner to get started in gardening before they can afford to own their own home and garden.

Before you start, there are some important considerations:

How much weight can my balcony take? A large ceramic pot plus potting mix plus water plus the plant itself can be considerable. If you're not sure, you may have to consult a professional. Lately there have been some cases of deck collapses during parties, so it might me a good idea to have your deck checked out, anyway.

Could the pots be knocked off or blown off the baloncy, causing injury? You may need to secure them.

Will water seepage from pots rot or stain the verandah?

Which plants?

Potentially, a huge range of plants (including edibles) can be grown on balconies, subject to environmental conditions such as sun and wind exposure. If you're just starting out, try a few of the hardiest species and expand your collection as you gain more confidence and experience. Furthermore, once you start, you'll be modifying the environment somewhat, allowing you to expand the range of plants. For example, the more sun and wind sensitive species can be sheltered by the bigger, tougher specimens.

Here are some popular plants for balconies in warm climates like Brisbane:
Other Succulents A wide variety to choose from
Cordylines (sun-tolerant varieties)
Bougainvillea (dwarf types)
Pelargoniums (Geraniums)

If you want to find out more about growing a favourite type of plant in pots, try checking the webpage devoted to that plant or type of plant. See Plants menu

If you want to grow an edible balcony garden, take a look at the Vegetable, Herb and Fruit pages, especially the section on container cultivation.

If you have a sufficiently sheltered and shaded position, many of the plants grown indoors in pots can also be grown on patios and verandahs. See Indoor Plants for more.

For more information on container gardening, explore the following pages on www.calyx.com.au:
Shadehouses, benches You may find benches and plant stands a useful way to maintain and display your potted plants

Other pages you might find useful:
Plant Nutrition General issues

SE Qld Gardening Calender Jobs in the garden month by month
 
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