What to Plant on a Balcony in Fall? Here Are Some Ideas

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Getting your balcony ready for fall can often involve changing out summer plants for ones more resistant to colder weather. As we move into cooler months, most annuals will begin dying, so it helps to be one step ahead and have your fall plants ready.

So, here are some ideas for what to plant on your balcony this fall.

USDA Zones 6 and Below Ideas

We’ll use the USDA Hardiness Zone map to suggest fall plants here. Northern USA and Canada are typically Zones 6 and below, meaning they’ll get snow in the winter. Some plants below will work in these climates in fall, but it might be worth going straight for winter plants. We have a full article on suitable winter plants for these zones.

Zone 7 Fall Plant Ideas

marigolds on a balcony

Zone 7 generally stays frost-free until late October or later, so you can get away with slightly more delicate plants. Plenty of summer annuals can be replanted in late summer or early fall, including:

For these, you’ll want to buy plant plugs, as they won’t reach full maturity if you plant them any later than August.

Also, you can get away with planting some fall crops in late July or early August and still get a crop in late fall. Beets, cabbage and broccoli can all be harvested before the first frost hits. Providing you have a sheltered balcony, you can continue growing lettuce and spinach until early winter.

Zone 8 Fall Plant Ideas

Chrysanthemums in railing planters

Zone 8 has much milder falls, with the first frost maybe hitting in late October. Depending on weather conditions, the UK can sit anywhere between USDA Zone 8 and 10, so any of the following plants will work there.

Now is a good time to plant your spring bulbs if you want them. Of course, this will mean losing valuable pot space, but it’s worth it for a vibrant spring garden. Some of the best include:

  • Daffodils
  • Dahlia
  • Tulips
  • Crocus
  • Iris
  • Hyacinth

You can also use any of the plants mentioned above for Zone 7, and herbs are usually fine to be planted in fall too. If you fancy setting up fall hanging baskets or railing planters, some great options include:

  • Ornamental sedge
  • Heather
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Pansies
  • Ivy

Zones 9-11 Fall Plant Ideas

verbena in pots on a balcony

While there’s a reasonable amount of temperature variation between Zones 9 and 11, the mildness of their fall season means we can group them together here. You can grow pretty much anything mentioned so far.

Some options for pretty potted flowers include:

  • Snapdragon
  • Verbena
  • Coral bells
  • Alliums

You can also get away with more relaxed fall vegetable planting because most root veg will be fine outside well into winter. Carrots and potatoes won’t have any problems, and you could also plant brassicas and alliums without having to worry about frost protection.

The bottom line is that there are very few restrictions on what you can plant in warmer zones in fall. Most fall vegetables and summer flowers will be fine.

However, your restrictions go the opposite way for later plants. Due to the mild winter, you won’t have much luck with bulbs like daffodils and tulips. Instead, try hyacinth, crocus, muscari and colchicums, as they can handle warmer temperatures.

Final Thoughts on Fall Plants

You’ll have plenty of options for fall plants regardless of your USDA Zone. In colder areas, it’s worth focusing on starting off your spring plants rather than investing in vegetables. That said, you can get a few months of flowers from some hardier annuals.

On the other hand, warmer climates should treat most of fall like an extension of summer, meaning there’s much greater flexibility with what you can plant.