Balcony Gardening Ideas: Utilizing Your Small Outdoor Space

Everybody loves a luscious garden filled to the brim with vibrant flowers and vegetation – but not everyone has the space for a large flower garden. For apartment dwellers, we’ve gathered our favorite balcony gardening ideas and products to help you use your space in the grandest way possible.

Let’s get started!

1. Vertical Plant Shelves

Plant shelves are a gorgeous way to display your flowers without taking up too much space on your balcony. The shelves create a layered look that evenly shows off plant pots and vegetation, as to not hide any decorative aspects of your plants.

These can be placed comfortably in the corner of your outdoor space and most have the ability to fold up for effortless storage when they’re not in use.

You can find similar vertical planters and shelves at your local gardening center or online through Amazon.

Ufine Bamboo Ladder Plant Stand 3 Tier Foldable Flower Pot Display Shelf Rack for Indoor Outdoor Home Patio Lawn Garden Balcony Organizer Planter Holder
  • 【DURABLE BAMBOO】The flower stand is made of 5 YEARS natural bamboo in high mountains.It is durable after the high-temperature carbonization (200℃). 3 polishing process and Eco-friendly varnish treatments makes the flower display stand surface smooth, WATERPROOF and easy maintain. Fine bamboo texture adds an elegant display to your plants that goes nicely with the hues of nature.With proper waterproof ability, it can be used INDOOR OR OUTDOOR.
  • 【LADDER DESIGN】Three tier corner planter stand with 27.6in width, 37.8 Height, MAKE FULL USE OF SPACE space; 3 levels of Depth and height at 7 in, 11 in and 15 in, allow you place VARIOUS SIZE PLANTS like succulents, herbs, cactus plants, also medium large size flower pots. Multi-Tiers design,not only beautifully display flowers, but also help plants get more sunlight and grow better without shield each other. TRIANGLE STRUCTURE, improving the plant holder STABLE ability.
  • 【HALLOW OUT SHELF】Ufine Ladder-Shaped balcony planter shelves rack with smooth surface. BACK BOTTOM RAILS effectively prevent the falling of green plants. Bottom lock catch helps enhance stability. The EMBEDDED SCREWS can help further fasten the flower stand, NO harm to hand. The foot fully contact with ground, skid proof and shake proof, no harming the floor. HOLLOW-OUT design for reinforced laminates is conducive for plants growth because of effective DRAINAGE, anti-rust and AIR PERMEABILITY.
  • 【MULTI-FUNCTION USAGE】The multi-purpose decorative flower stand WEIGHTS 9.5 lbs, each layer withstand 30 lbs. It is not only a free standing FLOWER RACK, but also a STORAGE RACK in living room, kitchen, balcony, garage, cabinet, garden, patio, porch and flower shop for storage of toiletries, towels, sundries, decorations, clothes, furnishings, shoes, books, toys and small appliances. In addition, it can be also as a DECORATION GIFT for family, mom, and friends on Mother's Day, Christmas.
  • 【FOLDING PORTABLE DESIGN】SPACE-SAVING foldable tiered plant stand can be EASY FOLD if long time no use. It is simple and light,easy to fold and open within 1 minute, even for a girl; Portable design, convenient to move around.Install tools, manual, garden tools are included in the package. In addition, extra screws are prepared. The flower stand is easy to assemble within 15-30 minutes. If the product you received with quality problem, please contact with us for FULL REFUND or REPLACEMENT.

Last update on 2020-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


2. Wall Planters

Wall planters are a unique balcony gardening idea that is great for optimizing the amount of space you have available. They can be hung high or low on any wall, adding splashes of color and intricate shapes to places that would otherwise lay bare.

Succulents or plants with deep root or vine systems are a great option for wall planters. These plants are perfect for creating a busy, bright wall piece.

You can find wall planters at your local gardening center or online through Amazon.

