Containers forum: Apartment/Small space planting

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Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
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Zorki
Feb 20, 2014 10:21 AM CST
I'm trying hard to find information on planting in an apartment with a balcony. Nowhere to really plant in the ground. It seems that planting in an apartment isn't much of a subject (Other than, here is a very bright window for me to put all these plants that won't do well in a south facing window)

Most apartments I have been in have the same situation as mine, small, not well lit, and windows facing only one direction, often blocked by other buildings or trees.

I'm looking for ideas on what I can do to keep plants going in such a small space. I just need to bring some life to my apartment!
Name: Julie
La Crescenta, CA (Zone 10a)
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JulieB
Feb 20, 2014 12:01 PM CST
I'm enjoying a lovely little garden on my patio & encourage you to find a way to get your hands dirty! Start small!

For me, nothing grows inside. But here on the patio...

Thumb of 2014-02-20/JulieB/c03289

Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?
~Betsy Caรฑas Garmon
[url=www.ButcherShop-NoBonesAboutIt.com]www.ButcherShop-NoBonesAboutIt.com[/url]
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
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Zorki
Feb 20, 2014 12:04 PM CST
Your patio is bigger than my balcony! It's only 6' x 3'.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 20, 2014 12:15 PM CST
Joe, a lot depends on available light, so we all would need to know what direction your windows (patio door?) face. Then it is only a matter of choosing plants that would grow well in that available light and of course, be the size that is manageable in your space. Of course, you can always purchase/build a "light-stand" to supplement your plants with more light. Lots of people grow orchids under various types of Gro-lights, with little natural light available. Your imagination is the only limit to what you can grow. Thumbs up

Give us the best estimate of your growing conditions and we'll go from there.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Feb 20, 2014 12:51 PM CST
@Zorki, I followed you over here. I understand that in your apartment you also have concerns about potential water damage which would not make the landlord happy, no nails/hooks in walls, nothing suspended from the ceiling.

Have you considered a large/tall aquarium with a hood light? Plant it as a terrarium; totally self-contained and if it's on a wheeled stand it can be moved around.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
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Zorki
Feb 20, 2014 8:15 PM CST
Ken, my windows and balcony doors face northeast-ish, facing right into the treelike of the property. The balcony itself is recessed a bit with walls on each side. If I put a planter on the railing, it would get plenty of sun (8+ hours). On the left side of the balcony about 6 hours, the right side, maybe 3 or 4 hours if that. The bedroom window does get a lot of light, about the same as the balcony.

I am trying to avoid using artificial lights, I like keeping my electric bill low :)

Greene, I thought about doing a terrarium until I saw how mud energy the lights use! Anywhere I put it, it would be in very low light. Water damage isn't much of an issue in our current apartment, but hanging is a no-no.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 20, 2014 8:20 PM CST
Any north facing window/patio/glass doors is the worst you can have. How about looking at LED Gro-lights. Extremely low energy usage, way less than 50% of what other Gro-lights would use. Plants, at least houseplants don't need direct sunlight (though a few early morning and/or late afternoon sun is great), but most do need good, indirect sunlight.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Feb 20, 2014 9:24 PM CST
Shade plants and/or semi shade plants not a consideration?
Any weight restriction on the balcony?
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 20, 2014 9:27 PM CST
Even shade or semi-shade plants are called that because they are outside, not inside. North-facing light (inside) is just so hard to grow plants successfully.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Feb 20, 2014 9:42 PM CST
Oops, I must have misunderstood. I thought Joe wanted to raise plants on the balcony? which is outside? Sorry!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 21, 2014 7:05 AM CST
Not real sure, Bev. He may be able to figure out a way to use that tiny balcony but I think he is tending towards inside plants rather than outside ones. Supplemental light may be the answer to his problem, or move to an apartment with better light. LOL Sticking tongue out
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Feb 21, 2014 10:28 AM CST
If the railing is the open kind, you may be able to hang pots from that, the sunniest spot you have. I can't tell if you were aiming for ornamental house plants, flowering annuals, or more in the veggie/herb realm?

