The 17 Best Plants for Balcony Railings

by balconyboss
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Plants are perfect for decorating a boring balcony railing, especially if you can’t paint them or make any structural changes. Of course, choosing the right plants based on your space, conditions and interest in maintenance can be a bit more challenging.

Luckily, we’re here with a list of the best plants for balcony railings. We’ve picked these based on things that grow well in containers and small spaces, making them ideal for balconies.

Best Balcony Railing Plants

Another important point is that this list includes plants that can grow in railing planters (and trail down, for example) and ones you can put in ground planters (that can climb up). This should give you plenty of options for how to decorate your railing.

1. Nasturtium

Nasturtium is a favorite for railing planters because it trails beautifully from the pot. Better yet, both the flowers and leaves are edible. It’ll do well in pretty much any conditions and should be planted in early spring as it’s an annual.

2. Jasmine

While jasmine can grow very large, it can be contained in a planter if necessary. It’ll produce loads of vines, giving you decent privacy once it’s matured. You can plant it between early summer and late fall, and it appreciates a fairly sheltered spot in the sun.

3. Ivy

Ivy is a fairly unobtrusive plant that works well in railing planters. While it doesn’t flower, its evergreen foliage provides a nice bit of color, even in the winter. Ivy is pretty hardy and can survive in almost any condition.

4. Clematis

Like jasmine, clematis can be grown in a container and still produce decent foliage. It’s ideal for newbies or anyone who doesn’t want to spend much time maintaining a plant because it’s pretty hardy. Plant it in late spring in a sheltered but sunny spot.

5. Tomatoes

Tomatoes might not be your first thought for a railing plant, but the railings will make perfect supports. Plant them in late spring and train the vining stems up your railing to receive more tomatoes than you could ever need throughout the summer!

6. Petunias

Petunias are another railing planter favorite because of their abundant flowers and trailing stems. Although you won’t get as much coverage as some larger plants, they can grow pretty vigorously if given the right conditions. Plant in late spring in a sunny spot that gets a bit of shade.

7. Sweet Pea

Another great annual for railings are sweet peas. You could plant them in a ground planter and train them up or put them in a railing planter and let them trail down. Either way, plant them in late spring and within a few weeks you’ll have masses of sweet-smelling flowers.

8. Lobelia

Lobelia is a delicate looking trailing flower that looks great when allowed to spill over the edge of its planting area. This is why it’s so popular in hanging baskets, but it works just as well in railing planters. It can survive in pretty much any condition, as there are more than 400 different species!

9. Strawberries

strawberries growing on a balcony railing

Much like tomatoes, strawberries might seem like an unconventional pick for railing plants. But they can look great in a railing planter, as their flowers and fruits hang gracefully over the edge. Plant them in spring, harvest in summer, and catch the runners in late summer for even more plants next year.

10. Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is another climbing plant that’s suitable for ground planters. It produces sweet-smelling flowers throughout the summer (or winter, depending on the variety) and is super easy to maintain. Planting time depends on the variety, but they all appreciate partial sun.

11. Fuchsia

Fuchsia is a versatile balcony plant. You can get varieties suitable for ground and railing planters, and many are compact enough that they don’t need loads of pot space. It should be easy to find ones ideal for balconies – look for varieties bred for hanging baskets.

12. Geraniums

Another planter favorite are geraniums. Again, there are loads of varieties, but you’ll want to look for a trailing kind, as they’ll produce cascading vines that’ll decorate your balcony railing. Geraniums like sunny spots and should be planted in late spring.

13. Spider Plant

If you live somewhere warm (USDA Zones 9-11), you can grow spider plants outdoors in the summer. Once they start producing pups, they’ll look great in a railing planter. Bear in mind, though, you’ll need to bring them indoors in the colder months, so might not be massively practical.

14. Blackberries or Raspberries

We’ve combined these plants because they like the same growing conditions. Both can be grown up railing planters, although raspberries need less support than blackberries. Either way, they can be planter-based and brought back each year for continuous fruiting.

15. Creeping Jenny

Creeping Jenny produces lime green leaves and yellow flowers, making it a nice addition to a railing planter. Better yet, it’s evergreen, so it’ll give you bright foliage even in the bleaker months when most other plants die off. Creeping Jenny loves full sun and partial shade, making it suitable for pretty much any balcony.

16. Wandering Dude

Known by a few names, Tradescantia Zebrina is typically grown as a houseplant. However, it’ll thrive outdoors in warmer areas (Zones 9-11). Zebrina is evergreen and can flower any time of year. It likes sheltered, fairly shady spots, making it suitable for north-facing balcony railings.

17. Passionflower

Passionflower is a popular climbing plant that can be contained well in a ground planter. It’ll produce loads of bright flowers throughout the summer and needs very little maintenance. Plant it in late fall and it should start growing in the following spring.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this list has given you plenty of options for your balcony railings. As you can see, there are loads of trailing and climbing plants that can provide privacy, scented flowers, and even fruit.

Spend some time considering your balcony’s sunlight levels before deciding what to plant, as some options will be more suitable than others. Whatever you choose, enjoy covering your balcony railing.