Introduction to Container Plants
What is still stopping you from turning your balcony or terrace into a ‘green room’? Even the smallest space can be converted into a green oasis where you can find peace and relaxation and give free rein to your passion for gardening. We shall help you achieve this. We shall make suggestions and give you tips on selecting the most beautiful and most suitable plants for balconies and terraces, which you will easily find in any well-stocked nursery or garden centre.
Many popular balcony flowers, container plants and herbs are native to the Mediterranean and the tropics. Without their magnificent array of flowers your balcony or terrace would lose much of its attraction throughout the year. This is true even though many of these plants are not frost-resistant, but there are ways of protecting them in the winter. Recently the range of plants for balconies and terraces has been vastly increased and now includes many hardy ornamental plants andthat until now were only found in gardens. Even fruit and vegetables are no longer restricted to the fruit and vegetable garden.
It is important to discover as much as possible about the plants you will be choosing for your balcony or terrace. You need to know whether the plants require full sun or shade; whether they areor perennials; whether they can remain outdoors for winter or whether they should be protected against frost. How large should the container be and what kind of material should it be made of? What kind of should you use? How often should the plant be watered? Can you propagate it yourself? And particularly important for terraces and balconies above ground level – do the plants tolerate wind and draught? You will find the answer to all these questions and many others on this site.
The English common name is included. If the plant is also known under another name, this is indicated in the text.
Cool greenhouse: light, 5-10° C (41-50° F). Conditions suitable for most container plants, which can also be found in cool conservatories or small greenhouses, unheated stairwells and entrance halls.
Moderate: light, 10-15° C (50-59° F). For sub-tropical plants. These conditions can be found in lightly heated conservatories, greenhouses, stairwells or cool living rooms.
Heated house: light, 15-20° C (59-68° F). Tropical plants need warmth, which can be found in heated conservatories, greenhouses and living rooms.
Poisonous and allergenic plants are indicated by the symbol K. People with young children, who are often attracted by colourful flowers and fruits, should steer clear of such plants. Also heed the warnings about allergenic plants. The choice of plants is so large that it is always possible to find an alternative to your original choice.