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Sun -- Roots or Flowers??

Posted by skiptomydarlin CA (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 8, 06 at 19:36

Hi Everyone. I'm new to gardening... in fact, i haven't even started yet. But I will soon be moving into a new apartment with a huge balcony, and I'm excited about what I can make of it. Since all I can do right now is Dream-Garden, I've been researching plants and thinking of where I want to place them on the balcony, where they will grow best, etc. Here's my stupid question: When the instructions for plants indicate "sun" does that mean sun on the petals/leaves, or sun at the base of the plant. (I think it means leaves/petals). The balcony has a solid railing, no light can get through, so I'm curious even if I plant TALL plants next to the railing, should they be ones that like sun (since the tops of tall plants would get sun) or shade (since the solid balcony wouldn't allow light through to the base of the plant).

Thanks for you help. I promise to ask smarter questions once I've got some experience. : )


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sun -- Roots or Flowers??

Hi Julian and welcome!

There have been balcony gardeners who have posted here in the past about the challenges of growing with a solid wall on the balcony. Seems most of the pictures of that arrangement have come from Californians and Canadians.

What you might want to consider is creating shelves that will raise smaller plants up towards the top of the wall to get the sun they need. Usually the sun reference is in terms of the foliage as the plant needs that to photosynthesize through the leaves. Sun at the base will warm the soil, so it's not necessarily deteremental unless it's blazing (and that can fry the roots depending on the pot size, color, type, and watering habit).

The wall can definitely help with growing shade-loving plants, although it will probably depend on which way the balcony faces, whether there are any trees, buildings, etc., around that can block it, and how the sun travels across the balcony (including going up over, with sun shining down on the area behind the wall, etc).

Anyway, some of these things you may not know yet until you move in and observe how and where the light hits and at that point, you can move the plants around or up higher to get the amount of sun they need.

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