How to care for your balcony garden

reading time: 5 min, 54 sec

Want to brighten up your balcony? Our guide will tell you how to care for your balcony garden!

You may have recently moved home and inherited a balcony garden and wonder where to start. Or you may already have one and would appreciate some thoughts on making the most of it. Either way, this guide will offer tips on choice of pots, possible layouts and plant care.

Considering your choice of pots

While you might be able to heft heavy-duty pots around a patio, it’s a bit more effort to locate them on a balcony – one or more floors off the ground! It’s also important not to overweight your balcony, which has the potential to cause expensive damage to it. So, lightweight pots and containers are the wisest option. However, having checked that your balcony can bear heavy-duty pots, then these are often preferable in windy locations. Some keys to effective pot selection…

  • Glazed pots are less likely to dry out than terracotta options
  • Consider fewer and larger containers, or a mix of sizes grouped, to provide a better overall impression, compared to dozens of small pots. Remember, these can often topple in the lightest of breezes, damaging your precious plants – and are much more fiddly to water and maintain on a regular basis. Groups, together, help protect each other from the elements

Ensuring effective draining whichever pots you choose

It’s essential that pots feature draining holes as these ensure better-growing conditions. Without them, water can gather, unseen, around the roots, causing damage while the surface dries, encouraging you to add more water. For decorative purposes, you might use an outer pot without holes and a plastic growing pot inside. Make sure there is space for the water to drain and do check and empty on a regular basis. Another option is ‘feet’ or small bricks under the pot – do make sure they offer sturdy support – thus elevating them to help drainage. Avoid placing pots with drainage holes directly on to your balcony’s surface. Water will seep out, can discolour and damage the surface, or make it slippy – not a great idea when you’re operating well above ground level!

Watering to encourage healthy growth

In our Australian climate, with its extremes, sun and heat can be an obvious problem, so watering – and the retention of moisture in the soil – can be difficult. Non-porous pots, glazed and plastic, do help with this. Your choice of growing medium (see below) can also help. Two other helpful tips…

  • Consider self-watering pots for foliage plants and ferns – especially if you are going to be absent, even for short periods of time. Or if, sometimes in your busy life, you might forget to water regularly!
  • Cover the surface of your growing medium with small pebbles, which can also add to the appearance of an organic mulch. Both of these can help slow water evaporation

Choosing an effective growing medium

Selecting a top-quality potting mix is essential for container gardening. Check that any choice meets the Australian Standard, and also that your selection is appropriate for the specific plants themselves. Different conditions are needed when growing vegetables compared to cacti or more specialists plants such as orchids or azaleas. It’s always worth discussing such needs with your local garden centre experts! Other options, especially for long-term rather than simply seasonal and often-changed plants, include a thoroughly aged manure, or compost (usually as a one-tenth or so addition to your chosen potting mix).

Delivering a stunning balcony show

Perhaps not as dramatic a scene as Shakespeare might have created in Romeo and Juliet, but you may want to put on a good show from your balcony. Like an artist, who gains perspective by standing back from their canvas, don’t forget to consider both viewing aspects, from inside your home and also the outside scene neighbours and passers-by can enjoy. Here are some thoughts…

  • Like an artist, consider a colour palette for your planting – either on a permanent or seasonal basis
  • As well as the standing surface, think how you might use the walls and railings to good effect. Secure trellises can add stability and control and manage climber growth
  • Hanging baskets, with trailing plants, planter boxes, or troughs, all safely attached to your balcony railings, can add depth

The last pair of options do mean that extra care might be needed to protect from both wind and soil dry-out; as well as keeping them stable and secure. Remember that people may be passing close-by underneath your balcony, or at lower levels in your building!

To retain a vibrant show, you might also need to dead-head on a regular basis, prune back as necessary, and simply remove those plants that are past their best.

Making use of a professional

Whether you're new to gardening or a seasoned expert, balconies have different requirements than your average garden. It can be useful to get a balcony garden expert to help.

One question we’re often asked

It’s this: ‘How does balcony gardening differ from ground planting?’ Your balcony plants will need more regular attention as they are exposed to hot wind and sun combinations. Two final thoughts: regular watering, and feeding when in active growth, is vital – and remember that pests don’t just operate at ground level!

Enjoy your balcony garden!

most popular article tags

Online Enquiry powered by ServiceM8

0412 697 045



  • Australian Institute of Horticulture
  • Dexus Property Group
  • NSW Strata

Terms & Conditions

Please take the time to read these terms and conditions. By using Our Website and the Services and information offered on Our Website, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

Services means the services we provide.

The Website means our website that you are currently browsing.

We / Us etc means The Garden Men and any subsidiaries, affiliates, employees, officers, agents or assigns.

Accuracy of content
We have taken proper care and precautions to ensure that the information we provide on this Website is accurate. However, we cannot guarantee, nor do we accept any legal liability arising from or connected to, the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of anything contained on this Website or on any linked site.

The information contained on this Website should not take the place of professional advice.

