Drought tolerant plants are ideal for balconies for numerous reasons. First, you might not (or can’t) use a lot of water on your plants. Second, keeping plants in containers usually requires more upkeep. And third, you might not be great at keeping plants alive.
If you fit one or more of these needs, here are 10 drought tolerant plants that’re perfect for balconies.
1. Snake Plants
Snake plants are indoor plants mainly, but you could keep them outdoors in warm areas. They thrive on neglect and only need watering every few months.
Lamb’s ear is suitable for more temperate areas but still doesn’t need a lot of water. Its furry, silvery leaves look great against greener plants, and it’s perfect for filling small gaps in pots.
Cacti hardly need an explanation as drought tolerant plants. Again, they’re better for warmer balconies, but enclosed balconies in colder areas will be fine with cacti. You’re lucky if you need to water them more than 3 times a year.
Ornamental grasses – such as sedge, pampas, and others – need less water than “normal” plants. This makes them ideal drought tolerant plants, and they work well as privacy screens, too.
Compared to other drought tolerant plants, rosemary needs a bit more watering. But at once every 2-4 weeks, it’s still not that labor intensive. Plus, you have the benefit of on-demand herbs for cooking!
Native to Mexico, agave can tolerate full sun, hot temperatures, and minimal watering. It offers plenty of the same benefits as aloe in terms of looks, but won’t go squishy in full sunlight, whereas aloe will.
Asters are a type of daisy, so produce large, pretty flowers. They’re not necessarily drought tolerant plants, but instead benefit from less watering. Asters are prone to something called powdery mildew, which happens when they stay wet. The solution to this? Forget to water them!
Portulaca (or purslane) is a trailing plant with big, bright flowers. They’re happy in full sun and tolerate drought well. If you’re someone who struggles to keep flowering plants alive, these are perfect.
Boxwood is a shrub that makes a good privacy screen or decorative plant. It does well in containers and, once established, happily tolerates a lack of water for a few weeks. Plus, because you’ll need a larger container, the soil’s natural water retention should help you here.
Cistus have small but beautiful flowers that look ideal in hanging baskets and railing planters. They’re extremely drought tolerant plants, meaning you can essentially forget about them once they’re established.
Low water plants work well on balconies and other contained spaces. So whether you don’t have access to water or you’re just forgetful, there are still options for adding greenery to your outdoor space. There should be more than enough choice above, but obviously make sure the plant is suited to your climate and region.