Balcony plants


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General

The term "balcony plant" is not defined botanically. He commonly used a group of plants that are particularly or exclusively for planting in flower boxes and pots. These are mostly subtropical and tropical species that are not particularly suitable for planting due to their lack of hardiness or their sensitivity to weather conditions. In their (sub-) tropical homeland, the perennials are perennial, but in this country they are usually cultivated as annuals. Through intensive breeding, which has a perennial, lush flowers to the goal, the modern balcony plants have not much in common with the wild forms from their homeland meanwhile. Classic balcony plants are fast growing and compact. They grow upright or hanging and the summer blooms below them often show color from early summer to frost. With optimal location and good care, some species form so many flowers that their foliage almost completely disappears underneath.

As the name suggests, balcony plants are used primarily for planting flower boxes. But also individual pots or hanging baskets are decorated with balcony plants. Balcony plants, however, are not houseplants and should be cultivated outside if possible.

petunia

Multicolored Petunia 'Happy Dream'

Annual balcony plants - the classic balcony flowers

Geranium (Pelargonium) is still one of the absolute classics among balcony plants. Whether hanging or standing, in red, pink or white - they adorn the window boxes wherever you look. Although they are actually perennial, they are often disposed of after the season. Equally well-known and popular are the petunias (Petunia), which are available in standing and hanging versions. Even the easy-care magic bells (Calibrachoa), which are related to the petunias, are becoming increasingly popular. The motley little flowers do not need to be plucked out. Equally impressive in the abundance of flowers are the many-flowered Elfenspiegel (Nemesia) and the midday flower (Dorotheanthus bellidiformis). Even the marigold, the Portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora) or the vanilla flower (Heliotropium arborescens) feel well on a sunny balcony. For a shadier location are one-year balcony plants such as the Campanula, M├Ąnnertreu (Lobelia erinus), Eisbegonie (Begonia-Semperflorens hybrids) or the slipper flower (Calceolaria integrifolia). The diligent Lieschen (Impatiens) estimates a location away from the direct sun. Before you buy, check the planned location of your potted plants: As with perennials, there are also sun and shadow children under the balcony plants. Some balcony plants are sensitive to drafts (for example Elfenspiegel), others tolerate no direct sun (for example, industrious Lieschen).

balcony flowers

Whether in the box or in pots - balcony flowers always provide cosiness

Incidentally, a number of balcony plants, such as geraniums, small baskets, begonias or daisies, also find their place in the flowerbed as an annual. There, the low species such as pansies are often placed as a boundary in the bed foreground or used as a gap filler in the perennial flowerbed.

Potted plants as perennial balcony plants

Container plants have two things in common: they not only need a summer location, but also a suitable winter quarters. Most potted plants come from the subtropics or the Mediterranean and give a balcony an exotic or Mediterranean flair. For example, fuchsias (fuchsia) are a real perennial favorite among perennial balcony plants. Among the sun-hungry potted plants are mainly Mediterranean woody plants such as oleander (Nerium oleander), citrus plants (citrus species), palm trees or olive trees (Olea europaea). In contrast, exotic species such as angelic trumpets (Datura and Brugmansia species), hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla), camellias (Camellia species and hybrids) or even bananas are quite shady balcony plants.

Hardy balcony plants

If you do not want to carry buckets from the winter quarters and back every year, you can count on hardy balcony plants. Some of these balcony plants, such as the broom heather (Calluna vulgaris) or the snow heath (Erica herbacea) bloom even in winter. But also the Cushionaster (Aster Dumosus hybrids) or the Fetthenne (Sedum spectabile) delight us with their flowers until autumn. Deciduous shrubs such as ornamental cherry (Prunus species), cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa), rhododendron (Rhododendron hybrids), broom (Cytisus species) or roses are also suitable for a permanent location on the balcony. Those who prefer evergreen deciduous shrubs rely on Buchs (Buxus), Skimmie or various dwarf pine trees such as the dwarf pine.

