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The Best Plants for Your Patio or Balcony

You don’t have to be a master gardener to create a lush retreat on your patio or balcony this year. All it takes is a few classic containers filled with plants that meet specific sun, water and height requirements. Use this list for inspiration, but be sure to check the wind tolerance and hardiness ratings in your area before making any purchases.

Vibrant Color

Marigolds are one of the best annual flowers for balcony gardens, especially in warmer climates. Plant this low maintenance flower in the spring and enjoy the bright yellow and orange blooms—which also repel pests—well into fall.

Fuchsias are another container gardening fave. This shade-loving perennial flower can be planted in a pot, but the blossoms look best when used in a hanging basket.

Enchanting Scents

Lilies add a serene smell to your outdoor retreat. They thrive in shady corners, however, so they aren’t the best choice for south- or west-facing balconies or patios.

Lavender, on the other hand, flourishes with full-sun exposure. A member of the mint family, lavender offers a physically and emotionally healing scent.


Even if you don’t live in one of our luxury UDR apartments in Beantown, Boston ferns are ideal for container gardens. Ferns grow like shrubs and create a lush, green backdrop for small, colorful flowers.

Boxwoods offer rich, year-round color to your patio or balcony. These handsome shrubs can be kept in a traditional rounded-mound, or sculpted as you see fit.

Privacy Please

Plant a trio of emerald green arborvitaes in a trough-like container and, voila! You’ve got yourself a privacy screen that blocks sight and sound. And the best part is they don’t turn brown and drop needles the way other conifers tend to.

Fargesia bamboo is another popular plant to create privacy on a balcony. It’s non-invasive and hardy—even in cold climates.

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