The Truth about Caring for Your Balcony Garden – How Hard Is It Really?

Caring for Your Balcony Garden

Starting a balcony garden is to take on a responsibility. Plants are living beings and they cost money. It’s wise that you’re considering how much time you should spend caring for your garden, and how hard it really is.
It’s important to know what you’re signing up for before you go all in or decide to give up your idea.
In the following, I’ll give you an overview and an estimate based on my experience with having a balcony garden.
After you’ve read it, you will be able to make up your mind based on an informed opinion and not just by guessing or going with a gut feeling.

Everybody Needs to Take Care of This

There are things that everybody needs to take care of, whether they live with a balcony that faces south or north, and whether they have lots of wind or no wind at all on their balcony.
Your plants will, naturally, have certain needs.
Those needs are:

  • Water
  • Nutrients
  • Light (sun)

Starting with Water

If you really want to spend as little time as possible caring for your garden, you should install an irrigation system or use self-watering pots.
It’s more expensive than just using a water can, but on the other hand, it may also give your plants a higher chance of survival, which again saves you money.
The truth is that it may be worth it.
If you only have a few plants, then self-watering pots will suffice. You fill them up with water once in a while when the lever shows a low amount and that’s it. The plant will have access to water but without having their roots sunk deep into it, which will cause the plant to “drown.”
If you have a large balcony garden, then an irrigation system would be the best and easiest solution in the long run.
Otherwise, keep your water can close to your garden and filled with water so you can easily give your plants what they need, even if you only have a few minutes.


Your plants will need nutrients. This can come in form of a liquid or tablets you add to the water. Or in form of compost that you either buy or, better, create yourself with waste from your kitchen.
You can also get stickers that you put into the soil and let your plants take what they need.
Keeping your plants healthy with nutrients is neither hard nor time-consuming.


Your plants need light.
This light can come from a natural source, the sun, or, if that’s not possible, from lamps that simulate the sun.
As long as you make sure your plants have the necessary light (and shade for some plants), it doesn’t take much time or effort to take care of this need.

Winter… How Cold Does It Get?

Whether you live in the norther or in the southern hemisphere, sooner or later it gets winter. And with that, your plants may need extra care.
In a real garden out in the open, there are more earth around the plants, and it can find warmth and shelter between other plants or trees. A lot of trees will drop their leaves which will keep the plants warm.
On a balcony garden, they don’t have all those benefits. Therefore, you must take care of providing the right temperature and shelter for your plants.
You do that best by simulating nature and cover the plants with sphagnum or compost or wood shavings. Or you can add blankets or hang up plastic walls to create a greenhouse around your plants.
In some cases, your only choice is to move some of the plants inside your home, if they don’t support the low temperatures outside.

Special Needs

Sometimes, there are special needs to take into consideration.
Maybe your balcony isn’t placed in its best position. There could be too much or too little wind. Or you could live in a climate that makes it difficult to have plants on the balcony, especially during the long winter months.
In that case, caring for your balcony garden will be harder. But still doable with some planning.

Learn about Your Plants

Ideally, you should learn about your plants before you buy them. That will save you money and trouble. You will avoid buying a plant that must be place due south when your balcony faces north, for example.
In other cases, your plant should have very little or very much water. You need to take that into consideration before you design the irrigation system. Or maybe you can just keep that plant in a normal pot or container while the rest profit from a common water source.
Some plants are more prone to attract pest or illness. You can either chose to avoid those plants or take it into consideration when you plan your care for your garden.
It’s a good idea to write down any special treatments or, overall, how you care for your garden, should you ever need to have someone else to take over during a vacation or illness.

Climatic Needs

Where you live will also affect how hard it is to care for your garden.
If you live in an area with lots of rain, naturally, you won’t need to water your garden nearly as often as if you lived in a dryer area.
And if you live in a windy area, you may need to set up screens that will shelter for the worst gusts of wind. Those risk harming your plants and they will also dry out the soil quicker.

Plan and Use Consideration

A little planning and consideration go a long way when it comes to caring for your balcony garden.
The batter you plan it and the better you consider the needs of your plants and your own preferences, the easier it will be.
And the easier it is to care for your garden, the more you’ll enjoy it.

Haven Greensprout

I've found my passion in balcony gardening, relishing the simplicity and joy it brings to my urban life. The thrill of harvesting my own veggies has transformed my balcony into a lush oasis, proving there's unmatched delight in homegrown goodness.

Recent Posts