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West Facing Balcony

Posted by hectate zone 7 (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 22, 06 at 15:28

Hi All,
I Live in Dallas and the summers here can be verry hot.
My second floor balcony faces west and from about 2 P.M.
to sunset it really cooks out there. My apartments are
three story so there is some shade but not much.
My space is pretty small only measures about 12 by 7
Any suggestions what to grow?
I have 3 window boxes i hang from the railing, Had begonias
in them last year. They did pretty well. Tryed a tomato
plant(patio) didn't do so well. Lavander did ok.
Guess I'm looking for more ideas.
Have any suggestions?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: West Facing Balcony

The hot sun sure can do things to plants if they are not sun-hardy. What I mention here I have no idea about how hot a sun they can stand but they are sun-lovers for your zone.

Crape Myrtles....come in dwarf sizes all the way up to trees
Primrose Jasmine
Texas Sage
Burford Holly
Chinese Holly
Flowering Pomegranate
How about a Japanese Yew in a container
Pampas Grass....cut it back to suit
Pygmy Barberry
Dwarf Abelia
Plumbago.....everytime I see that word, I think of an aching back

The big thing still to consider on balconies is the wind.
If your apartment is open to winds of sort, it could play havoc with whatever you put out there. Winds dry soil up much faster than any sun that might be high. More water would definitely be required.

RE: West Facing Balcony

I'm glad you asked this. I live in Virginia, not as as dry as Texas but our summers can really bake the hide right off of you! I'm starting a veggie container garden this year and we face due west with NO shade.......NONE. I'm putting in some beans, cucumbers, some hearty heirloom tomato plants, peppers.......sun loving plants and I'm praying our abundant sunshine isn't too much of a good thing. I'm thinking about maybe building something like a trellis which can be moved to offer some protection from the sun if it gets too intense after 4:00. Maybe you could put in some dwarf sunflowers? Nice color and you can feed the birds during the winter!

RE: West Facing Balcony

The heat is a ***** but the real problem is often drought. Aim for bigger containers (12' at the smallest) and you can try tomatoes again. Anything smaller than that will have to be watered like crazy.

For the window boxes, you might try purslane, portulaca or ice plants - all blooming succulents. They do well even in south Texas (RG valley, grew up there) so they should do all right for you. You could also try bouganvilla, which is gorgeous and tolerates heat and drought and will shade the rest of your area. (You might have to protect it during your winters, though.)

A lot of mediterranian herbs will flourish in your space... rosemary, lavender, oregano, possibly sage and thyme too sinse your area is dryer and has colder winters than us on the coast. Basil will take sun and heat, but it is a thirsty plant so take note.

best of luck!

RE: West Facing Balcony

i also have a west facing balcony. asparagus fern and vincas work really well. those have been my two favorites for the west side.

RE: West Facing Balcony

I have a west facing balcony as well. I live in California and everything used to bake in the afternoon sun. Watering became real tiresome. So I got rid of everything and got one plant. I got a variegated bower vine and I am letting it spread.

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