Julie's pic looks like all that is going on in only a few sq ft of space.

It might seem counter-intuitive, but I've learned from my covered porch that lower = more light. Plants on a stand or tablewill be in the shade much more of the time. If there's a sliding glass door, and you won't go out there when it's cold out, sitting just inside the glass should be a good spot for winter for plants that were just on the other side for summer.

๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
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jvdubb
Feb 21, 2014 10:38 AM CST
Yes, I'm confused as to whether the question is for outside plants on the balcony or for inside plants.
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
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Zorki
Feb 21, 2014 2:58 PM CST
I am wanting a little of both inside and outside Smiling Need to avoid flowers though, really bad allergies :(

Though I did have an idea on how I can create a small greenhouse to get some plants started, got a new comforter recently, and the bag is came in is stiff and pretty much the prefect size for a few plants. The best part is, I can fold it away when not in use!

As for veggies/herbs, I know basil dislikes the balcony. I tried a few last year, and they did great for July, then when August got here, they shriveled up like they were dry, even though I made sure to water them.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 21, 2014 4:05 PM CST
Your basil problems were probably related to two factors, heat and being root-bound. Basil grows its root system very fast in the spring/early summer, so if it is in a small pot, it becomes root bound. The water literally flows through what soil there is so fast that the roots never have time to absorb the water. You could water it every day and ultimately - well you know what happens. Basil will take lots of heat but not when their roots can't take in water/nutrients.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
Image
Zorki
Feb 21, 2014 4:48 PM CST
I had 4 or 5 of them in a box planter. I think the 95ยบ+ days are what it didn't like. In August, there was more sun out there too.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Feb 22, 2014 9:15 AM CST
I have the same trouble with pots in the sun. Every day is 95 here (or more,) and though the foliage will be really diggin' the sunshine, the roots can get way too hot. There can also be faux wilt in the heat of the afternoon, when plants wilt but the roots still have plenty of moisture. This can happen to potted plants much more easily than those in the ground. If your schedule will permit, check for thirst in the morning, for any plant during the heat of summer, try not to water when plant is overheated.

Using white pots can help, and/or finagling some shade for the pot but not the foliage. Basil is such an enjoyable plant, to grow and, of course, to eat. I would encourage you to try again if still interested.

Before it gets too hot, you could probably grow some lettuce, which likes cooler weather. Most edibles first make a flower, then the veggie, so might exacerbate your allergies, IDK.

For house plants, your options would be huge. If you look at the plants available in stores, you could make a note of what they have and come back here to ask if they should work. Just avoid those that need the most sun, like most cacti/succulents. Tropical, leafy entities from the shady understory of rain forests should love the conditions you have. I tend to fall in love with the pretty leaves on plants like Philodendron, Anthurium, Dieffenbachia, Syngonium, Aglaonema. If little trees are more your thing, there's Dracaenas, Scheffleras, Radermachera (China doll,) various Ficus. Sansevierias should do well too, they'll put up with about any location. Creepers like Tradescantias, Callisia, Gibasis, Ceropegia, various Hoyas should enjoy your balcony.

๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Feb 22, 2014 9:18 AM CST
Thumbs up I agree
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: David Paul
(Zone 9b)
Cat Lover Hibiscus Seed Starter Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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DavidofDeLand
Feb 22, 2014 9:19 AM CST
JulieB said:I'm enjoying a lovely little garden on my patio & encourage you to find a way to get your hands dirty! Start small!

For me, nothing grows inside. But here on the patio...

Thumb of 2014-02-20/JulieB/c03289



Love that picture and the garden art Julie! Thumbs up I tip my hat to you.

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Feb 22, 2014 10:17 AM CST
Don't know if anyone has already mentioned this:

Use bubble wrap - take two pots which will nest inside each other with a layer of bubble wrap between the two. Acts as insulation against temperature extremes between the air/sun and the soil temperature.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

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