The best planters for your balcony plants
Which plant pots do you need to transform your gray balcony into a thriving and productive oasis for plants? We have put together tips for you on what to look out for when making your selection so that you choose the right flower pots for your balcony and your plants.
In the beginning was the flower pot. At least when it comes to starting gardening on the balcony. Have you made the decision to really use your balcony this year and turn it into a green oasis? Very good! But in the DIY stores, the planters are piling up to the ceiling and in the web shops you feel like you're scrolling into nirvana. That can curb the initial euphoria. Our tips will help you make a choice. By answering the following questions you will quickly find what you need for your balcony planting:
- Which plants should grow on your balcony?
- How much space do you have on your balcony? Which locations are possible?
- Which materials fit on your balcony?
- What do you like about the look of your balcony? What are you trying to hide?
Which plants are suitable for your balcony and which ones would you like to enjoy?
Which pot is the right one for my balcony plants?
Do you already have a specific plant in mind for your balcony? Then you can plan based on that. In addition to the location, the right flower pot plays an important role in the selection. The decisive factor for the selection is how much space your plant needs for its root system. Note if your plant is deep-rooting or shallow-rooting. Deep roots need a lot of soil volume and deep planters are more suitable here than flower boxes. Shallow roots need more horizontal space, but in terms of depth, flower boxes, for example, are also sufficient. In any case, the more space the better!
No matter which balcony pots you choose, make sure you water them correctly. If you are not working with an irrigation system, you should pay attention to a drain to avoid waterlogging. Otherwise your plant can quickly become moldy.
But how big should the flower pot actually be? Use the mature size of each plant as a guide. For herbs, a small 12 cm pot is often sufficient. For vegetables and plants that need a lot of power to grow, you should plan at least 20 cm. And if you want to go among the vegetable gardeners and grow courgettes, pumpkins & co., you should not save and calculate with 30 cm.
Little space for plants on the balcony? Think vertical!
If you don't have a plant in mind yet, think about how you want to green your balcony and choose suitable plants later. All urban gardening fans with a balcony face the same challenge: little space. But that's no excuse and at least since the advent of vertical gardening, you can use plants to create visual highlights and even construct a privacy screen. Even the smallest room can make you and the bees happy with beautiful flowers or even become a vegetable garden. There are several solutions for balcony plants:
The classic for railings: balcony boxes
Even our grandmothers had window boxes for flowers, and after all, grandma knows what is good. They are hung on the balcony railing - this is also allowed outside if it is properly secured - and so do not take up any space. There are various systems for attachment to the balcony parapet. Either a suspension is integrated or you get a separate system. It is particularly practical that these holders can be used for different sizes, so that you can get suitable planters depending on the plants you want.
My tip for more nature on the balcony:
Window boxes can not only be decorated with the typical geraniums or petunias, but become a home for nature with herbs or bee-friendly wildflowers. You can easily find planting ideas for this on the internet.
There are also flower pots that are attached to the railing. They are usually a bit larger and especially suitable for you if you want to grow vegetables or need space to separate your plants from each other.
Hide corners: plant tower and shelves
Have you ever heard of a plant tower? Here, instead of being planted next to each other in a bed, they are simply planted on top of each other - and that can also be done in the city on a small balcony. Potatoes in particular feel at home here, but you can also plant strawberries, herbs or flowers. You can also use the height by placing the pots on top of each other on a shelf. A vertical garden that obediently pulls itself into the corner. And best of all: You don't have to build, screw or install anything else. And you can also build a privacy screen directly.
Green walls and ceilings: climbing aids and hanging baskets
Gray balcony wall? Hide them behind plants! Visually, this can make a huge difference and turn your balcony into a small jungle - the privacy screen against gray, so to speak. Work with climbing aids, hanging baskets or plant bags, there are no limits to creativity. Upcycling is also an option. Got old pipes? screw them up! With Tetrapaks, you can just rip open the bottom and hang them up. And who would have thought: old tin cans can look pretty good planted.
Of course, smaller plant pots that are not too heavy and can be easily distributed are best suited for this. Placed criss-cross they have a great effect. Accordingly, they are suitable for smaller balcony plants. If the plant pots are large enough, wild tomatoes, sweet potatoes or melon pears also feel very comfortable in hanging baskets.
Green walls and ceilings: climbing aids and hanging baskets
Less water wastage. If you start watering at the top, with the right suspension, the excess water can run into the pots of the plants below.
Raised beds: The alternative for potted plants
Raised beds are not only available in large formats on roof terraces - there are basically no limits to the imagination for frames of raised beds. You can build your own or get one from any material, in any height and width. So you can always find some space for your balcony plants.
Terracotta or wood? The different materials of flower pots
There are no limits here. The material is important for the look and color - you should feel comfortable in your balcony garden. But there are some advantages and things to consider depending on the material:
Clay pot: terracotta & co. offer a good climate for balcony planting
Who needs to go to the Amalfi Coast when you can turn your own balcony into a Mediterranean oasis? Terracotta is probably the most popular variant of clay pots and immediately transports you to Italy. Due to their weight, they are particularly suitable for the floor, balcony vegetables and flowers feel comfortable in them. Of course, smaller vessels can also be used vertically.
The advantage of clay pots: they are not only environmentally friendly, but also ensure a good microclimate. The material absorbs moisture well and releases it when it is warm - the water evaporates through the walls. Caution is only required in sub-zero temperatures, then the sound can burst! Clay pots are also very heavy - so be careful when lifting!
Plastic: The functional all-rounder among flower pots
Highly functional, light and colorful - this is the best way to describe flower pots made of plastic. They do not store moisture and therefore have a higher soil temperature. No chance for algae and moss! They are easy to clean, reusable and, because of their low weight, easy to tinker with in constructions on the wall or your balcony railing. Plastic containers can also be very environmentally friendly if they are made from recycled material.
Ideas for tomatoes and other vegetables
Tomatoes are popular plants for the balcony. They are particularly suitable for sunny locations and south-facing balconies, with the right properties of the planters being essential. Tomatoes in particular need good watering and make demands on the size and depth of the container. A balcony box or a flower box is not suitable for them. If the container is too small, they will hardly bud and not be as green as you would like. The same goes for other vegetables like beans. A pot for vegetable plants should have a depth of at least 25 cm and a volume of at least 15 litres. Together with good watering, fertilization and the right environment, ideally with a southern exposure and enough sun, nothing stands in the way of a great harvest.
News for the planting - integrated irrigation
Planters in all colors and shapes are almost as old as mankind - and yet there are always resourceful innovations that make it easier to grow balcony plants. Integrated irrigation systems in particular have come onto the market in recent years. Since watering is extremely tedious and can be a real problem during holiday periods, it is worth thinking about watering when purchasing planters. Many modern vessels have an integrated reservoir that stores water for a few days. In summer, when the sun is shining and plants on the balcony and terrace make you sweat, regardless of whether they are in the sun or in the shade, these reservoirs do not go far. That's why the first startups like Boum (that's us :-) have developed completely integrated irrigation systems that supply planters and thus plants with water for weeks. These systems work in a similar way to drip irrigation, but are water-saving and aesthetic because there is no tangle of hoses.