Portrait Gardens Wall Planter (8x10) - Instant Vertical Succulents Herbs Indoor Garden DIY Picture Cactus Plastic Ready to Hang Pin Plant Display Water
  • Planter box made of rigid polymer with root retention with built in watering tray, water collection reservoir and 37 root securing pins
  • 8" x 10" (Actual measurements 13 3/16" x 11 5/8" x 2 3/4") Planter box made of rigid polymer with proprietary root retention grid and built in watering tray and removable water reservoir
  • Decorative frame - Frames are interchangeable for custom decor
  • Easel for easy table top display -- mounting hole for easy wall mount display
  • Comes in 4 sizes - 8" x 10", 5" x 7", 4" x 6" and 3.5" x 5" (NOTE: PLANTS AND SOIL NOT INCLUDED).

Last update on 2020-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Hanging Baskets

Quite possibly one of the most common and charming balcony garden features, hanging baskets are a decorative force to be reckoned with. They take up absolutely no floor space and your gorgeous flowers hanging high on display will be the envy of the complex.

Wicker hanging baskets, in particular, add a cutesy look to balconies and are an adorable alternative to your average black, plastic baskets.

You can find decorative hanging wicker baskets at your local gardening center or online through Amazon.

14" Resin Woven Hanging Basket, Natural Wicker
  • 14" In Diameter
  • Natural Coloring
  • Made Of Metal And Resin Wicker
  • Electrostatic Powder Coat For Added Rust Resistance

Last update on 2020-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Rail Garden

These plant pots are specifically designed for use on rails – which means they’re perfect for balconies. They take up a minimal amount of space, add a bit of privacy, they’re safe and less likely to fall and wreak havoc on your neighbors below, and your pretty flowers will be shown to the world via your railing.

Can it really get any better than that?

You can find plant pots for railing at your local gardening center or online through Amazon.

Bloem Deck Balcony Rail Planter 12" Terra Cotta
  • Capacity: 2 Gallons / Size: 12 in. Top width x 12 in. Bottom width x 9 in. Height x 12 in. Length
  • UV stabilized plastic is fade resistant and will last for many years.
  • Features optional punch-out drainage holes.
  • Fits rail size 3.75" and 5.5" width. For smaller rails (3" up to 3.75" OR 4.75" up to 5.5") we recommend securing with zip ties underneath planter for added stability.
  • Includes 1 - Bloem Deck Balcony Rail Planter 12" Terra Cotta

Last update on 2020-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Trellis Arrangements

If you’re looking for a bit more privacy, adding a trellis to your balcony is the way to do it. Hanging pots are a great way to decorate trellises and the leaves of your plants will also block any potential peering eyes.

You can purchase hooked pots at your local gardening center or online through Amazon.

Hanging Flower Pots, Young Go 10 PCS Metal Iron Flower Holders with Drainage Hole Basket Bucket Planters Balcony Garden Patio Planter Wall Fence Hanging Flower Pot with Detachable Hook Home Decor
  • BRING A COLORFUL AND VIGOROUS GARDEN: 10 pcs flower pots in different color bring vigour to your garden. It can be hung on the balcony, porch, window, railing, fence, anywhere in the house as a wonderful decoration.
  • DRAINAGE HOLE DESIGN WITH DETACHABLE HOOK: The drainage hole makes watering easier and airflow to circulate through the pot. A drainage hole is necessary when purchasing a succulent planter.There is a detachable hook on the pot so that you can hang it anywhere you want to.
  • MULTIFUNCTION FLOWER POTS: This planter is not only for colourful flowers, tasty herbs, various vegetables, but also for dried flowers, silk flowers and other cute decorations.
  • MATERIAL AND DIMENSION: Durable and galvanized metal iron flower pots made it corrosion resistant, ideal decoration for the creative gardener. Dimension: 3.9*3.9*3.2in.
  • 24 MONTHS WARRANTY: Do not hesitate to contact us for support if you have any question with our products. We offer one month no reason money back service. 24 months return and lifetime kindly customer service.

