In order to choose the best balcony plants, you need to consider the climate in your area and the conditions on your particular balcony or porch.
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Selecting balcony plants that are well suited to your climate will provide you with the best results, but you also need to determine whether your balcony is sunny all day, shaded, or somewhere in between. A hot climate with a balcony that is in full sun calls for plants such as bougainvilleas, cacti, and ornamental grasses. You may also be able to raise zucchini, tomatoes, and other vegetables depending on how much space you have.
When setting up balcony plants, the first factor to consider is your local climate.
If your local climate is hot, then you will typically need to choose balcony plants that are well suited to high temperatures. The same is true for colder climates, though you may want to consider the fact that certain plants may do quite well on your balcony during the spring and summer if you bring them inside during the cooler months of the year.
The other factor to keep in mind when looking for balcony plants are the unique microclimate present on your balcony or porch. Some balconies are shaded out during the entire day, so they remain cool even though the local temperatures are very hot and dry. Other balconies receive full sun all day long, in which case they can be useful for growing vegetables even in cooler climates.
If your plants will be purely ornamental, then you can make your decisions based on aesthetics and suitability to your climate. These types of balcony plants can be even more particular about factors such as sun and shade, so make sure that you place your tomatoes somewhere that receives full sun, while carrots and root vegetables can typically withstand cooler, more shaded areas.