Pros and Cons of Grow Bags for Balcony Gardening

by balconyboss
Published: Updated:
grow bags on a balcony
Balcony Boss is reader-supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you. For additional information, please view our policies.


Grow bags are a convenient option for balcony gardening for plenty of reasons. However, they do present some drawbacks that might not make them suitable for everyone.

Below, we’ll look at the pros and cons of grow bags for balcony gardening.

What is a Grow Bag?

Although grow bags come in plenty of forms, in this article, we’re discussing fabric grow pots (such as these). They typically come in 5- and 10-gallon varieties. Grow bags are fine for pretty much all plants, but they’re particularly useful for:

Pros of Grow Bags

1. Ease of use

The main benefit of grow bags – especially for balcony gardening – is their ease of use. You buy some bags, fill them with compost, and add some plants. That’s all there is to it. Of course, this is true for all container planting, but grow bags are fabric, so they’re much easier to store when not in use.

2. Flexibility

You can move grow bags around your balcony as needed. Again, this is true of all containers, but grow bags are much lighter than solid pots, making them easier to move around.

3. Breathable

Fabric grow bags are breathable, meaning your plants’ roots get plenty of air. This is important for healthy growth and also means you don’t have to worry about drainage. So, you won’t end up overwatering your plants or have to worry about rain!

4. Cost

Grow bags are an inexpensive option compared to other containers. They usually come in packs of 5-10 for the same price as a single 10-gallon pot.

Cons of Grow Bags

1. Durability

Unsurprisingly, fabric isn’t as durable as plastic or terracotta. They should last 2 or 3 growing seasons, provided they’re not damaged somehow. On the other hand, a plastic pot can last for decades if it isn’t damaged.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Despite grow bags being fairly cheap, they’re not always as cost-effective as other options. If you need to replace the bags every few years, you won’t necessarily save money compared to buying plastic or stone containers.

3. Looks

Granted, this is fairly low down on the list, but grow bags don’t look very nice. If the appearance of your balcony garden is a concern, they won’t be the best option. Terracotta or stone pots look much nicer and come in a wider range of colors.

4. More Watering Needed

The breathability of grow bags is both a pro and a con. It means plant roots will be healthier but also that the soil will dry out quicker. As such, you’ll need to water more often, which can add another expense if you don’t have a rain catcher.

Are Grow Bags Right for Me?

Grow bags arguably make more sense for balcony gardening than any other situation. This is because they’re easy to use and store, which is ideal if you’re short on space. Also, if you’re only growing a few crops, the cost-effectiveness is less noticeable. So, next time you want to set up a balcony garden, why not give grow bags a try?