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Hardy Plants For Apartment Balconies

Apr 15th, 2022

We talk a lot about indoor plants and what kinds work well in apartments, but there’s a whole world of outdoor flowers and plants that you can still incorporate into apartment life. 

If you have a balcony or a patio, then spruce it up with some hardy outdoor plants that will add fresh fragrance and bright blooms to your outdoor space. 

Check out our collection of outdoor plants that work great for balconies, patios, window boxes and more!

10 great flowers and plants for patios

Golden bamboo

Light conditions: full sun – part shade

Size: 8-20 feet

Zones: 6-10

Good for: privacy

Bamboo is a great privacy plant, as it grows tall and fast without much spread if properly contained. Make sure you have solid, strong planters to contain these fast-growing roots, and trim the tops if they start to reach too close to your upstairs neighbors!


Light conditions: full sun

Size: >6 inches

Zones: 3-10

Good for: drought tolerant

Succulents thrive in the sun and in the outdoors, making them perfect plants for a balcony. They require little maintenance and care if planted in well-drained soil and with adequate light, and if the weather gets a little too chilly then you can simply bring them indoors for the winter. 


Light conditions: full sun – part shade

Size: 1-3 feet

Zones: 8-10

Good for: attracting butterflies and hummingbirds

If you’re looking to attract some neighborhood birds to your apartment balcony, then a heat-tolerant fuchsia is just the plant you need. The delicate, brightly-colored flowers are absolutely gorgeous as-is and work well in a hanging pot or on a shelf, and if you’re lucky you’ll have some hummingbirds returning to your balcony day after day for a drink of the flowers’ nectar!


Light conditions: full sun 

Size: 1-3 feet

Zones: 5-10

Good for: cooking

Lavender is hard to grow indoors but thrives outdoors. It’s sweet fragrance permeates a balcony or patio for months during summer season, although it can attract bees to its blue-purple flowers, so watch out for those. 

Otherwise, lavender is a great plant to have, not just for its aroma but also for its drought tolerant properties. Drier regions can enjoy this gorgeous plant that can withstand a fair amount of sun, as long as its soil is well-drained and full of nutrients!


Light conditions: full shade – part shade

Size: 3-8 feet

Zones: 8-10

Good for: fragrance

Gardenias are known for their strong, flowery fragrance that carries a fair distance around the plant, making them great additions to a balcony!

The gorgeous flowers come with a price, though. Gardenias need a fair amount of humidity and well-drained soil to stay healthy, so if you live in drier regions, then don’t be surprised when they start to wilt. The strong scent also attracts bugs and pests during their short-lived blooming period, plus they are more prone to root rot than most.

So yes, gardenias may need a little extra attention and care than most, but the gorgeous smell and beautiful flowers are totally worth it!


Light conditions: full sun

Size: 6-12 inches, 1-3 feet

Zones: 8-9

Good for: trailing

If you’ve got window boxes or railing planters, then this stunning flowering plant is just what you need to spread across a long planter. 

Verbenas tolerate drought well and actually thrives when its foliage doesn’t get too wet. Water the soil without getting the delicate flower or leaves wet, and you’ll have a happy, healthy plant that spills bright flowers onto your balcony. 


Light conditions: full sun

Size: 6-12 inches, 1-3 feet

Zones: 10-11

Good for: full sun 

Finding the right plant for your light conditions is essential to the wellbeing of said plant, so if you’ve got full sun all day long, then a plant that thrives in direct light will do best, just like these geraniums!

There are a lot of geranium varieties in many different colors ranging from pinks to reds to whites to oranges and more, and if you prune it consistently throughout the season, you can expect to see gorgeous blooms all summer long!


Light conditions: part shade – full shade

Size: 12-18 inches 

Zones: 10-11

Good for: shade

No sun? No problem! 

Begonias are notorious for loving the shade and thriving in dark, humid corners. Their varieties come with gorgeous leaf patterns and colorful blooms that are fairly easy to care for when watered properly. 


Light conditions: full sun

Size: 3-8 feet 

Zones: 10-11

Good for: vining and arches

Mandevillas have large, bright blossoms that contrast beautifully with its dark, waxy leaves, giving the plant a distinctly tropical feel. These vining plants can snake up arches and trellises easily, creating an impressive centerpiece to any balcony or patio!

Boston ferns

Light conditions: part sun – part shade

Size: 2-3 feet

Zones: 4-8

Good for: hanging plants

Boston ferns are just one of the many fern varieties out there, but it’s one of the more popular ones for growing both indoors and outdoors. 

Ferns do require a fair amount of water and rich, moist soil to stay healthy, especially when grown in a container outdoors. Humid environments that mimic the plant’s native habitat work best, and a good misting every now and then never hurts, either. If cared for properly, these ferns can add a bright, bushy feature to your balcony!

If you’re looking to extend your green thumb to outside your apartment, whether in a window box, patio or balcony, these hardy plants are great ones to start with for some bright colors, fragrant blooms and leafy greens!


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Featured photo courtesy Pixabay/fietszfotos

Author of Article

Colleen Ford is a South African who now lives in Spokane, Washington. She loves to travel, camp (in warm weather) and bake.

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