Plants are a perfect way to add more than just greenery to a balcony. With the right styling, you can use them for texture, color and pattern, both in the plants and their pots.
Of course, it’s worth considering standard decorating principles when using plants, even outside. So, here are some useful styling tips for plants on balconies to add the most value to your space.
Principles of Design
There’s no need to go into detail about the main principles of interior design. Briefly, they are:
- Scale and proportion
We can use plants for most of these, but especially details, emphasis and contrast. For example, a bright green plant with interesting leaves would contrast nicely against a darker or neutral colored space.
Balcony Plant Styling Tips
1. Pruning is Vital
Pruning is how we keep plants from getting leggy. But we can also use it to shape plants how we want, which is ideal for adding interest to a space. For example, you could use some small boxwood shrubs and prune them into shapes that are both practical and nice to look at.
2. Address as Many Senses as Possible
Plants can be a multisensory experience, which is perfect when creating a relaxing area on your balcony. Some options for plants that play to different senses include:
- Smell: rosemary, lavender, roses
- Sight: anything with flowers
- Sound: ornamental grasses or anything else that rustles in the wind
- Taste: herbs, fruits, vegetables
- Touch: plants with velvety leaves, such as calathea, alocasia, white velvet, etc.
While it can be tempting to throw in as many sensory plants as possible, you don’t want to overdo it. Planting too many can lead to sensory overload, which would do the opposite of relaxing you.
As such, aim for one dominant smell, and properly curate the flowers so they’re not too much (more on this below).
3. Don’t Forget about Planters
Choosing the right planters is as important as what you put in them. We have a whole article on using planters for decoration, so we won’t go into it in too much detail here.
Pots are a great way to add extra color and interest to an outdoor garden. On a balcony, all your plants will be potted, so you’ll have plenty of chances to bring in different planters.
Make sure you vary the size, color, pattern and proportion, so you don’t have a set of uniform planters. This would be quite boring and would be more obvious than if you used all different pots.
4. Curating Flowering Plants
There are so many different flowering plants that choosing the right ones can be overwhelming. Adding too much variety can make a balcony look busy, and not in a good way. To avoid this, here are some useful tips:
- Have a main color, which you can vary with variegated flowers. For example, it could be pink combined with similar toned colors such as burgundy, red, etc. This helps create unity.
- If you want to introduce more colors, consider using the same flowering plant. Geraniums come in hundreds of different colors, but they’ll look more similar than lots of different flowers.
- Use flowers of different sizes and plants of different heights. This helps create scale and proportion.
5. Don’t Forget Hanging and Climbing Plants
Hanging and climbing plants are ideal for decorating walls and adding details to ceilings. Having all your plants on the floor in planters will make things look a bit bland, so mix it up with some hanging ones.
We’ve got plenty of articles about hanging plants, trailing plants, and climbing plants, so check them out for inspiration.
If your balcony is uncovered, consider using lantern plant stands (such as these). They’re freestanding hooks, which are ideal for small hanging pots.
Alternatively, a plant stand (such as this) can help add height if you don’t have a ceiling and are short on floor space.
Whatever option you choose, hanging and climbing plants can be useful for styling large areas of blank space, especially if you can’t hang decorations on your balcony. There are plenty of ways to hang pots (such as adhesive hooks) that don’t leave marks.
Hopefully, these plant styling tips will give you some inspiration for decorating your balcony. Of course, these aren’t exhaustive, but should be enough to get you started with understanding how plants can add to a space’s decoration. Never underestimate plants as the final piece that brings a design style together!