My garden, my pride!

10 Secrets Of A Lushly Blooming Balcony

, Admin

Today our balconies and loggias are increasingly turning from warehouses of used things and premises for drying laundry into cozy nooks, where real small gardens are verdant. Get in touch with nature without leaving the house, inhale the delicate floral fragrance, admire the neighbors and passers-by with luxurious hanging flower gardens - it's certainly beautiful! But how many enthusiastic florists are regularly faced with the fact that the bright fragrant balcony by mid-summer looks tired and dull. It would seem, and the flowers selected unpretentious, and grew them with love ... So what went wrong? If you are familiar with such problems or if you only plan to decorate your balcony with summer flowers, our advices can be very useful to you.

10 secrets of a lushly blooming balcony
10 secrets of a lushly blooming balcony

1. Feed, feed and feed!

The plants in containers are in limited conditions, and their roots have no opportunity to seek sustenance outside the pot. Therefore, while still preparing the soil, take care of a complete diet by adding long-lasting fertilizers in the form of sticks or pellets to the soil. But even if you lay a good nutrient foundation, unfortunately, you can hardly forget about fertilizing for the whole season.

With each watering through drainage holes the soil loses nutrients and they must be replenished regularly. To see your plants healthy and blooming continuously, feed them with a compound fertilizer once every two weeks for the first month after planting. From midsummer onwards, you can start to fertilise even more frequently using half the dosage given in the instructions.

And if your balcony is home to hangers with food-loving plants such as petunias and calabrachoa, you can feed them with every watering. There are usually specialized fertilizers in liquid form for these bright beauties. If your plants have shallow leaves and flowers, yellowing leaves, and flowering gradually stops, then most likely - the problem is a lack of nutrition.

2. Don't be afraid of scissors

Many annuals respond well to stimulating pruning, which should be done in mid-summer. First of all, shortening the stems is shown to such popular balcony plants as petunias and lion's nightshade. When you notice that the bushes stretched out and started to bloom worse, wasting energy on setting seeds, it is time to take up the scissors.

While for most beautiful flowering plants regular removal of the inflorescences to keep them in shape is sufficient, to the lion's grass, petunia, alissum, verbena and some others apply a more radical rejuvenating pruning. To do this, their stems are shortened by half, followed by obligatory fertilization with a full dose of phosphorus-potassium fertilizer. As a rule, after such measures, in 2 weeks your pets give the same abundant flowering as at the beginning of summer.

And while plants will recover from pruning, the beauty on the balcony will maintain the continuous flowering of summer: Velvet, ever-flowering begonia, balsam, nemesis, diascia and others.

3. Remember that not only flowers are beautiful

Very often by the word "flowers" we mean beautifully flowering plants, forgetting that decorative plants with colorful leaves can also add color to a terrace or balcony. Annuals with distinctive flowers can temporarily lose their attractiveness under the influence of bad weather, but deciduous plants are stable spots of color that stand guard over the beauty of the flower bed all season. The variety of colors of these plants strikes the imagination. You will also find everything from ampelous to upright, dwarf to tall, small to large leaves. Other foliage ornamental plants worthy of a home on the balcony are: Ypomeea batata, Plectranthus, Yresina, Geum, Ever-flowering Begonias (the purple-leaved varieties) and some grasses such as Empress Red Baron or Morrowa Variegata.

10 secrets of a lushly blooming balcony
The famous Coelius ("speckle") in particular has a great range of foliage. © Ludmila Svetlitskaya

4. Add seasonal accents

In most cases the choice of flowers for balcony greenery falls on summer flowering plants, but the magnificent flowering of such plants usually begins only in mid-June, and we want to see a beautiful balcony as early as possible. In this case, while the planted seedlings of annuals are gaining strength, you can plant violets, daisies, forget-me-nots, heiranthus and other bright biennials, which are especially beautiful in spring, in the spaces between the clumps. With the onset of hot days their blooming comes to naught, and the baton will pass to annual soloists, then the faded bushes can be carefully removed.

And in late autumn to extend the attractiveness of balcony flower bed will help to add to planting delicate heather. From September it can be easy to find in flower stores. Remove individual plants which have completely lost their appearance from their containers, and in their place carefully bury heather bushes without removing them from their pots. To give the balcony composition a special expressiveness, you can also place small decorative pumpkins among the flowers.

