Ask yourself these Gardening Questions if you’re a container gardener. This will help you in creating a healthy container garden that you desire.
1. The amount of sunlight your container garden is receiving?
Full sun (6-8 hours)? Filtered light? Partial-shade (4-6 hours of direct sunlight)? Full shade (no direct but indirect sunlight)?
Choose plants according to light conditions, your schedule for watering will depend on it, too. If you will do these two things correctly, it will solve the problems of overwatering, underwatering and root rot as well as pest infestations and diseases to some extent.
2. What do you like to eat (If growing an edible container garden)?
You love to grow fruits and vegetables you’ve never eaten before, but before doing that try your hands on things you and your family like to eat. You can search for herbs and vegetables that grow best in your area. This will increase your success rate and gain your confidence.
Also Read: Patio Planter Ideas
3. Do you have a long growing season or a short one?
Choose plants according to your zone (i.e., tomato varieties that are more cold tolerant for colder climates). Sometimes, even though you live in a certain zone, specific conditions on your balcony can be warmer or colder than the area as a whole, so think about that. A balcony on the tenth floor will have a different microclimate than a balcony on the second floor.
4. Do you get lots of snow? What about rain? Do you live in tropics?
Snow can be really hard on the containers themselves (freezing and thawing can crack the pottery) if you plan on growing perennials. And rain is hard on plants living in containers. Choosing plants with these two things in mind is good. And what if you live in a hot climate? Your plants will be suffering from heat and the intense sun.
Take note of the plants that you see most often at the garden center and on your neighbors’ balconies and patio, growing successfully. These are clues as to what grows well in your area. You can also ask someone who is not new to gardening in your area for plant suggestions.
5. Would you like to attract birds? Butterflies? Honey Bees?
Choose plants with birds, bees, and butterflies in mind. Remember not to spray with pesticides, if you’re trying to attract wildlife! Also, you’ll need to grow plants that attract them–Fewer hybrids, more wildflowers with nectar! Google the names of such plants. Check out our article to create a butterfly-friendly container garden.
Also Read: Ways to Encourage Wildlife to Your Garden
6. Do you like to Can, Pickle or Make Jams, Jellies, and Chutneys
Consider berry plants and fruit trees or vegetables that are suitable for pickling. Or grow a specialty garden with as many edibles flowers you can. How about creating a salad garden? For this, grow lettuces, other leafy greens and root vegetables like radishes and carrots. You can create a unique chai garden as well, more details are here.
7. Want to Grow Pet-Friendly Plants?
Are you a parent of a dog or cat or probably a rabbit? Are you concerned about their safety? Look out for plants that are safe for pets. We’ve got a list of such plants here. You can create a cat garden as well on your small balcony, take inspiration from here.
8. Do you Enjoy Bouquets? What About Fragrance?
Consider planting a container garden full of beautiful cut flowers–Lily, sunflower, tulip, dianthus, zinnia, sweet peas, money plant, etc. If you love the fragrant flowers, create an aromatic garden by planting roses, jasmine, gardenia; we have a big list of plants for the aromatic container garden.
Also, if you’re into DIY or crafts, you can grow birdhouse gourds or plants commonly used in crafts, like lavender.
Also Read: Best Shrubs for Containers
9. Do You Love Succulents? Want to Keep a Bonsai Collection?
Your balcony can be a nice place for your succulent experiments–propagation and growing the new ones. Even if it’s shady, you can still grow some shade tolerant succulents there, here’s a list of them. A dedicated space in your patio or balcony for your bonsai collection is a brilliant idea, check out these bonsai plants for inspiration.
Also Read: Balcony Gardening Tips for Summer