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Did you know you can create a vertical garden on a balcony? Don’t fall for the misconception that a big yard is necessary to have a garden. If you need more greenery in your life, your balcony might be the place to start! In this article, we’ll explore what you need to know to make a vertical garden on a balcony.
To make a vertical garden on a balcony, you need access to sunlight, space to hang, mount, or set-up planters, and you need protection from the elements. It’s also integral to consider what you would like to grow, and most importantly, whether or not the space suitable for setup.
From DIY options to purchased kits, making a vertical garden can range from simple to complex. We’ll go through the options available to you and help you decide which is best for you. Once you've gone through our recommendations and settle those factors, there are numerous options available for vertical gardens on a balcony. So many that you might be surprised!
Making a vertical garden on a balcony
To make a vertical garden on a balcony you’ll need to ensure your balcony is a hospitable environment for a garden, you determine which are the best plants for a balcony garden, and you choose a design that appeals to you.
Using a minimal amount of effort with a maximum amount on return, you can make a vertical garden on a balcony. The options range from creative to simple and creative, but the result is the same - beautiful greenery that’s accessible.
Is your balcony suitable for a vertical garden?
The first thing to consider before researching what to grow in your vertical garden is whether or not your balcony is a suitable environment. There are some things needed for greenery to grow, regardless of the space or size. Here are some things you’ll need to consider.
Access to outdoor sunlight
The amount of sunlight your plant will need depends on the type and species. Some plants thrive in direct sunlight while others flourish in the shade. It’s important to consider how much sunlight your balcony gets daily and whether your plants will need to be East or West facing.
Protection from the elements
Rain, sleet, snow, or sun - before you begin your vertical garden consider whether or not your plants will be able to brave the elements. If you find your balcony gets a lot of wind, your pants will be affected by the wind too.
There are certain species of plants that and are delicate will not survive extreme temperatures if you live in a climate where the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and stays below freezing temperatures you may need to cover your plants with burlap or take your plants inside.
Working in containers
Since you won’t be planting directly into the ground, it’s important to factor in root size as well as plant size. Some plants can grow quite large and may become too large for the container. If this is the case, you may eventually be required to replant them in the ground to allow the roots to expand.
Depending on the size of garden you’re after, you’ll need to think of the space required. Your balcony will need to have enough space to set up a vertical garden as well as have enough space for you to access the garden to nurture and maintain it.
Some landlords restrict to use of vertical gardens or may have condo rules applicable. Be sure to do your research and make sure you have permission before setting up a vertical garden on your balcony.
What do you need to set up a vertical garden on a balcony?
Now that you’ve gone through the above considerations you know your balcony is the perfect space for a vertical garden! This is the ideal time to walk through exactly what you’ll need to set up a vertical garden.
Choose a location
You’ll want to choose a space on your balcony that has plenty of vertical space, so your plants aren’t cramped. Also, you should select an area with enough sunlight for your plants to thrive.
Consider the climate
Before you set up your vertical garden, consider the environment your plants will be exposed to. Does rain get to the balcony? How often does it rain where you live? How hot or cold is your climate?
Depending on the answer it may affect where you place your vertical garden. You may either notice you don’t need to water your plants as much or may see that your plants are overwatered. If your balcony is not covered and receives a lot of direct sunlight you may notice it is too hot for your garden, and you may need to purchase an awning to provide some shade, and relief, for your plants.
If you have pets who frequent your balcony, they may show an interest in your balcony. You may need a raised vertical garden to discourage pets from digging in your plants.
Pests can be an issue, depending on the location of your balcony. If you’re located on the ground floor, pests will easily access your balcony. If you live in a high-rise, bugs will have a harder time reaching your vertical garden. Some plants are natural bug repellents, such as marigold or citronella.
How to set up a vertical garden on a balcony
When setting up your vertical garden, you may want to avoid using soil due to the potential mess and weight. You can set up a vertical garden on your balcony without the use of soil by using hydroponics (water) or aeroponics (air).
You’ll need to be mindful of potential water run-off due to irrigation and how that will affect your neighbors in the balcony below. Also, keep in mind that the plants at the top of your vertical garden will dry out faster while the plants at the bottom will receive the most water runoff.
What can you grow in a vertical garden on a balcony?
If you’re stumped or confused by what to grow in your vertical garden, you’re not alone. When we first started out, we were too! Here are a few of our favorites.
You might be surprised to learn there are more than a few species of edible plants that you can grow on your balcony! Depending on the size of your space and how long you’re willing to wait to cultivate the fruits of your labor (so to speak).
Growing kiwi can be done relatively easily in a vertical garden, and some species can survive in temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit. It may be a few years until you can cultivate the fruit, but the vines will be beautiful to look at in the process.
If you’re looking for something that is easy to grow in containers or against a wall, gooseberries are a great choice. Gooseberries are relatively easy to grow and maintain.
The possibilities for vertical garden vegetables range from peas to tomatoes. Crops like beans and peas grow vertically easily, and naturally, while plants like tomatoes and cucumbers will likely need to be tied to a trellis for support.
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If you’re looking to add some beauty to your balcony, there are a variety of plants to choose from. A few hardy varieties are:
- Ferns: A popular addition to vertical gardens, these tend to grow downward. Therefore, you may want to grow another plant to fill in space upward.
- Bromeliads: Thanks to shallow roots, these plants require little space.
- Trailing Vines: These grow vertically easily, with minimal effort.
- Succulents: These plants are highly adaptable making them a vertical garden favorite.
- Begonias: For those leaning towards hanging plants, begonias are a great option.
- Iris: These beautiful flowers grow in shade or bright light.
- Orchids: A favorite in vertical gardens that receive bright light but not direct sunlight.
- Herbs (parsley, basil, rosemary): Herbs are very low-maintenance, and a staple in the kitchen.
All of the above can withstand varying temperatures and are adaptable while easy to grow.
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Design Ideas and plans
There are plenty of DIY and ready-made vertical garden kits available. Most are easy to assemble and are versatile.
Pallet vertical garden
Vertical gardens made from pallets are the most popular DIY options today. Pallets are generally easy to come by and often free! Ensure the pallet that you chose is free from chemicals. If you’re looking for more information about pallets or need detailed information on how to create a vertical pallet garden check out our post called How Can I Use a Pallet for My Vertical Garden?
Try mounting planter pots on a pallet or stacking planters of varying sizes to make a beautiful vertical garden on your balcony.
You can make a vertical hanging garden out of PVC rain gutters. Using steel cables, rain gutters, and clamps you mount and attach the gutters to create a beautiful garden your balcony.
Vertical garden kits
Small in space and easy to set up, these kits are popular and affordable to those born with a green thumb and those who are learning.
This kit is great if you want to start small. It’s perfect for herbs and can be mounted on a wall. Reviewers say this is a high-quality product and grows herbs very well!
This vertical metal plant stand holds 13 pots and is the perfect size for a balcony. Plant-lovers say this is easy to assemble and move which is great for those who may want to bring their plants indoors.
Easy to mount and made of solid wood, this vertical planter is decorative and practical. Reviewers say it small enough for balconies or small spaces.
Whether you want a bountiful balcony garden or are seeking a few potted plants neatly hung to spruce up your space, there are many vertical garden options available to you. We hope this article has helped you find the perfect set-up for your balcony and you enjoy your new outdoor space.