8 Best Plants for Small Balconies – Easy to Grow

Living in an apartment in an urban area can limit the gardening space you have available, especially if you have a small balcony. You don’t have to give up on the idea of gardening. Container gardening is a great way to bring some greenery to your small balcony.

The best plants for small balconies will be able to grow in containers and will be able to tolerate the amount of sunlight your balcony receives. Make sure you will be able to provide enough water to your plants. If watering plants on the balcony is difficult, drought-tolerant plants will be best.

Green spaces in urban areas improve mental well-being, according to several studies. Filling your balcony with plants might be able to reduce stress and create a calming environment for you to enjoy. So, let’s take a look at a few of the best plants you can put on your small balcony.

Bell Peppers

Sun requirements: Full sun (6+ hours)

Water requirements: Keep moist

Container requirements: 10-12 in. (25-30 cm.) deep and across

Bell peppers are a staple of a summer garden. They’re typically planted in the ground or in a raised bed, but they can thrive in containers, too. 

Bell peppers will be the healthiest in full sun with plenty of water. The plant will need a minimum of 6 hours of sun. The soil should be kept moist, but don’t let it stay soggy. The plant might eventually need some support to stand up, so you can use a dowel and tie the stem to it to prevent the plant from falling over.


Sun requirements: Partial – full sun

Water requirements: Frequent watering

Container requirements: At least one-third as tall as the plant

Pretty much any herb can be grown in a container. Thyme, lemongrass, dill, basil, and many others you love to use to garnish your food can be grown on your balcony.

Check the growing directions that come with the seeds or seedling you buy to gauge how much sun you need. Some herbs such as mint or parsley can handle growing in partial shade. Many herbs do prefer at least 6 hours of sun.

You need to water herbs frequently. When the top inch of dirt feels dry, it’s time to give the plants a drink. Make sure your containers have drainage holes, so water doesn’t build up and cause root infection. 

The containers also need to be at least one-third as tall as the plant will grow. If an herb grows 12 inches (30cm) tall, the pot should be at the very least 4 inches (10cm) tall—the bigger the container, the better.


Sun requirements: Full sun (6+ hours)

Water requirements: Frequent watering

Container requirements: 1 plant per 6-inch (15cm) pot

Marigolds are a colorful addition to any balcony. Their bold colors attract pollinators, which are necessary for gardens of any kind.

These flowers require full sun to thrive, but they may be able to tolerate partial shade. Water them frequently and provide plenty of airflow. This means that only one plant should be in a 6-inch (15cm) pot. Avoid placing too many close together, or it will inhibit their growth and cause the plants to suffer.


Sun requirements: Avoid late afternoon sun

Water requirements: Frequent watering

Container requirements: 12 in. (30 cm.) or less in diameter

Pansies need partial or full sun, but they shouldn’t be in the late afternoon sun. The heat is too strong for these flowers. If your balcony has morning sun exposure, this is the perfect plant for you.

Pansies should be kept moist in a small, well-draining container. Pansies actually require frequent waterings. If your pansies start to die, try increasing how much water you give them, and they should perk up again. 

Since pansies only need a small container to grow in, they’re perfect for especially small balconies.

Peace Lilies

Sun requirements: Partial shade (tolerant to full shade)

Water requirements: Water when it droops

Container requirements: One-third inch (0.85 cm.) bigger than the root ball

Caution: Poisonous to dogs, cats, and people when consumed

Peace lilies are houseplants that don’t like to be in the direct sun. Exposure to light that is too strong will result in dying leaves. If your balcony is fully covered and receives very little sunlight, a peace lily should work for you. If you do receive partial sunlight, keep the plant in the shadiest area.

This plant practically tells you when it’s thirsty by drooping. You can wait until it droops to water it. The container needs to have a drainage hole, so it doesn’t sit in standing water. Peace lilies prefer to be slightly root bound, so choose a pot that’s about one-third an inch bigger than the root ball. 


Sun requirements: Full sun (6-8 hours)

Water requirements: Water when soil is dry

Container requirements: 12+ in. (30 cm.) for 2-3 plants

Strawberries will sprawl out when planted in the ground, but they actually grow well in containers because a single plant is compact. Strawberries should receive 6-8 hours of sunlight each day. They require regular watering, but you can wait to water them when the soil is dry to the touch.

A 12-inch (30cm) container can fit up to three plants, so you don’t need a lot of space for them. In fact, tower pots are a popular way to grow them, such as the Mr. Stacky 5-Tier Strawberry Planter Pot. If you want a bountiful harvest but don’t have much room, consider using one of these to make the most of your space.


Sun requirements: Full sun (6+ hours)

Water requirements: Frequent watering

Container requirements: At least 18 in. (45 cm.) diameter

Tomatoes are easy to grow in the right conditions. They require quite a bit of space for their roots because they become big plants, so you should use a pot that’s at least 18 inches in diameter. A 5-gallon bucket will also work well. You can prune the plants to help control their size above the ground.

As the plants get bigger, they will require at least 6 hours of sun and a deep watering almost every day. Plenty of water means plenty of fruit, so it will be worth your while.


Sun requirements: Full sun 

Water requirements: Keep moist

Container requirements: At least 6 in. (15 cm.) deep

Verbena will be sure to add a pop of color to your balcony. You can plant them in hanging pots or in containers on the ground. The pot should be at least 6 inches (15cm) deep and have enough room for the plant to spread as it grows.

Don’t let the soil dry out. Verbena prefers to have moist soil at all times. It also prefers full sun, so you may have to water it deeply each day.

Think About Balcony Weight

All of the plants in this article are compact and balcony friendly. However, you should still think about the weight of soil, pots, and plants and how much weight your balcony is allowed to hold. Soil is actually quite heavy once it’s in the pot, especially after it’s been watered.


Whether you like houseplants, herbs, or edible plants, rich compost can help your garden thrive. Utilize the space you have by choosing containers and pots that don’t take up too much space. Try to take advantage of wall space and use vertical gardening by hanging up pots and planters. Hanging planters are also a great way to save space.

LaShawn Toyoda

I love home decor, DIY, and gardening. During my free time I enjoy looking for new ways to improve my home so that it's more organized, comfortable, and relaxing. My apartment in Japan has a small balcony with a great view. I created this site to share and get ideas for how to decorate and better utilize my balcony space.

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