Last update on 2020-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Faux Grass

To make your balcony as natural and garden-y as possible, adding grass rugs or turf is a wonderful option. There is an abundance of realistic faux grass options on the market that would surely bring the feel of the natural world to your concrete jungle.

You can purchase grass turf at your local gardening center or online through Amazon.

Synthetic Artificial Grass Turf 5FTX8FT Indoor Outdoor Balcony Garden Decor, Drainage Holes Faux Grass Rug Carpet for Pets
  • VALUE SYNTHETIC GRASS RUG:Designed and made according to the real fescue-like grass, with the blade around 0.4'' in length, safe for kids and pets - all for a very economical price.
  • PERFORMANCE :Made of the highest quality poly polypropylene yarns.Rubber backed with drainage hole, easy to clean and can be dry quickly.
  • FRIENDLY & SAVE MONEY: No mowing, No watering, Safe for pets and children.
  • Perfect for indoor used as Mat, Carpet . DIY Decorations for Fence Backdrop, interior and exterior or your own creative design on party, Wedding, Christmas decorations. Also used in outdoor rugs, such as Garden, Lawn, Patio, Landscape, Backyard, Balcony,Deck, Porch and other outdoor place. Recommended use it with lawn nails.
  • Installation Tools Recommendation: Turf tapes is specially used for jointing together two pieces of artificial grass, Landscape staples help you fix it on lawn/hard soil ground,

Last update on 2020-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7. Rustic Drawer Planters

For the rustic side of you, these adorable drawer planters are a must. Whether you have old drawers lying around or you buy drawers made to look old, these planters will bring out the vintage, country chic appearance of your balcony.

You can find drawer planters online through Amazon.

Admired By Nature ABN5E048-BR Set of 2 Stained Wood Medium and Small Drawer Planter Box Style pots w/Hard Liner, 048-BR
  • [WARNING! ! ] and ECOCENTRIC are the only authorized sellers of Admired by Nature products. Find our sticker/card (see picture) for our of quality and customer support.
  • Set of 2 Natural stained rustic barn wood square box pots planter with drawer design, comes with plastic hard liner.
  • MED- 6 X 6 X 5 inches, SM- 4. 5 X 4. 25 X 4. 5 inches
  • Place indoors with your choice of succulents, cacti or plants for a country style rustic feel or outdoor garden centerpieces to spice up your relaxation area.
  • This rustic barn style planter box also suitable for country wedding or event related to rustic theme.

Last update on 2020-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

8. Hanging Glass Terrariums

Terrariums consist of unique geometric shapes that would make a great addition to any modern balcony garden. They’re often made of glass and metals for a sturdy build and are usually filled with tiny pebbles and drought-resistant plants such as cacti and varieties of succulents.

If you’re low on space and don’t have room to place a terrarium on the ground, you can also purchase hanging glass terrariums. Attach them to your balcony ceiling and watch and your guest’s eyes dance when they see your outdoor decor.

You can find hanging terrariums on Amazon.

Mkono 2 Pack Glass Hanging Planter Air Plant Terrarium Home Decorations Gift Idea for Succulent Moss Tillandsias Air Ferns Candles, Globe and Teardrop
  • Ideal for home and office decoration to display small plants, adds more greens and vitality to your living surroundings. Decorates it with moss, airplants, seashells, other accessories to design a little vertical garden. Prefect for a DIY project by your imaginations, will get an unique ornament.
  • Featured with flat bottom for tabletop and top loop for hanging with rope. Displays your plants by sitting on the desk, or hanging it beside the window in your indoor garden. Great for using on wedding, party, festivals, creates a romantic and warm atmosphere.
  • Package Included: 1× Teadrop terrarium, 1×Globe terrarium, and Jute Rope. Note: Plants and other decorations are not included in this set. Glass products are fragile, please treat it carefully when hanging.
  • Size:Teadrop-shaped is 7.5"H×3.5"W, Opening's diameter is 1.75";Globe-shaped is 4"in dismeter, Opening's diameter is 2". Featured with flat bottom for tabletop and top loop for hanging with rope.
  • Material: High boron silicon heat resistant glass. Mkono is a registered trademark and our product is professional manufacturing and sole selling.

