Early morning coffee on your apartment balcony is an excellent way to start your day. The soft glow of the sunrise while looking below at the vast city space could give one a sense of comfort. And what better way to level up these experiences than by adding life and color to your balcony?
Greenery and blooms come in different forms and are the perfect option to make your balcony space more attractive and inviting. A humble plant can bring fresh, positive energy, coziness, and a new sense of responsibility and purpose. It can also bring out the creative side in you.
And because you have limited space and time, low-maintenance plants are the way to go. You need to find plants that can thrive in shade, semi-light, and direct sunlight, require minimal watering, and can grow in pots. Your options range from flowers, vegetables, herbs, shrubs, and even dwarf trees.
If you’re thinking of filling that balcony space, here are some of the best plants widely available in the Philippines to start your plant parent journey.
These thick and fleshy plants got their name because of their ability to retain water in their leaves. They come in different shapes and colors. Succulents are definitely a cute and aesthetic addition to your indoor garden.
If you’re a busy plant mom, this plant is ideal for you because it doesn’t need daily watering and can thrive in direct sunlight like your balcony area. Some great succulents are the famous Burro’s Tail, which can be potted or hung, and the Roseum, which offers more pop of color.
Cactus is another famous succulent that can thrive in harsh sunlight and low water conditions. Aloe Vera is also a great succulent for décor and has medicinal properties that may come in handy.
This plant is famous for its broad, multi-colored leaves in shade combinations of green, white, pink, and red. Some caladiums have heart-shaped leaves, while others have narrower, lance-shaped leaves. Caladium can thrive in hot, humid weather like the Philippines and prefers semi-shade to shade. However, there are newer varieties that are now tolerant to full sun. Check the type of the plant before buying it.
You can place your caladium in the part of the balcony where there’s shade. This plant requires little pampering and only needs enough moist soil and unfiltered sunlight to grow. Look out for the leaves; make sure they’re not turning yellow.
3. Philodendron Birkin
Birkins are evergreen foliage of the new (and trendy) hybrid variety of Philodendron. It has glossy, deep green, rounded leaves which are mildly pointed at the tips. The Birkin’s beauty is in its striking white stripes that complement the deep green of its leaves.
Despite its somewhat boujie name, Philodendron Birkin is a relatively easy-to-grow plant that can add a beautiful contrast to your balcony garden. Birkin also thrives well in humid weather and can do well with once-a-week watering as long as the soil is damp enough. It also prefers indirect sunlight like caladium.
Other than Birkin, there are more varieties of Philodendron you can check out, most of which can grow large, so make sure to have enough indoor space if you plan to grow one.
4. Monstera Deliciosa
Also known as the “split-leaf philodendron,” this climbing evergreen is a famous aesthetic office and house plant because of its large, glossy, heart-shaped leaves split into sections.
A Monstera is more expensive, but if you can afford one, it’s an excellent addition to your plant collection. It needs bright yet indirect sunlight or partial shade and 1-2 weeks of regular watering during the growing season. Just make sure it’s in a pot with good drainage, as the plant only needs good moist soil.
5. Pothos/Devil’s Ivy
If you want some hanging or trailing plants on your balcony, Pothos is a good choice to fit that aesthetic. This trailing vine has green, pointed, heart-shaped leaves. It can also come in white, yellow, and pale green variegated colors. Pothos vines don’t cling to trails but can be “trained” to do so.
This houseplant is a good beginner’s plant as it is easy to grow and take care of. However, make sure to place this plant in the shadier parts of your balcony because this plant only needs bright, indirect light to thrive and maintain its color (if variegated). When watering, ensure that the soil is completely dried out or when the leaves start to droop (an indication that it needs water).
6. Snake Plant
If you’re the type to stay away from home for days and have no one to take care of your plants, a snake plant is your best bet. This plant is one of the most tolerant types of houseplants and can survive both low light and direct light, even drought.
The snake plant is known for its thick, pointed, erect leaves that grow vertically. It has a wide variety you can choose from, depending on the size and color patterns you prefer. Some of the famous types you can choose from are Trifasciata Laurentii or “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” and Cylinder Snake Plant. Smaller options for tables and desks are also available, like the Golden Bird’s Nest and Sansiam Shabiki.
Snake plants grow ideally in bright, indirect sunlight, but they can do with any conditions, as long as you expose them to enough sunlight from time to time. Don’t overwater and place it in a pot with good drainage.
Yes! Herbs, because why not? Herbs are actually one of the most common plants you can find growing on apartment balconies. Many herbs grow in full sun, so you can situate them in the brighter areas of your balcony. Though we must water them regularly to grow, not all herbs are tolerant to temporary water shortages.
Some herbs you can grow on your balcony all year round are basil, dill, cilantro, parsley, and chives. Herbs are incredible decorations and an even better addition to your kitchen needs.
While the plants listed above are arguably more on the low-maintenance side, it’s still important to remember that they need checking up and maintenance. A great-looking balcony will only happen if you’re a responsible plant parent.
Before deciding to buy and decorate, consult with people who know plants better and make a vision of what you want your balcony to look like. Consider the available space and your capacity to commit to the responsibility. Some plants are also toxic to humans and pets, so if you have pets or kids, you might want to look into that. Still, having plants on your apartment balcony is a great way to give your home a cozy feel that distracts you from the busy city life.