Low maintenance outdoor plants for small spaces

    Just because you don’t have a sprawling garden doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some greenery outdoors. We show you how to make the most of your small balcony space with outdoor plant ideas that are both practical and beautiful.

    Deciding how to decorate your balcony area is a fun task. You have more freedom than with interiors and can play around with colours, textures and fixtures. Opting to have a garden on your small balcony is a great way to have homegrown herbs and vegetables or be surrounded by your favourite flowers and oxygen-rich plants.

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    Choose function over form

    As most balconies in apartment buildings are a confined, private space, it’s important to identify what you’re going to fill your space with. Firstly, it’s good to be aware of any rules your building supervisor/body corporate may have regarding balcony alterations or any aesthetic restrictions. Some strict policies may state all outdoor areas to look identical or have a stringent colour scheme they adhere to. Once you’ve gauged the do’s and don’ts of your building’s balcony etiquette, it’s time to start shopping around for those details that will make your mini garden uniquely you

    Consider the drawbacks of your balcony before you pick the route your garden will take. Do you have the ideal conditions for certain plants to grow? Most greenery needs a balance of sunlight and shade. This is no different on a balcony with potted plants. Heavy clay pots or thick ceramic or enamel materials work best for your plants and flowers, while herbs can sprout from wooden or plastic containers. 

    Plants that will thrive on your balcony

    If your balcony is tight on space, you can also use the walls (if you’re allowed) to hang some of your favourite ferns, flowers or herbs in chic wall planters. This adds a design element to your outside area. While taking note of how windy your balcony gets or how much rain gets inside, you have to choose your wall plants carefully to avoid the risk of them being damaged. Follow these tips for some of the most low-maintenance plants and flowers that will be perfectly suited to the conditions of a small balcony: 

    • Mix and match your herb gardens in a potting container that runs lengthwise along your balcony area. Herbs like thyme, coriander, parsley, mint, rosemary etc. all grow well together with minimal pruning. Keep them in a fairly damp container to ensure they don’t dry out. 
    • Most succulents can grow under an array of conditions, including high-rise balconies. Transfer the succulents to a larger pot after buying them, as this will help the soil to retain more moisture. 
    • Evergreen plants are those that look good all year round and can withstand every season. These include cacti that can be planted in the same container as seasonal shrubs for a colourful change during spring and summer. 
    • Vegetables that are easy to grow in pots and planters include tomatoes, chilli peppers, lettuce, beans, radishes, carrots and peas. You can also visit your local nursery and purchase a ready-made “edible balcony” of vegetable containers for you to decant in the order you prefer. Vegetables require good quality soil and large enough pots for the respective shrubs to sprout and grow to their full size. Take care to give them an equal amount of sun and shade as well as not letting the soil dry out too much.

    couple planting vegetables

    Grow what makes you happy 

    Your balcony is an extension of the atmosphere you want to create in your home. A small balcony generally doesn’t have much room to entertain, but you can enjoy the lightness and greenery of your little garden by installing a minimalist patio set. It’s perfect for having your morning cup of coffee while watering your plants and deciding which addition will complement your little slice of heaven next. Seeff has a range of bespoke design ideas to modernise even the smallest of spaces.

    Author: Seeff Property Group
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