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What can I plant?

Posted by jessmdwku Zone 6, KY (My Page) on
Thu, May 24, 07 at 14:18

I live in an apt. in Kentucky which has a beautiful but bare balcony. I have tried to plant different flowers and even Ivy (which I thought could live anywhere) and it all dies. I think it could be that my apt. balcony gets sun most of the day. It gets pretty hot out there! What can I plant that will enjoy full sun and heat?

I was also wondering if I could plant something that would grow in a large pot and up a trellis to give me some privacy. What do you suggest?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What can I plant?

My morning glories grew like crazy last year in full sun. They would give you some privacy pretty quickly, but you'd have to start over again next year. My neighbors have some honeysuckle on a trellis, and it's a perennial, but it doesn't grow nearly as quickly.

If you don't mind watering a gallon or two per day, you could grow yourself a tomato since they love sun. They get really big and will cut off any view of your balcony! But they do need lots of water, and the crazy bushy look may not be what you're after.


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RE: What can I plant?

If you have a south-facing balcony, it's often hard to find something that can take that blazing all-day sun. A number of years ago, one of my sisters was in an apartment with a south-facing balcony and she found that she could grow sunflowers and miscanthus grass that could take it right near the rail. She had tomatoes and other veggies that she ended up pulling back because of the heat but I think she might have done okay with roses. If you look for drought tolerant prairie or mediterranean type plants like many herbs, oleanders, asters, daisies, and even vines like clematis (make sure you mulch), then you might be able to find the right combination that will work. You could even put a trellis screen and plant behind it to filter some of the sun.

Good luck!


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RE: What can I plant?

You can grow pretty much anything south facing if you do. full sun is the best. It's probably not what's killing them. In full sun in the summer you'll probably have to water everyday unless it's raining or cloudy. sometimes twice a day if the pot is small. so it could be watering. what kind of flowers did you try?
There are so many reason why potted plants die. You could have bad drainage in the pot. in my experience plants prefers terracotta pots over plastic. my plants just does better in terracotta. I think the plastic pot sometimes makes the roots too hot.

start with easy annuals until you get good feel for it. alot of annuals are bred for good adaptation for wide array of enviroment so people can grow anywhere. and they grow fast and blooms all year.


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RE: What can I plant?

Best of luck, jessmdwku! Give strawberries a go. I've fallen in love with my apartment and balcony gardening! I absolutely love having my own little green refuge amongst the bustle of the city below. It's great being able to hang out on the balcony with friends and munch on a few of whatever's fresh - lettuce, wild strawberries... I LOVE IT! If you're concerned about your plants drying out, some containers are better than others. Check out a small guide on arizona apartment balcony gardening.


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RE: What can I plant?

YOU ARE REALLY LUCKY THAT YOUR BALCONY/PATIO GETS FULL SUN. YOU HAVE MANY OPTIONS. JUST BE PREPARED TO WATER A LOT IF THE SUMMER WINDS UP LIKE IT WAS LAST YEAR. MORNING GLORIES ARE A GREAT IDEA FOR A PRIVACY TRELLIS AND THEY GROW VERY FAST. I DO A TRELLIS EVERY YEAR WITH MOON FLOWERS AND MORNING GLORIES, SO THAT I HAVE MORNING GLORIES IN THE MORNING AND THE MOON FLOWERS AT NIGHT. TRY SOME SOIL MOIST OR SOME POTTING MIX WITH THE MOISTURE CONTROL IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR WATER RETENTION.


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RE: What can I plant?

Hsermulka, when you write in all caps the etiquette of the internet interprets it as shouting.

You gave good advice though!


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RE: What can I plant?

This may not be feasible for you if you do not plan to stay where you are long-term, but doing an espalier of dwarf fruit trees is awesome. There are lots of fruit trees that love full sun. This technique would be slow growing, but is a beautiful effect as it grows and especially when finished. To make up for it's slow growth, you could plant a flowering and vining annual that is fast growing each year until your fruit trees are the size you like. If you are not familiar with espalier, check it out online. Very cool application!


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RE: What can I plant?

how about simple, but true fire plants- geraniums and lantanas?
lantana comes comes in many colors. some are bushy, some are "ground covers" but could be use to cascade down. i lived in arizona- u know, loads of sun!- and those two never failed.
good luck!


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RE: What can I plant?

How is the wind factor on your balcony? I am also south-facing, with a west wind 8 stories up and my plants get really dry and spindly from the wind. My Dahlias did pretty well, also Zinnias in the fall. Gerberas did ok for a while. I grew sunflowers, but they didn't come out too well and I wouldn't do them again. Too much work for too little yield. I had the 3-4 foot high variety. Again, I think they didn't like the wind. I also found that plants in dark pots did worse than plants in lighter colored pots. I think the dark retains too much heat. This year I am using mostly granite and terra cotta colors. Someone mentioned roses, my neighbor keeps one on his balcony. He has the windbreak of our divider from the west winds. This year I'm concentrating on veggies. We'll see what happens! You'll have to water every day.


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RE: What can I plant?

I have a south-facing balcony that gets a lot of sun. Last spring I planted dwarf salvia and vinca in my flowerboxes. They did fairly well, although the salvia struggled a bit at the peak of summer... probably because I was less-than-diligent about watering, oops. They still managed to bloom pretty much throughout the summer and into early fall. I decided to try some different plants this year (I planted them just today actually): pansies, dracena spikes, and dusty miller (see photo in link). Good luck to you, and to me too. ;)

p.s. I just found this forum! Hello :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Balcony garden 2008


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RE: What can I plant?

I just suggested this plant to someone in an earlier thread, have you tried flax seed flowers? I'm only trying them for the first time this year but apparently they handle drought and heat really well. Seeds are available from a seed house on Canada's east coast, called Vesey's.


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