Do you have an expansive and airy balcony? Why not transform it into a winter wonderland with outdoor plants that withstand colder temperatures?
These winter balcony plants will not only add color and beauty to your outdoor space but also give you a sense of tranquility and airiness. Let’s dive straight in.
Factors To Look At When Selecting Outdoor Winter Plants For Balconies
You have to consider several factors when selecting winter plants for your balcony. These include:
Maintenance And Care
Not every plant is suited to the cold and harsh environment that an apartment balcony may be susceptible to. You must protect your plants with plastic sheets or bring them indoors in case of a hard freeze.
You don’t want your balcony waterlogged while watering your plants. Ensure there is a way for water to drain properly.
A dark and gloomy balcony with no sunlight might not be of much use during winters when warmth is of the essence for the plants.
Size Of Your Space
For balconies or terraces, it is wise to select smaller plants as there might not be enough room for them to outgrow.
Best Outdoor Winter Plants For Balcony Gardens
The following plants are pretty hardy and should withstand colder temperatures. However, most of them are not likely to survive a frost or a hard freeze.
Pansies are remarkable winter plants for balcony gardens due to their ability to withstand cold temperatures. Plant them in ordinary potting soil and locate them in an area with full sun to partial shade.
Pansies feature colorful flowers that add vibrancy to your balcony. Moreover, they attract pollinators, making them beneficial for the overall health of your garden.
Ensure regular watering and deadhead faded flowers to induce new growth.
2. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal care. Its flowers are more vibrant when the plant is kept under full sunlight.
Plant Witch Hazel during fall in well-drained soil under full to partial shade. Planting in fall ensures the plant develops its roots well before winter sets in.
Besides making your balcony vibrant, witch hazel adds a pleasant scent, filling your environment with a sweet aroma.
Hellebore is one hell of a winter-tolerant plant you want to add to your balcony. It is known for its lovely fragrance and long-lasting flowers.
The flowers have different hues of pink, white, and purple during the winter season— adding a burst of elegance to your balcony garden.
Hellebores thrive in well-drained organic soil under filtered sun or shady locations. The plant requires minimal care and can tolerate various soil conditions.
Boxwood is resilient and thrives year-round through harsh winter. The low-maintenance plant prefers well-drained soil and full to partial sun.
Plant boxwood in a large and tall pot with a big enough drainage hole. The plant has dense foliage that provides year-round greenery and acts as a natural privacy screen.
The plant can take various shapes, adding structure and elegance to any balcony garden.
Another winter flower for your balcony garden is the Cyclamen. It’s a low-maintenance plant that requires moderate watering and well-drained soil.
Given its compact nature, cyclamen looks fabulous in smaller pots. The plant thrives in cool temperatures, preferring full to partial sun.
Cyclamens feature delicate flowers in shades of pink, white, or red, adding color to your balcony garden in winter.
6. English Ivy
English Ivy is a fast-growing woody evergreen typically known for its trailing ground cover. It is a typical vine that can easily cover your balcony railing.
English Ivy loves well-drained soils and can thrive in partial shade. The plant also tolerates a wide range of soils.
Its dark green leaves will surely add elegance to your balcony, providing year-round green cover.
Winterberry is an all-year-round low-maintenance plant that grows best in moist, acidic soil and full sun to partial shade. The plant features vibrant berries that add a pop of color to your balcony garden during winter.
Besides providing visual interest, winterberry attracts birds, making it a delightful addition to any winter garden.
8. Galanthus (Snowdrop)
Galanthus, also known as snowdrop, is a low-maintenance plant for the winter season. It is an early-blooming perennial featuring a sea of pendant milk-white flowers.
Snowdrops love full sun to partial shade, growing in rich, well-drained soil. Their delicate flowers add beauty to your balcony during winter.
Their early bloom time always signals the arrival of spring.
Camellias are easy-to-maintain winter plants that thrive in well-drained soil under a sheltered place. They boast a nice burst of stunning blooms in various colors.
This and their glossy dark green leaves add beauty and charm to any balcony garden. Camellias attract pollinators, making them handy for the overall health of your garden.
10. Lily Of The Valley
If you’re looking for a balcony plant with a sweet aroma, take your chances with the lily of the valley. It’s a low-maintenance plant that prefers organically rich soils.
Plant lily of the valley in partial sun to full shade.
Typically, the plant will survive winter and bloom in early spring. It is also a herbal remedy for various ailments.
Sedum, especially the creeping and medium types, can be an excellent fit for your balcony. The plant is low maintenance, thriving well in most soils and under full or partial sun.
You will love its colorful foliage and short sprays of lovely flowers on your balcony. Sedum is drought tolerant, requires minimal watering, and can withstand cold temperatures.
12. Winter Heather
Winter heather is a dwarf evergreen shrub suitable for your winter balcony garden. Its winter blooms feature hues of white, pink, and purple.
The low-maintenance plant prefers humus-rich, well-drained soil and does well under full sun. Its vibrant blooms and evergreen foliage add color and beauty to your balcony during the dull winter months.
Further enhance the look and appeal of your balcony by using the tips below.
- Add decorations such as fairy lights or winter-themed ornaments.
- Balance plants of different heights and textures to create a visual appeal.
- Utilize vertical spaces through hanging baskets and trellises.
- Group plants based on sunlight and water requirements.
Balcony gardening can have its share of challenges and problems. However, a few improvisations can go a long way in addressing them.
1. Pest And Disease Infestations
Handle pests and diseases on your balcony by performing regular inspections and maintaining proper hygiene. Use organic pesticides in case an infestation occurs.
2. Limited Sunlight
Select plants that thrive in the shade if your balcony is poorly lit or sunlight deficient. Alternatively, you can also use artificial lighting.
3. Frost And Freezing Temperatures
Protect your balcony plants from freezing temperatures using frost blankets, mulching, and other over-wintering techniques.
4. Fast Winds
Use windscreens or other improvised barriers to tackle windy weather or storm-like situations. The plants you choose must also be not delicate enough to be blown away by inclement weather.
Whether you are a novice or an experienced gardener, creating a winter balcony garden is an excellent way to add life and beauty to your outdoor space during the dull, frosty months.
However, be highly selective about the plants you choose. Typically, you will need plants that are pretty hardy and resilient and can withstand lower temperatures and fast winds.
The plants given above are a great fit and should suit most winter balcony gardens.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.