​Plant Tubs—Easy Ideas for balcony plants

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Gardening has been a popular pastime for the last fifty or so years. It is not only a great way to create a beautiful environment on your own property, but it has added health benefits. Simply spending a small amount of time in the fresh air and natural environment of the garden has been known to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Gardens also provide the added benefit of giving you a sense of achievement and reward when a tree has produced fruit or a plant is flowering. Unfortunately, some people who live in apartments or terrace houses do not have the space for a garden. They may only have a small balcony from which to enjoy the outdoors. This can limit the garden available, but does not eliminate the opportunity completely. Plant tubs provide a wonderful way to create your own garden in very small spaces, such as balconies and terrace houses. You will be surprised by the variety and amount of plants that thrive in plant tubs. homify has researched and found the best ways to use plant tubs.

​Plant Tubs

The type of pot that you choose should be dictated by the type of plant that you wish to grow. Some plants require pots that are wider or deeper, due to their growth pattern or deep roots. A plant tub is perfect for plants that have deeper roots and require a deeper pot. These pots allow for the roots to embed deeper into the soil. If you are planning to grow vegetables, these will require a deeper tub to allow for root growth. This includes vegetables such as potatoes, onions and parsnip. Vegetables such as zucchini and pumpkin will require a pot that is both deep and wide.

​Plant Pots

Plant pots usually refer to a pot that is slightly wider at the top than at the base. These pots are perfect for flowers and some vegetables. If you are wanting to grow colourful flowers consider flowers such as Azaleas, Daffodils and Dahlias. These all provide a splash of colour and vibrancy to any space and are able to grow well in pots on balconies or small gardens. When growing Azaleas be sure to prune these as they can become as large as a bush. If you prefer to grow vegetables consider growing cauliflower, broccoli or small eggplant. These all grow well in plant pots on balconies. Tomatoes are another wonderful option to grow on balconies, although be aware that tomatoes will require a supportive structure to grow on.

​Planter Boxes

Planter boxes are usually wider and longer than plant pots or tubs. They provide a rectangular shaped growing space for plants to grow. These are ideal for plants that require more space to grow. If you are wanting flowers in your planter boxes, then you are in luck. Nearly any flowers will grow in planter boxes, from small flowers such as Moss Rose or Pansies to larger bush like flowers such as daisies. Planter boxes are also perfect to grow any herbs and many vegetables. Vegetables such as large Peppers, Cucumber, Artichoke and Squash will do well in these pots. Pumpkin and Zucchini can also be grown in planter boxes, although these will require deeper boxes. If you want to grow these types of deep root vegetables, consider building your own deep planter boxes. These plants were grown by Blumenweide. 

​Jardinière for the Balcony

 Balconies, verandas & terraces  by Architetto Daniele Stiavetti
Architetto Daniele Stiavetti

Vaso da fiori in tessuto cementato n°6-2013

Architetto Daniele Stiavetti

A Jardinière is a receptacle, usually a ceramic pot or vase that is used for growing and displaying plants. Traditionally these plant receptacles were tall having a narrow base and rising up to a ceramic pot at the top which the plants would grow. These are usually highly decorative items that were traditionally used on terraces in 19th century palaces. Today the jardinière can be seen in gardens and inside homes across the western world. They are used for not only plants, but herbs and even vegetables. To make full use of the true beauty and elegance of these stunning items, consider growing cascading flowers. This will allow the eye to follow the plant down to the stunning details at the base. Jardinière’s are best placed on ceramic or stone surfaces. For more balcony ideas see here.

​Which Pot Type for My Garden?

Plant pots are made with a variety of different materials. These materials are appropriate for the different types of plants that will grow in them. Plant pots can be divided into terracotta, glazed ceramic, plastic, wooden and concrete. Terracotta pots are highly attractive pots but can be very porous and as such can dry out plants in dry climates. Glazed ceramic pots are also very attractive to have on a balcony. They will provide more protection against your plants drying out. Plastic pots are economical, light and durable. These will provide excellent protection against plants drying out, although they do not provide much protection against the extreme changes of temperature. Wooden containers provide an attractive addition to a balcony, although they can become more fragile with age, making them difficult to move. Concrete pots are the most durable, although their size and weight can often present a problem when wanting to move them.

​Materials

Now that you have chosen the best pot for the plant that you want to grow the next step is the other materials you will require. The most important material is the soil you use to grow your plants in. Plants grown in pots and containers require special soil, normal soil is too heavy for these plants and may compact roots, cutting off their oxygen. The soil you choose for your plants must be the right soil for the plant you intend to grow. For annual flowers such as Lillies blend 2 parts peat with 1 part compost. This will make a richer mix for these flowers. If you intend to grow tomatoes or lettuce you will need a more fertile, moisture retentive soil, so mix I part peat, one part garden soil and 1 part compost.

Gardening is a wonderful, rewarding and relaxing past time, and you do not even need a large space to do it. A balcony or even a bright window sill is enough to be able to grow your own plants. It is in these smaller spaces that we can create a successful tub garden. Almost any plant; flowers, herbs and vegetables can be grown successfully in a pot or tub. It is simply a matter of choosing the plant that you want to grow, selecting the most appropriate container, mixing the soil and choosing the ideal sunny spot to put it in. Then it is time to sit back and enjoy your wonderful balcony garden. For more inspiration see Tips to bring nature into your balcony.

What are the best plants to grow in pots on a balcony?
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