Balcony Greening

Use climbing plants to make a balcony bloom to life! For particularly lush greening (i.e. dense enough to create a privacy screen), it's best to plant directly in the ground when possible (rather than in a pot or container), and then guide the trunk to the balcony with a support. If the roots have enough room to grow, it is even possible to reach several storeys of balconies (several floors) with a single plant. When climbing balcony plants are cultivated in pots (which they often are), they require special attention. One or more stretched steel cables can be the perfect support for helping the plants to climb, as you'll see in the photos here.

E. A. Fischer-Coerlin: "Auf dem Balkon", ca. 1920
E. A. Fischer-Coerlin: "On the balcony," painting from ~ 1920

Earth Planting - for one floor (story)

If you plant in the ground in front of the house/apartment, it will naturally take longer for the plants to climb to balcony level than if you plant them in containers on the balcony itself. But it is truly worth the time and effort, because a plant rooted in the earth (unlimited root growth) will be stronger and more vital than any potted plant, partircularly regarding leaf mass and vigour. Balcony balustrades and railings can become completely greened- thick, lush privacy screen created from nature. Watch as your balcony becomes a green arbour...

Earth Planting -- for several floors

With some particularly hearty and vigorous species, one can even green several balconies (that is, stories) of a building with a single plant! Tenants or owners can then individually prune and shape the green on their respective balcony as they wish. Once established, such greenings are stable for many years, or even decades, and form the desired lush foliage annually. If the soil is rather dry or there is a lack of water for whatever reason, avoid choosing plants that will lignify and no longer develop foliage on the lower part of the trunk over time (like honeysuckle); otherwise, the lower balconies will be quite naked and have little to nothing of the greenery. Within a normal climate, virgorous twiners (like wisteria) may require multiple summer trimmings per season.

Container Planting

Climbing plants on the balcony also grow well in pots. Balcony annuals (continuous bloomers), like the hardy mandevilla, are ideal, because they require small pots and no winter protection. For more detailed information, see potted plants. Classic flower (window) boxes or planters for growing ornamental plants or herbs for the kitchen are also great on the balcony.

Supports for Balcony Greening

Existing railings, columns, and pillars are often themselves already fit to serve as climbing support for plants. Wire ropes can be mounted- vertically or horizontally - as an additional support. Easy and medium FassadenGrün wire rope systems are usually sufficient, and with potted plants, also light kits. Be careful not to drill into galvanised metal when mounting wall anchors. The wire ropes can be attached to balcony uprights/posts with special rubber strip (photo below). Simple bamboo stakes can also be put directly into pots.

Balcony with wisteria
Balcony with wisteria