Looking for ideas to fill your terrace or balcony with plants? We give you 21 options

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Categories: Mary´s Advice , ,

Author: Adrián Medina Alarcón

With the arrival of spring, terraces, porches, and balconies become the protagonists of our houses.

Nothing appeals to us more than sitting down to sunbathe in the afternoon or enjoying the cool of the early hours of the night when it starts to get hot.

And if we can also do it surrounded by our favorite plants, all the better.

For plant lovers, a huge garden isn't necessary; any place is good to fill with pots.

Now, it's important that you know which plants to choose.

Having plants on the terrace means having them exposed to wind and sun. This requires choosing species that are very resistant and can withstand full sunlight. Otherwise, some may yellow and start to wilt.

Are you clear about which ones are the most appropriate?

If not, don't worry, because in this article, we have compiled some of the best plants for a terrace or balcony, even during the summer months. This way, you can leave them in the sun without fear of drying out.

Ready to turn your terrace into a mini garden?

What should you consider when choosing plants for a terrace or balcony?

Remember, not all plants are the same.

Depending on the characteristics of your area, or even your home, it may make more sense to choose certain plants over others.

Let's look at some factors to consider when choosing plants:

1. What is the climate like in your area?: Are there many sunny days? What temperatures are reached in summer? Are winters mild, or is it often very cold with freezing conditions? In this case, find plants that can be kept indoors during cold periods or those resistant to cold. Also, consider if it is typically windy.

2. How much light does your balcony or terrace get?: Some plants need full sun, while others prefer partial or complete shade.

3. Size and space: Evaluate the available space and the size that plants will reach as they grow.

4. Watering and maintenance needs: Will you be able to care for them regularly? This will affect your choice of plants depending on their need for more or less maintenance.

5. Resistance to pests and diseases: Look for plants that are resistant to common pests and diseases in your area.

6. Compatibility with other plants: If you have other plants, choose ones that combine well to create a beautiful space.

7. Safety and toxicity: If your plants will be within reach of children or pets, it's important to choose non-toxic and non-dangerous plants.

Ideally, you should choose native plants from your region because they will be better adapted to your climate, requiring less water and care, and tolerating lighting conditions better.

The 5 types of plants to fill a terrace or balcony with life (and that resist the sun and heat very well)

To make it easier for you to choose the right species, we have divided them into 5 categories:

  • Flowering plants.
  • Climbers.
  • Aromatic plants.
  • Trees.
  • Succulents and cacti.

Below are some more specific recommendations.

A. Flowering plants

For those who live in the south, having a terrace or balcony without flowers is inconceivable. That's why flowering plants are at the top of this list.

Here are some that can withstand the sun:

1. Sunpatiens (Joy)

Sunpatiens is a variety of Impatiens adapted to better withstand direct light. They stand out for the multitude of colors their flowers can have, from red to purple, and even white. They require very little care and have great resistance to pests and diseases.

2. Angelonia Angustifolia (Angelonia)

A species native to Mexico, Angelonia adapts well to Mediterranean climates and develops abundant flowers during summer. It can survive in both full sun and semi-shade. Regarding watering, it's best to let the substrate dry completely before watering again.

3. Arctotis (African Daisy)

Native to South Africa, Arctotis is a robust species that hardly requires care. It displays huge flowers in red, orange, or violet from spring to fall. It doesn't require much watering—two or three times a week is enough.

4. Silene (Carnation of the mount)

Silene is known for its delicate flowers that bloom between spring and summer. To encourage new flowers, remove wilted ones regularly. Watering should be more abundant during summer.

5. Gazania

Gazania is a ground-cover species, suitable for coastal climates. It displays large bicolour flowers with petals that close at night. Like Arctotis, it requires less frequent watering, and prefers a well-draining substrate.

B. Climbers

Climbers play a significant role on terraces and exteriors. They grow vertically and can beautify walls or decorate a pergola.

9. Wisteria Sinensis (Wisteria)

Wisteria is one of the most popular outdoor hanging plants, known for its beautiful cascading flowers in mauve, purple, or pink.

10. Bignonia jasminoides (Bignonia)

Bignonia gives showy trumpet-shaped flowers, usually bicolour, during summer and autumn. It prefers well-draining substrates, and can grow in both full sun and semi-shade.

11. Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea is a flowering shrub with dense blooms of purple petals. It's a popular choice for decorating walls. It tolerates poor soils but prefers good drainage.

C. Aromatic Plants

Aromatic plants are ideal for their relaxing aroma and mosquito-repelling properties. They are perfect for evening gatherings with family and friends.

12. Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine)

Jasmine is a popular climbing plant with highly perfumed flowers, ideal for pergolas and trellises. Pruning in winter encourages strong flowering during the spring and summer.

13. Cestrum nocturnum (Lady of the Night)

Lady of the Night is valued for its strong fragrance at sunset, as its flowers open. It is rustic and tolerates various conditions but needs good drainage to avoid root flooding.

14. Lavandula officinalis (Lavender)

Lavender is known for its characteristic aroma and mosquito-repelling properties. It's drought-resistant and requires well-drained soil and a few hours of sunshine each day.

15. Culinary plants

Culinary plants like thyme, basil, and rosemary can be a great addition to any terrace. They provide fresh herbs for cooking and have a characteristic aroma.

D. Trees

There are trees suitable for terraces, even those with limited space. Some trees can be planted in pots and are suitable for balconies.

16. Kumquat (Dwarf Orange)

Kumquat is a dwarf fruit tree with ornamental small oranges. It grows between 3 and 5 meters high and can be planted in pots.

17. Limequat (Chinese Lemon Tree)

Limequat is a hybrid between kumquat and lime tree, yielding a small ornamental lemon tree suitable for pots. Its fruits are edible.

18. Buxus Sempervirens (Boxwood)

Boxwood is an evergreen tree with compact foliage, often used in topiary art. It tolerates cold and high temperatures, growing well in partial shade with rich and well-drained soil.

E. Succulents and Cacti

Succulents are hardy plants that can tolerate light and survive with minimal water. Perfect for those who like to go on vacation.

19. Portulacaria afra

Portulacaria afra, or the "Tree of Plenty," is a succulent that demands a lot of light. It is shiny with fleshy leaves and grows up to 2 meters in pots. Water only when the substrate is completely dry to avoid root rot.

20. Haworthia fasciata

Haworthia fasciata is a small succulent ideal for decorating balconies. It needs a lot of light, but prefers semi-shade to prevent leaf burns.

21. Crassula portulacea (Jade Tree)

Crassula portulacea, or the "Money Tree," is an evergreen with fleshy leaves. It requires full sun and occasional watering, avoiding excess water to prevent root rot.

Have you already chosen your favorites?

If you need assistance designing a terrace or garden, you can contact Viveros Gonzalez for help.