Ask a Question forum: Should I put shade or sun plants in my window planter?

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North Carolina
BaileyM
Mar 25, 2018 3:53 PM CST
I live in an apartment with a small balcony, right beside a busy road. I hung a 36" basket on the railing facing inward, so I can enjoy the plants while sitting on the balcony. The balcony is covered and faces west, and we get only afternoon and a little evening sun, and I'm in a zone 7. Because the balcony is covered and the planter is facing inward, I'm leaning toward part-shade plants, but I'm afraid they'll fry in the afternoon sun. But I'm afraid more sun-loving plants might not get enough sun. I would love to have at least some flowering plants and something tallish to block some of the road view. Any advice on what plants would work best in these conditions is greatly appreciated!
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6b)
Enjoying the 4 seasons once again!
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BigBill
Mar 25, 2018 4:32 PM CST
If your balcony is only accessible to you, you could install a wall mounted oscillating fan up under the overhang pointing down towards the window boxes. This could easily drop temperatures 10-15 degrees or more!
An electrician could wire in an all weather outlet for you as well as a timer.
You could have the fan out of the rain and have it come on every day in the warmer weather from say 3-9 pm or whatever hours you would like. I had this very system in a greenhouse before and it worked very well. Fans are relatively cheap to run and you might get more use out of the balcony yourself!
In fact is there an outlet out there already. The fan and its cooling effect could be wonderful. They may dry out a bit faster with the breeze but more water is cheaper then buying new plants.
Look into hanging ivy within the window box to help conceal you while on the balcony. Impatiens, begonias, Pentas, and petunias would be quite colorful.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Mar 26, 2018 2:04 AM CST
BaileyM said:I live in an apartment with a small balcony, right beside a busy road. I hung a 36" basket on the railing facing inward, so I can enjoy the plants while sitting on the balcony. The balcony is covered and faces west, and we get only afternoon and a little evening sun, and I'm in a zone 7. Because the balcony is covered and the planter is facing inward, I'm leaning toward part-shade plants, but I'm afraid they'll fry in the afternoon sun. But I'm afraid more sun-loving plants might not get enough sun. I would love to have at least some flowering plants and something tallish to block some of the road view. Any advice on what plants would work best in these conditions is greatly appreciated!


I would suggest annuals like zinnias and salvias. They can stand some strong afternoon sunlight, but semi-shaded conditions other wise, They do well on my deck with those sunlights like that. You might try some marigolds too.

Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
Container Gardener Canning and food preservation Dog Lover
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Zuni
Mar 28, 2018 1:35 AM CST
Some tall nasturtiums would be pretty. They're easy and handle being neglected and you can even eat the flowers. They taste peppery. I have some seeds sprouting indoors right now. They're really easy to grow from seed. They don't like to have their roots disturbed, so I am starting mine in peat pellet pots, so I can just transplant the whole peat pot into a bigger pot outside later, without disturbing the roots.

For privacy, I'd get the tall variety like these (which is the type I got because I want it to grow up a fence:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004NFE9FA/

They will grow tall and spill down from your basket. They'll bloom better in the sun, but can handle shade, too, and even the foliage is pretty, I think. No thorns, so they're easy to manage if you need to cut it back, and not toxic to animals, so if you have a dog like mine who will chew on anything, it won't hurt them.

Hummingbirds and butterflies like them, too.
[Last edited by Zuni - Mar 28, 2018 1:43 AM (+)]
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