5 Common Balcony Gardening Problems and Tips to Solve them

Meet our Editorial Team, a collection of expert gardeners, writers, and DIY aficionados committed to delivering top-notch content. From organic gardening and indoor plant care to culinary arts and home improvements, we cover a wide spectrum of topics to enrich your life.
Learn About Our Editorial Policy

2-Minute Read

Most of the problems balcony gardeners faces are universal, so we’ve piled up 5 really basic and common problems with their answers with a hope that these balcony gardening tips and answers will surely help you in creating a wonderful balcony garden.balcony garden problems_mini

1- Shady Balcony Garden

Usually a balcony facing North or East is left empty or used as a “warehouse”: Brooms, rugs, various storage materials are piled up there to utilize the space.

Is it the right way to use a balcony? A big no! Balcony is an only open space in most of the apartments and flats and you should use it wisely.

How to Fix it?

  • Grow plants that tolerate shade or grow in less sunlight.
  • Choose plants that are moisture loving as soil in shady space mostly remains moist.

What to Grow!

Read our planting guide for North and East facing balconies to know what to plant there.

If your balcony receives no direct sun and it is completely shady then read on our informative post on the plants you can grow without sun.

Somehow if your balcony receives 2 – 4 hours of direct sunlight and you want to grow food there, find out the herbs and vegetables you can grow in shade.

Also ReadBalcony Gardeners To Stop Water Dripping

2- Sunny Balcony Garden

South and West facing balconies are exposed to full sunlight for most of the day. It’s a good thing but keep in mind that the plants grown in garden can freely expand their roots, whereas potted plants have limited space to grow and they depend on you for watering and nutrients.

So it is essential to water constantly and regularly, providing more nutrients time to time and do proper maintenance on a balcony facing South or West.

How to fix it?

  • Water every day and fertilize every week or in 10 days at half of the dosage indicated on the fertilizer package.
  • Trim up the plants once a week, remove dead or damaged parts and deadhead the flowers.
  • Use clay pots, clay pots tend to keep the soil cool.
  • Grow vines or hanging plants on railing to create shade for the plants growing on balcony floor.
  • If sun is a big problem cover your balcony with an umbrella or fabric.

What to grow!

Luckily you can grow almost any plant you like to. From citruses to dwarf apple trees and roses to petunias, there are lots of options available. For more information see our guide on South and West facing balcony plants.

Also Read: Best Flowers for Balcony Garden

3- Balcony Watering and Drainage Problem

It is a common problem with most of the balcony gardeners.

How to fix it?

  • The easiest solution is to put saucer under pot with a layer of pebbles in it. Pebbles allow the container to drain freely and prevent the bottom of the pot from standing in water. They also add a decorative element.
  • The best solution is to use self watering containers. They allow the plants to take and soak the water when needed, other benefit of them is you can freely forget your watering duty for a few time.
  • When plant needs a good soak or you need to leach the soil, take them to bathroom and water deeply.
  • A workaround for it is to water the pots in two or three spells, not only at once, so that you can stop watering just when water starts to drain out from the bottom of pot.
  • Add hydrogel crystals in soil, they absorb excess water and allow you to go for several days without watering. They releases the moisture time to time in soil when needed.
  • Also do mulching to preserve the moisture in soil to decrease the need of watering.
  • You can grow drought tolerant plants and succulents to reduce the need of watering.

Also Read: How to Water Container Plants

4 – Hiding a Wall or Railing, Privacy on Balcony

Often you want to hide a structure that serves as a wall or railing on your balcony because you want to add more privacy or hide an element due to its ugliness.

How to Fix it?

  • Grow climbers they will also cover up your vertical space effectively.
  • Grow dwarf conifers or ornamental grasses.
  • Cover it with a mat or fabric, you can see more like this on Balcony Privacy Ideas.

What to Grow!

Climbers like ivy, honeysuckle, jasmine, clematis are wonderful. You can also grow some exotic vines like passion flower and bleeding heart. If you want to try edible plants: Grow gourds or beans, tall varieties of tomatoes or dwarf fruit trees can be tried too.

Also Read: How to Grow Corn on Balcony

5 – Lack of Space

At last the most obvious and biggest, the lack of space. Is there any way to add more space on a tiny balcony?

How to Fix it?

  • There is only one way to solve this problem, USE VERTICAL SPACE.
  • Make a plan to use every inch of space, think unusual and creative ideas.
  • Use stack planters, railing planters, vertical wall planters and hanging baskets. Arrange old shelves and pallets to keep pots in them.

Also Read: Balcony Herb Garden Ideas 

What to Plant!

Grow dwarf plants that grow up and cover more vertical space. You can train the plants for this. To read more on this read our article on best balcony garden plants.

Recent Posts

Join our 3 Million Followers:


Related Articles


  1. Using the verticle space to decorate and create a garden is a good idea. Like you mentioned, using hanging planters or verticle planters will make any verticle space work. It also would help to choose plants that naturally work their way up like vines or ivy.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here