The Q&A Archives: Cascading Balcony Plants

Question: I have a balcony in full sun with planters along the railings. Can you suggest some plants that will cascade down and bloom profusely throughout the summer? I have an image in my mind of cascading balcony plantings of Charleston, SC, but I was wondering what would grow in the northwest. We have planted some clematis and honeysuckle along the fence, but I do not think these would readily grow downward, and might look too spare, not providing the desired cascading curtain effect.

Answer: There are many trailing plants suitable for your balcony planters. Many types of petunias will cascade down from the planters, as will vining nasturtiums, four o'clocks, lantana and Helianthemum (sunrose). In fact, any trailing plant will happily grow over a balcony rail, so you might want to choose a variety of plants, perhaps including some foliage plants for contrast. Remember that planters can dry out quickly in the summer sun so plan on watering thoroughly every few days--and possibly every day during the hottest part of the summer--to keep your plants healthy and happy.

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