Last update on 2020-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

9. Jungle-Cony

Is it a jungle, forest? Nope. It’s your balcony. And it’s covered in tons of gorgeous plants.

If you’re someone who loves privacy or wants to bring nature right to your balcony, adding a large variety of plants to your railings, on the floor, and hanging plants is the way to do that. Balcony gardens, like the one above, create a serene, calming outdoor lounge space.

10. Abstract Floral Displays

An artistic display, these flower pots are hung on a stained wooden panel and tilted. Pots that are hanging in abstract manners are good for drawing the eye to certain areas of the balcony. Artistic displays like this are also wonderful for freeing up space on the balcony floor for larger plants, lounge furniture, or other garden decorations.

These can be easily constructed on your own with large wooden boards, screws, and metal wire.

11. Neatly Tucked Away

Not all balconies are created equal. Some are large and some are the size of a small closet. If your balcony is on the smaller side, this compact balcony garden idea may be just the thing you’ve been searching for. The stacked appearance is tastefully busy, yet tidy, as not to be too overwhelming or crowded.

The coloring is monotone and uniform, which adds to the appealing aspect of this outdoor gardening idea.

12. Italian Vogue

Balconies in Italy are known for their vibrant floral displays. To recreate the beautiful Italian flair on your balcony, focus heavily on brightly-colored, bunched flowers, climbing vines, hanging baskets, and rail flower boxes.

Like in the photo, large, bushy flower plants are necessary for creating the classic Italian appearance.

13. Flattering Color Schemes

If mixing random colors isn’t your cup of tea, finding and creating a flattering color scheme for your balcony garden is a lovely option. Complimentary colors, such as the red and green in the photo above, make balconies appear more uniform and professional. Other great color combinations include red and white, greens and whites, yellows and oranges, and purples and blues.

14. Colorful Oasis

Say “aloha” to this gorgeous tropical balcony garden.

This colorful balcony garden is a must-have for the islander at heart. The vibrant colors of the furniture and the lush greenery lining the rails are enough to make us wish we had our toes in the sand.

Colorful pots are used to house bushy greens and florescent red flowers, adding stunning color visuals and taking up space. This would be a wonderful design choice for larger balconies.

It’s almost like we can hear the ocean waves.

15. Floral Balcony Room

A makeshift conservatory, this balcony gardening idea would be a room extension of your apartment. To create this look, you can hang plant pockets from the ceiling above your railing, place hanging baskets on the ceiling, add wall planters, and anything else your little heart desires to fill the room with greenery.

You can purchase plant pockets at your local gardening center or online through Amazon.

Ogrmar 36 Pockets Vertical Wall Garden Planter Plant Grow Bag for Flower Vegetable for Indoor/Outdoor (36 Pockets, Black)
  • MEDIUM SIZE: 39.4" X 39.4" (100 cm x 100 cm), Built Well Enough For Growing Season, Can Match Several Planters Together For Covering Large Wall Areas And Move Randomly.
  • EASILY FIXED: Can be Easily Attach To a Fence by Zip Ties and mounted on a wall using nails with a larger heads. Or You are mounting to a wall with screws you should get washers to keep the heads of the screws from slipping through the grommets. And It is able to remove it easily.
  • ECO FRIENDLY MATERIAL: felt material, Holds moisture good and allows drainage and can breathe. Resistant, Eco Friendly and Non Toxic.
  • GROWING CONDITIONS: Water Retaining Felt Material Creates Perfect Soil Condition, Use For Indoor/Outdoor

