Raise your hand if you find buying the first plant for your balcony an intimidating task. 🙋♀️🙋♂️
Nurseries are teeming with so many beautiful house plants for you to choose from. And if you’ve never tried planting before, you might not really know where to begin your search. Factor in all the varying maintenance requirements you need to remember and it becomes even more of a challenge.
Good thing you’ve found this article. With the low-maintenance plants we’ve listed down below, you don’t really need a green thumb or years of experience in gardening to make your little garden at home thriving. They require minimal plant care, making them ideal for new or forgetful plant parents.
Here’s our list of fuss-free winners:
Lavender is not only a favourite for its beautiful colour but also for its fragrance and medicinal properties. If you plan to place them outdoors, make sure you allow enough room for growth in the size of the pots you plan to replant them in. Choose a spot that gets lots of sun and not too much wind. Lavender also does best in sandy soil with good drainage and requires very little watering during the colder months.
What a bonus Rosemary is! Not only is it a beautiful fragrant plant, it is legendary for adding flavour to dishes from pasta to meat, chicken and even ice-cream for the adventurous! Some people even put the leaves in salt cellars for impressing guests with rosemary-scented salt at chic dinner parties and Rosemary soap is a best-seller. Rosemary will grow very well in pots, require full sun and prefers sandy soil. It only requires watering when the container’s sand is dry.
Lemon Cypress Trees
Lemon Cypress Trees are ideally grown outdoors, making it a perfect plant for your balcony. Easy to trim and maintain, it needs full sun and is drought-resistant although until it is older and established, will need a bit more regular watering. You also want to ensure that it the tree is placed in an easy-to-turn container so you can regularly turn it and ensure every side gets enough light. Otherwise, it will have an uneven or lopsided growth.
These absolute beauties are very popular and easy to grow. Not only are they striking in bloom and come in a variety of colours, but they are resilient and require little maintenance. When in bloom, the flower clusters are sported on thin, long stalks and always end up being the talk of the town. A plus point is that they are beautiful green plants with lots of foliage even when they are not in bloom. Agaphantus is a must-have.
Aloe Vera will practically look after itself. Known for its medicinal uses, it is probably one of the most water-friendly balcony plants. It grows well in neutral PH but sandy soil, but does not tolerate full sun all day long as this will dry out the succulent leaves and make them turn yellow. It will do best when planted in a porous or terracotta pot and always needs good drainage, like most of the Mediterranean plants on this list.
Bay Laurel Tree
A favourite of the ancients for use in cooking, Bay leaf is still part of many Mediterranean recipes to this day. Popular with ornamental growers and herb gardeners, it can be shaped, trimmed and even be made into a Bonsai! It also needs well-drained, sandy soil and will do well in a terracotta pot, needing full sun for at least 5 hours a day. It will need a small amount of nitrogen-based fertiliser every few months to flourish and regular, but not too much watering.
If you are newbie in house planting, we suggest starting off slowly with just a plant or two and see how it goes over a period of months. If the idea grows on you of having a beautiful potted balcony garden, make sure to do your research and ask your local garden nursery questions before buying. Disclose the plant’s placement, the hours of sunlight they are likely to receive and what size will be the maximum you want the mature plant to grow to. With these tips in mind, whether you have terraced house in Valletta or a penthouse in Gozo, decorating it with outdoor plants will be easy.
Once your balcony is all decorated and spruced up, be sure to share photos of it online. If you want to win prizes while sharing these photos online, you can join competitions like Frank Salt Real Estate’s #MyGreenCorner. Gazebos, gas BBQs, and vouchers are up for grabs.