How to create a Tropical balcony garden

Sunday, September 17, 2017 | Regina Downes | Comments (0)

More and more balcony gardens are popping up all across the Territory. In Palmerston we have white cascading bougainvillea’s pouring over balconies and little urban jungles popping up in balconies nestled in amongst Darwin's CBD high rises.

The move is on to green up our outside living quarters and take advantage of our tropical climate. Having a little urban jungle on your balcony, instantly makes it feel more inviting, cools your balcony and adds that extra outside room to your unit. Balcony gardens also help improve your unit’s property value.

Before you begin to grow some of your favourite plants and turn your hot urban balcony into a tropical paradise think about what you want from your balcony in terms of a garden.
  • Do you want to screen out the next door neighbours to create privacy
  • Do you want to shade your balcony from the hot afternoon sun
  • Do you want to grow food in your balcony garden
  • How much time are you willing to spend on your garden

Once you have decided what you want to get out of your balcony garden, then it’s time to have a look at your balcony and do a site assessment, the factors below will greatly influence what plants you can and cannot use on your balcony garden.

This includes considering the following;

  • How much sun or shade does you balcony get?
  • Is your balcony exposed to windy, coastal conditions?
  • Your balcony size

Planting out your balcony garden:

With balcony gardens, vertical planting is very popular for obvious reasons; it helps create more green spaces in your balcony. Vertical gardening can include, hanging baskets, vertical walls, and vertical hanging pots on your balcony railing or on a trellis. Use climbing plants where possible, let the climbing plants climb your wall trellis or your balcony railing. Use light weight pots and upcycle any containers where available (ensure any containers you use have drainage holes and can withstand our wet season weather)-Head to the tip shop and see what you can use to up-cycle as planters.

Citrus plants such as lemons, limes and mandarin trees can all be grown on balconies as long as they are getting full sun all day long. A good size pot is required, use a fertilizer with trace elements.

Banana plants are a great addition to any balcony garden, those long thick leaves add that tropical look to the garden. Banana trees need full sun all day to fruit and they fruit best in the ground. We use the banana tree in balcony gardens because of its beautiful foliage so it’s okay if it never fruits.
Herb & certain veggies have proven to us over and over again they can be grown successfully in containers in balcony gardens. Use container tier planting to make the most out of your balcony space.

Here is a list of some sun and shade plants that are suitable for planting on balconies

            Sun Loving plants                                                                          Shade loving plants
  • Banana’s (Musa)                                                                                Chamadorea palms
  • Bamboo’s (Bambusa)                                                                           Philodendrons
  • Cordyline rubra                                                                                      Cordylines
  • Dracaenas                                                                                               Dracaenas
  • Ficus                                                                                                     Rhaphis palms
  • Dypsis Lutescens                                                                                       Alocasia
  • Bougainvillea’s                                                                                Zamioculcas zamiifolia                                                                                                                                                     
  • Climber’s for a Full sun balconies
  • Passiflora (passionfruit-will fruit if gets enough sun all day)
  • Pandorea jasminoides
  • Orange trumpet vine (Pyrostegia venusta)                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Plants for hanging baskets for shady balconies
  • Devils ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Ferns (Adiantum)
  • Ficus pumila

Check out our Pinterest board for lots more helpful ideas when planting your balcony garden.

Contact Online Plants NT if you need any help choosing the right plants for your Balcony garden                  *Garden consults available 




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