Last update on 2020-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

General Gardening Tips

Now that we’ve gone over a few of the most amazing gardening ideas for your balcony, let’s take a look at some general tips on how to care for your plants:

  1. Know what your USDA Hardiness Zone is. Knowing which USDA Hardiness Zone you’re located in will help you to better choose the plants that will thrive where you live. You’ll also learn when it’s best to plant edible plants in your area.
  2. Be sure to follow the care instructions on your plants. Every plant has its individual needs. Some plants require more light, others prefer shade; some plants need watering every few days and others you won’t have to water for weeks. Sticking to the care instructions will keep your plants happy and healthy!
  3. Remove dying limbs or leaves. It’s completely normal for plants to shed some of their leaves or branches. Once stems, branches, or leaves begin to wither and brown, be sure to prune them in order to keep the rest of the plant healthy. And once they’ve been pruned, use them in your compost!
  4. Don’t overwater your plants. This is one of the most common mistakes new gardeners make. As we mentioned previously, the care instructions will list how often you’ll need to water your plant.
  5. Use good – and the right – soil. Of course, different plants require different types of soil. But, generally, organic soils with natural feeders and nutrients is the way to go if you want thriving greenery.
  6. Keep invasive plants quarantined. It goes without saying that plants that tend to be invasive to other kinds should be planted in their own planter to keep them from overpowering other plants.
  7.  More fertilizer doesn’t equal better plants. But good soil does (as we’ve mentioned). So don’t go overboard with the miracle grow. Use less synthetic fertilizers and more compost.
  8. Transfer your growing plants into larger pots. This seems like a no-brainer, but some people often forget to do this. It’s important to transfer your plants to bigger planters once they begin to outgrow their nursery pot. This will, of course, give the plant more room to thrive.
  9. Plant your plants when the weather permits. Many plants don’t hold up well in colder conditions, so be sure to plant your vegetation whenever the season is suitable for your flowers (or for whatever else you’ll be planting).
  10. Don’t plant or dig in wet soil. Digging in wet soil can compromise its structure, so be sure to plant your plants in drier soil.


Safety Tips for Balcony Gardening

Because balconies overhang streets, sidewalks, and other people’s homes, it’s necessary to use precautions when placing planters and plants on your balcony. Falling plants or plant pots have the potential of being extremely hazardous to people or pets below, and it’s your duty to be sure everyone stays safe and sound as you decorate your little haven.

Here are a few safety precautions to keep in mind as you build your balcony garden:

  1. DON’T set unsecured plant pots on your balcony railing. No matter how wide the railing around your balcony is, it’s imperative to never place unsecured pots on the rails. When placing flower pots on rails, be sure that you’re using a pot specifically crafted for rails. This dramatically lowers the chance of the pot falling and potentially hitting someone or destroying property below.
  2. DO secure your hanging plants. Hanging plants should always be securely hung with heavy-duty metal hooks to avoid falling.
  3. DON’T place small plants near openings in the railing. Small plants placed on the floor, such as budding cacti or succulents, have the potential of accidentally being knocked through large railing slits. Take care of where you place tiny plants. Sitting them on tables or shelves is a great alternative.
  4. DO keep all of your gardening tools together. Keeping all of your gardening tools tidy will lessen the chance of them falling over the ledge or sliding under the railing.
  5. DO protect yourself from potentially harmful plants. Plants with barbs, spikes, or jagged edges may pose a minor threat to your wellbeing. Always wear gardening gloves and a long-sleeved shirt when dealing with pokey plants.

Final Thoughts

It’s no secret that apartments have limited space. But there are ways to utilize the available room to create visually stunning gardens. Your imagination is the driving force behind a great balcony garden, and there’s no limit on the beautiful combinations. Keep your safety and gardening tips and mind, and most importantly, have fun!

We hope you enjoyed our article covering our favorite balcony gardening ideas!