Most plants described as lovers of shady balconies, tolerate the shade during most of the day. However, they need a certain amount of sunlight each day to thrive. “Partial shade” is defined by gardeners as a location that provides 2 to 4 hours of direct sunlight per day. Plants classified as those for “dense shade” are the only ones that will thrive in a complete lack of sunlight, but they are relatively rare. We devote this article to suitable plants for shady balconies.
Table of Contents
- Plants for shady balcony – which ones are suitable for it?
- Herbs that love the shade balcony
Plants for shady balcony – which ones are suitable for it?
Coleus is one of the most famous balcony flowers
Variegated nettle (Coleus) is one of the most famous shade plants, and for good reason – almost everyone recognizes this plant when they see it. It is grown more for its unique and interesting leaf colors than for its flowers. Coleus is one of the few plants that truly thrives in full shade. If you think coleus is old-fashioned, it’s worth taking another look because new colors and leaf shapes are being developed all the time. Some new varieties now thrive in partial shade and even full sun.
Coleus colors are often so intense that you have to be a little careful when mixing them with other plants. Have fun and try unlikely color combinations – sometimes they work beautifully. Or plant them on your shady balcony as specimen plants.
Fuchsias thrive even in full shade
Fuchsias are easily recognized by their drooping, brightly colored flowers that bloom most of the season. Their drooping habit makes them an excellent flowering plant for hanging baskets. There are about 100 species of the fuchsia genus, all of which produce great blooms even in full shade. The reputation of being very demanding is not really justified, because fuchsias are quite easy to cultivate under the right conditions, although they need a lot of water and fertilizer .
Fuchsias are a classic in hanging baskets, but also look great in mixed containers. They look great in combination with complementary or contrasting colors. Fuchsias will bloom all summer on your shady balcony, and if you live in a cold climate, you can bring them indoors for winter.
Torenia is low-maintenance and heat-tolerant
Torenia is an elegant and vigorous annual for shady balconies that blooms all summer long. It is heat tolerant and very easy to care for. With regular watering and fertilization, this gem will thrive until frost.
The flower is great for combinations, but in the right container it can be beautiful on its own. You can use it in hanging baskets, window boxes or any container with good drainage. It is relatively short, 15 to 45 cm, and hangs over the edge of the container. In warm climates, torenia needs to be protected from heat.
Hardy plants for shady balcony – coral bells.
Coral bells are one of the standard garden perennials, but they also work well in shady containers. Most commercially available varieties are hybrids bred from parent species such as Heuchera americana, H. sanguinea, H. americana, H. micrantha, H. villosa or H. cylindrica. Some popular cultivars include “Dolce Licorice,” “Dolce Key Lime Pie,” and “Dolce Creme Brulee.”
Coral bells are showy and almost indestructible. Although they thrive in shade, most coral bells can tolerate some sun and are quite drought tolerant. The flowers of coral bells tend to be small and often indistinct, but the foliage comes in many unusual colors, from almost blackish-purple to peach to bright lime green. Coral bells attract butterflies, and some of them are hardy to a spectacular minus 30 degrees Celsius and look fantastic until the snow falls. Removing the flower stalks after flowering is not necessary, but it keeps the plant looking good.
Begonias belong to the shade plants
With more than 1800 species in the genus, divided into several large groups, there are literally hundreds of begonias to choose from. For container gardens, the most popular begonias are the tuberous or rhizome begonias with their neon-colored flowers, or the rex begonias, whose leaf colors, shapes and textures can border on psychedelic.
Many newly developed hanging, angel and dragon wing begonias bloom like crazy throughout the summer. Most begonias need good drainage and don’t want to be too wet. Some are comfortable in full shade, while others prefer filtered shade. Almost all flowering begonias need regular and generous fertilizing with dilute fertilizer.
Persian shield lives in partial shade without problems
Persian shield is a magnificent foliage plant – a broad-leaved evergreen perennial, generally used as an annual. With its purple-silver flowers, it is a classic climber in any container, growing up to three or four feet tall. Persian Shield is very easy to grow and adds an exotic touch to your containers, as it is unusual and can be hard to find in garden centers. Buy it early because it often sells out. Persian Shield prefers a little sun, but can be grown in partial shade with no problems. If you cut the stems back a bit, it will stay bushy and full.
Herbs that love the shade balcony.
Most plants, especially herbs and vegetables, need plenty of sun to thrive. Five hours in the sun is considered a minimum for most edible plants. Fortunately, however, there are some herbs that thrive in the shade. Here are a few that are comfortable in partial shade.
Parsley can tolerate almost any conditions
Parsley is a biennial plant that is usually grown as an annual. It is one of those herbs that can tolerate almost any conditions. As with all herbs that spend much of their time in the shade, parsley should be cut back to prevent it from continuing to grow. Plants that grow in shade tend to become unwieldy, and frequent pruning can help you keep the plant compact.
Planting a shady balcony with lemon balm.
Lemon balm is an easy-to-grow perennial that causes few problems. This can thrive in both shade and full sun, but should be pruned to keep it compact. Lemon balm has a long history as an herbal remedy with its mild sedative properties. It can be used in teas and drinks or as an addition to salads and main dishes.
Balcony herbs that need little sun – thyme.
Thyme is a perennial herbaceous plant that comes in many sizes and colors. When planted in the shade, thyme may bloom less, but the heady fragrance and beauty will always remain. Thyme does not like moist locations, but is ideal for dry partial shade. Fresh or dried, thyme is an excellent addition to soups, stews, and fish or meat dishes.
Plants for shady balcony – rosemary.
Rosemary is a perennial and inconspicuous plant. It can grow both in the shade and in full sun. Water it regularly, but do not overwater it.