According to the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG), UV exposure from the sun’s rays is strongest between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. For this reason, people who are sensitive to light consciously avoid the blazing midday sun. However, there is no way for plants to protect themselves from the lighting conditions – sensitive plants even show the first signs of burns on their leaves after a short time. So if you want to add greenery to a south-facing balcony, you should use plants that can cope with strong sunlight. We will introduce you to five suitable specimens and reveal the most important care tips.

A south-facing balcony is the ideal location for geraniums. The sun-loving plants come in different color variations. They are all extremely robust and yet easy to care for; even long dry periods don’t bother them much. In addition, the plants that come from South Africa produce more flowers the longer they are left in the sun. Provided, of course, that they are watered regularly – and fertilized every now and then. 

A balcony plant that is at least as popular as it is blooming is the petunia. It prefers sunny locations, but also feels comfortable in partially shaded places. When it comes to care, regular watering and fertilization are important (especially in the growth phase) – but waterlogging should be avoided. To extend the flowering period and promote plant growth, it is also recommended to cut off the withered flowers. 

Its small white flowers are a real eye-catcher: The bushy bush marguerite (Argyranthemum frutescens) is a popular terrace and pot plant that blooms between May and October – especially in sunny, hot locations, as it comes from the Canary Islands. Otherwise, the plant is easy to please: all the plant needs (especially to sprout) is the regular removal of withered flowers.

The olive tree is also suitable as a decorative pot plant for a south-facing balcony. This plant, which comes from warmer climes, loves to stand in the sun all day long – but German winters are often too cold for it. Here you should plan to either provide the plant with appropriate protection or to put the evergreen plant in the garage or basement in winter until the temperatures rise again. 

Another classic that shouldn’t go unmentioned is lavender. Its purple flowers are not only beautiful to look at between July and September, but also exude a fragrant summer scent. The sun-loving balcony plant is quite easy to care for; it only requires permeable soil that always remains slightly moist. Aside from that, the hardy perennial is said to help keep insects such as aphids away from roses.

Most plants that prefer a sunny location require little attention. Nevertheless, it may well happen that you have to pick up the watering can on a south-facing balcony more often than planned. Depending on how warm and dry the summer is, it is best to water your plants in the morning and evening. In the hot midday sun, however, watering is taboo as the moisture would evaporate immediately. If you don’t have the time (or desire) for that, you can find out about possible alternatives in our articles about irrigation systems for the balcony or holiday irrigation.

Another care tip revolves around fertilizing, as balcony plants also enjoy a regular supply of nutrients. Granulated slow-release fertilizers for potting soil are best suited for plants that you have just purchased. Potted plants that you have had on the balcony for a long time can be supplied with a liquid long-term fertilizer (via the irrigation water) for two months.

And one last tip: balcony plants that are in black pots are heated properly in summer. To avoid damaging the roots so that they can absorb little or no more liquid, it is recommended to place the dark pots so that they provide each other with shade. 

There are all kinds of pots for balcony plants: whether round or square, rectangular or oval – no matter what size you choose, space is limited in all pots. This makes it all the more important to have high-quality soil that supplies your plants with important nutrients while maintaining its shape. This is because inferior substrates tend to collapse after long periods of rain. This in turn promotes waterlogging and root rot.

Sources: My beautiful garden, Federal Office of Public Health


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