5. Study plant preferences

Depending on their origin and natural habitat, each plant has specific requirements to the conditions in which it is kept. One should not neglect these preferences, because it is very difficult to achieve, for example, from a shady balsam flowering in the sun, where it will not even open the burnt buds. But the lion's teal in the lack of sun may simply not bloom.

For sure, few balconies have a strict orientation to the south or north, usually the direction is mixed. Here too you have to take an individual approach, analyzing how much light reaches your balcony. Practice shows that east and west orientation is best for light loving plants at the edge but it is better to put shade tolerant plants in the back of the balcony.

Similar principles apply to the humidity. If the box with flowers will be in the sun for a long time, even with daily watering the moisture-loving plants planted in it will not unleash their full potential. Also the "appetite" of plants should be taken into account, since some species of decorative annuals with a lack of nutrition begin to bloom sparingly, while others with overfeeding will not lay buds, gaining only green mass.

Features of each plant can usually be obtained from the seller of planting material. A lot of information can be found on the pages of Internet sites, including "Botanichka". It is better to learn the basic requirements of specific plants before you think about flower arrangements.

6. Keep watering under control

Unfortunately, the principle "plant and forget" is not suitable for flowering balconies as the owners of flower beds have to remember about watering constantly. Partly to facilitate this task will help system of automatic watering, but then you will inevitably have to sacrifice the area of your balcony to place a bulky vessel with water. But in most cases, container plants are watered by hand and the hotter the weather and the smaller the container volume. Sometimes you have to do it daily.

To quench the thirst of plants should be very strict, because even once dried flower bed at once strongly loses its attractiveness. Some of the leaves shrivel up, the flowers fall off, and the plants become more susceptible to pests and diseases. Mulching the plantings with small chips or bark as well as adding hydrogel granules into the soil can help to decrease the water consumption a little. © Ludmila Svetlitskaya

Please also read this. Modern Gooseberry varieties

7. Take care of the flowers from the heat!

Intense light often causes light or brown marks on the leaves, the leaf plates curl and the buds may fall off. During the hottest months the scorching sun can turn even the most glorious balcony garden into a desert in a matter of days. To prevent this from happening, you not only need to keep a close eye on watering, but you have to be particularly careful when choosing plants for south balconies.

If your balcony is oriented to the south or southwest, then we advise to pay attention to portulac, mesembranthemum, zinnia, gatzania, escholtia, alissum, hypsophila and dimorphotheca. Of course, you can hardly shade plants on an open balcony from the midday heat. Owners of glazed loggias can take care of curtains or blinds to prevent excessive intake of UV light from being destructive. Then the flowers will retain a fresh and attractive appearance longer.

8. Don't miss the appearance of pests

If you are not the first year to decorate your balcony with summer plants, you probably already know that the number one enemy for container plants is the voracious spider mite. And here the main thing is not to miss the moment when the damage is barely noticeable. If you saw small light punctures on the leaves and found on the back of the leaf "spiders", immediately begin treatment, which must necessarily be double, so as not to give the pest any chance.

The spider mite is very insidious, and if you leave green pets without attention, the mite in a few weeks will turn your flower bed into skeletons, covered with spider web.

9 Shorten the distance

As a rule of thumb, on each seed packet the manufacturer indicates the distance to consider when placing a plant in your flower bed. But if you are planting plants in a container, you can safely divide these numbers in half. For example, if petunias in the ground usually have 30 centimeters, you can safely put them in a cache 10-15 centimeters apart, so that the planting immediately looked lush and elegant and did not have ugly gaps. With a nutritious substrate and regular fertilization, crowding will not prevent them from full growth and flowering. The only thing you should pay attention to is the proportionality of flowering neighbors, so that later large plants do not close from the sun the little ones.

10 secrets of a lushly blooming balcony
If you plant plants in a container, you can safely reduce the distance between them to half, and even three times the distance recommended by the manufacturer. © Main Street Wilmington

If you are growing seedlings to decorate the balcony yourself, you should have no trouble implementing another little trick. Obviously, like any living organism, every plant has a period of its bloom and decline. And if you will sow flower seedlings in several terms, when some copies of your mini-flowering will be a little tired, others will already enter their full power, and others will barely gain buds.

Place different-aged specimens in one container, you get plantings that will always look fresh and full of energy.