Cultivation and propagation of balcony plants

Usually one gets supplied with preferred plants from the garden trade for the balcony planting in the spring. The young plants, which are usually already in bloom, can be planted directly into the boxes and pots starting in May. If you want to multiply a particular species yourself, you should not remove the flowered flowers in late summer, but leave them on the plant.

Large nasturtium

The large nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) can be easily multiplied by their large seeds

This forms seed pods, which can be collected in the autumn, dried and stored over the winter. From February, the seeds can be sown in seed trays on the windowsill. Note, however, that many breeding forms of balcony plants can not be propagated by sowing sows true - this is only possible by vegetative cuttings. In addition, some balcony plant varieties no longer produce fertile seeds. Especially the classic summer flowers are suitable for sowing - among them there are some that can be cultivated well in planters, for example nasturtiums, zinnias and strawflowers.

Care tips for balcony plants

repotting

When planting balcony plants one should use high-quality potting soil. As the perennial plants consume a great deal of nutrients, they need sufficient food in the form of good soil and fertilizer. In addition, care should be taken to ensure good drainage, so that the plants do not rot from below. When planting balcony boxes, make sure that the drain holes are clear and that excess irrigation water can drain away. A layer of expanded clay on the bottom of the pot protects against waterlogging. Plant balcony plants relatively close to each other, so that a closed plant picture is created - a hand's breadth between the plants is sufficient. Combine standing (for example, tagetes, chrysanthemums, capsules) and hanging plants (for example nasturtium, frankincense, hanging petunia).

Expanded clay ensures good drainage

Expanded clay ensures good drainage in the planter

Water

Balcony plants are often exposed in exposed areas, where they are exposed to strong sunlight and wind. These factors promote the dehydration of the earth and lead to an increased water requirement. The attractive terracotta pots also evaporate a lot of moisture. Therefore, water the balcony plants in the morning and in the evening on hot summer days. Always pour close to the ground and not over the flowers.

Fertilize

Balcony plants regularly need fertilizer. About four to six weeks after planting you can start fertilizing. Add liquid flowering fertilizer to the water every 14 days every week, so that the plants can absorb enough nutrients for their permanent flowering. Be sure not to exceed the recommended dosage on the package. In addition, neither flowers nor leaves should be wetted when spreading the fertilizer.
Depending on which balcony plants you have, you can of course adjust the dosage individually.

Trim balcony plants

Regular cleaning is the nuts and bolts

Cutting and cleaning

Regularly remove blooms to promote the formation of new flower buds. Often, withered flowers can simply be plucked or pinched off - otherwise the secateurs are used. In geraniums, the flower stems are broken at the attachment site. In Rhododendron, however, one must be very careful in removing the withered flowers, since directly below new shoot buds sit. In some balcony plants, such as Lobelia, Duftsteinreich or Eisbegonien, there is a low-flowering phase after the main flower in June / July, in which new flowers are formed. To support the formation of the Nachflors, one reduces the shoots directly after the main flower by about one third.
To prevent disease, you should remove wilted plant parts such as leaves or shoots regularly. Thus, an infestation can often be avoided in advance.

wintering

The wintering of balcony plants is not an easy task and does not always succeed. Although many balcony plants are successfully wintered, they only grow sparsely in the second year or become unsightly. If you want to overwinter your balcony plants, cut back the plants in the fall about two-thirds. Then place the boxes in a cool but bright place. Just water so much that the soil does not dry out and do not give fertilizer. From February, the flower boxes can be warmed up again and from May on out. With some plants, for example with geraniums, it makes sense to remove them from the boxes for the winter. The overwintering as freshly grown cuttings is also a proven method for many balcony plants, because the plants are rejuvenated in this way and remain flowering. This succeeds in most species but only on a not too cool, bright winter location in the heated greenhouse or conservatory.

Zauberglockchen

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Balcony plants: plants

Balcony plants: balcony

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Zinnias (Zinnia elegans) impress with spherical flower heads and a large variety of colors

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cloves

Begonias

Strohblume

fuchsia

pansy

Nemesia

sweet potato

verbena

zinnias

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