9 condo balcony gardening ideas

9 condo balcony gardening ideas

Having a private balcony is great and all, but are you getting the most out of it? In a bustling city like Toronto, it’s nice to escape from the hustle for a bit to enjoy the beauty of nature from time to time. But these days, everyone’s a bit iffy on leaving their homes and going outside. That’s why now is the perfect time to make use of your outdoor space and start your own at-home balcony garden.

Before starting to work on your garden, be sure to check your condo rules to see what you can and can’t do. Depending on your building, there may be restrictions that won’t allow you to do certain things on your balcony.

Plan accordingly, plant accordingly

The types of plants you can grow will vary depending on the environment. If your balcony gets a lot of sunlight, make sure to get plants that grow well in the sun. Some of your best bets are Daylilies, Catmint, Petunias, and Ivy Geraniums. Is your balcony more on the cooler, shadier side? No problem! Some plants that are meant for shade are Ferns, Primroses, Swedish Ivy, and Begonias.

Something else to keep in mind: the higher up your home is, the windier your balcony will be. Using heavier containers will prevent your plants from getting knocked over, or worse, getting blown away completely.

Related info: Creating a balcony sanctuary in your condo or apartment

Set a colour scheme

Add a pop of colour to your home by growing bright flowers on your balcony. Try to stick to 2-3 colours just so it doesn’t look too crazy (unless you prefer that). If you’re not sure how to choose a palette, you can always try using complementary or analogous colours, which you might remember learning about in elementary school. Some combinations that can easily brighten up your balcony are:

  • Pink, purple and white

  • Red and yellow

  • Light blue and purple

If you have a photo that incorporates harmonious shades that you want to use in your garden, try uploading it on Adobe Colour to extract the main colours and find your perfect colour scheme.

Growing radish and lettuce in container on balcony

Grow an edible garden

Growing fruits and vegetables in your own home can be cost-efficient and healthier compared to buying them at a grocery store, and plus, it feels super rewarding. You don’t need a huge backyard to grow an edible garden; you can make one on your balcony as well.

Some edibles that grow well in containers and are great for balcony gardens are lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and beets. Or, to spice it up, you also can’t go wrong with aromatic herbs. Try incorporating rosemary and thyme into your garden, and you’ll end up with extra layers of flavour in your sauces and food.

Attract pollinators

Try adding flowers for the bees and the butterflies. Not only will attracting pollinators help your garden be rich and healthy, it’ll also keep pests under control. Keep in mind that certain pollinators can only use certain plants, so try to grow a variety of species. Here are some good options for your pollination garden:

  • Golden Alexanders (spring bloomer)

  • Prairie Smoke (spring bloomer)

  • Butterflyweed (summer bloomer)

  • Ansie Hyssop (summer bloomer)

  • Golden Fleece (fall bloomer)

  • White Wood Aster (fall bloomer)

Woman putting soil into the pot

Use balcony railings

Not everyone has a balcony with empty floor space, but that doesn’t mean they can’t grow a garden. If you have a Juliet balcony (or want to save your floor space for other things), there are some different options out there for planters that rest right on your railing.

You can get a railing container and plant directly in it, or use railing pot holders to hold individual plants. If you’re planning to grow a large variety of species, the latter option would be more suitable for you. If not, consider going with the first option for a more simple look. You can easily find these planters at Home Depot, on Amazon, or at your local gardening store.

Make a zen garden

How about spicing it up and creating your own zen garden with water features? Your balcony (most likely) has an electrical plug, which makes it super easy to power your water pump, and they’re a snap to to maintain. It also adds a nice visual variety between all your greens.

To achieve an even more “zen-like” look, try incorporating rock and stone planters (while being mindful of the maximum weight that is allowed on your balcony) as well as bushes and bamboo.

Related info: 18 ideas for your summer staycation in Toronto

Put them up in the air

Create an overhead garden by hanging plants from the ceiling of your balcony. Just buy some hooks that can be secured to the ceiling, and your options are endless. You can easily find hanging plants at your local gardening store, you can hang and connect your pots with something like Skypots, or you could even DIY your own macramé plant hanger.

If you do end up creating an overhead garden, make sure your hooks can support the weight of your plants, and if possible, try to secure the bottom of your planters to the railing so that even if there is a gust of wind, your plants will stay put and you won’t have to worry about having anything flying off your balcony.

Upcycle old furniture

Getting rid of that old dresser may be a hassle, so why not try giving it another use? DIY a vertical planter by upcycling your dresser and giving it a second life. Paint it whatever colour you like, fill the drawers with good soil, and plant. Make sure the lowest drawer is pulled out the furthest and the rest are pulled out a bit less so they get even exposure to sunlight.

If you’re up for a bigger challenge, use individual drawers as planters and attach wooden legs to them. This will definitely require more work than the first option, but it will give you more flexibility in terms of how tall you want your planters to be.

lounge chair with plants and a living wall

Grow a living wall

Not only does it save floor space (which is important especially for small condo balconies), a living wall can also be used as a super cute backdrop for your Instagram photos!

An easy DIY is to use chicken wire on the wall or balcony divider and fix your planters onto the wire. Or get an over-the-door shoe organizer—which can be easily found at a dollar store, Walmart or even Ikea—and use individual compartments as planters.

Want to know which Toronto condos have the best spaces for balcony gardens? Talk to a Condo Pro – they know Toronto buildings and neighbourhoods better than anyone, and can help you zero in on the perfect place for you, your green thumb, and your garden in the sky!

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