The Q&A Archives: Freeway Pollution

Question: I live in an apartment complex beside a freeway, my balcony gets very dirty from the pollution off the freeway, black & sooty looking. I need hardy, but pretty plants - container only. Suggestions on the types of plants and any special care that I can give would be appreciated.

Answer: Atmospheric pollution can stunt plants, so give yours the advantage by providing rich, fertile soil and rinsing the pollutants off the plants every week. Those most tolerant of pollution include Coreopsis, Dianthus and Iberis. Bearded iris and most ferns will tolerate the dirt and grime encountered near roadways, too. If you have room for shrubs, consider Hebe, Euonymus and Philadelphus (mock orange. Hope your balcony garden burst with color this season!

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