The Website is made available for your use on your acceptance and compliance with these terms and conditions. By using this Website, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions. You agree that you will use this website in accordance with all applicable local, state, national and international laws, rules and regulations. You agree that you will not use, nor will you allow or authorise any third party to use, the Website for any purpose that is unlawful, defamatory, harassing, abusive, fraudulent or obscene way or in any other inappropriate way or in a way which conflicts with the Website or the Services. If you contribute to our forum (if any) or make any public comments on this Website which are, in our opinion, unlawful, defamatory, harassing, abusive, fraudulent or obscene or in any other way inappropriate or which conflict with the Website or the Services offered, then we may at our discretion, refuse to publish such comments and/or remove them from the Website.

We reserve the right to refuse or terminate service to anyone at any time without notice or reason.

Indemnification for loss or damage

You agree to indemnify Us and hold Us harmless from and against any and all liabilities or expenses arising from or in any way related to your use of this Website or the Services or information offered on this Website, including any liability or expense arising from all claims, losses, damages (actual and consequential), suits, judgments, litigation costs and solicitors fees of every kind and nature incurred by you or any third parties through you.

Intellectual property and copyrights
We hold the copyright to the content of this Website, including all uploaded files, layout design, data, graphics, articles, file content, codes, news, tutorials, videos, reviews, forum posts and databases contained on the Website or in connection with the Services. You must not use or replicate our copyright material other than as permitted by law. Specifically, you must not use or replicate our copyright material for commercial purposes unless expressly agreed to by Us, in which case we may require you to sign a Licence Agreement. If you wish to use content, images or other of our intellectual property, you should submit your request to us at the following email address:

The trademarks and logos contained on this Website are trademarks of The Garden Men. Use of these trademarks is strictly prohibited except with Our express, written consent.

Links to external websites
This Website may contain links that direct you outside of this Website. These links are provided for your convenience and are not an express or implied indication that we endorse or approve of the linked Website, it’s contents or any associated website, product or service. We accept no liability for loss or damage arising out of or in connection to your use of these sites.

You may link to our articles or home page. However, you should not provide a link which suggests any association, approval or endorsement on our part in respect to your website, unless we have expressly agreed in writing. We may withdraw our consent to you linking to our site at any time by notice to you.

Limitation of Liability
We take no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the content or statements contained on this Website or in relation to our Services. Statements made are by way of general comment only and you should satisfy yourself as to their accuracy. Further, all of our Services are provided without a warranty with the exception of any warranties provided by law. We are not liable for any damages whatsoever, incurred as a result of or relating to the use of the Website or our Services.

Information Collection
Use of information you have provided us with, or that we have collected and retained relating to your use of the Website and/or our Services, is governed by our Privacy Policy. By using this Website and the Services associated with this Website, you are agreeing to the Privacy Policy.

All personal information you give us will be dealt with in a confidential manner in accordance with our Privacy Policy. However, due to circumstances outside of our control, we cannot guarantee that all aspects of your use of this Website will be confidential due to the potential ability of third parties to intercept and access such information.

Governing Law
These terms and conditions are governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of New South Wales, Australia. Any disputes concerning this website are to be resolved by the courts having jurisdiction in New South Wales.
We retain the right to bring proceedings against you for breach of these Terms and Conditions, in your country of residence or any other appropriate country or jurisdiction.

Privacy Policy

This following document sets forth the Privacy Policy for the The Garden Men website,

The Garden Men is committed to providing you with the best possible customer service experience. The Garden Men is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), which sets out a number of principles concerning the privacy of individuals.

Collection of your personal information
There are many aspects of the site which can be viewed without providing personal information, however, for access to future The Garden Men customer support features you are required to submit personally identifiable information. This may include but not limited to a unique username and password, or provide sensitive information in the recovery of your lost password.

Sharing of your personal information
We may occasionally hire other companies to provide services on our behalf, including but not limited to handling customer support enquiries, processing transactions or customer freight shipping. Those companies will be permitted to obtain only the personal information they need to deliver the service. The Garden Men takes reasonable steps to ensure that these organisations are bound by confidentiality and privacy obligations in relation to the protection of your personal information.

Use of your personal information
For each visitor to reach the site, we expressively collect the following non-personally identifiable information, including but not limited to browser type, version and language, operating system, pages viewed while browsing the Site, page access times and referring website address. This collected information is used solely internally for the purpose of gauging visitor traffic, trends and delivering personalized content to you while you are at this Site.

From time to time, we may use customer information for new, unanticipated uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices change at some time in the future we will use for these new purposes only, data collected from the time of the policy change forward will adhere to our updated practices.

Changes to this Privacy Policy
The Garden Men reserves the right to make amendments to this Privacy Policy at any time. If you have objections to the Privacy Policy, you should not access or use the Site.

Accessing Your Personal Information
You have a right to access your personal information, subject to exceptions allowed by law. If you would like to do so, please let us know. You may be required to put your request in writing for security reasons. The Garden Men reserves the right to charge a fee for searching for, and providing access to, your information on a per request basis.

Contacting us
The Garden Men welcomes your comments regarding this Privacy Policy. If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy and would like further information, please contact us by any of the following means during business hours Monday to Friday.