How to choose the right plants for your balcony and alfresco areas - Masterton Homes

How to choose the right plants for your balcony and alfresco areas

When you choose a Masterton home you’ll often have the addition of a balcony (if building a 2 storey home) or you might decide to add an alfresco area into your floor plan. A beautiful garden in these spaces is one of the best ways to decorate. But how do you choose the right plants? We find out.

Green is in

You only need to open the latest interior design magazine to see that greenery is the new black. This is great news for you because it means there’s definitely a plant (or a hundred) to suit your space, no matter what the aspect. Fiddle leaf figs, monstera deliciosa and devils ivy are definitely having a moment but there are many other options out there also. If you have pets make sure you check what plants are toxic before you buy. The ASPCA has a good basic list which you can view here.


One of the main things to consider before planting is choosing a layout that maximises floor space so you can move comfortably around and get the full advantage of your outdoor area—whether you want to use it for entertaining or just for enjoying your morning cup of coffee. The key is to find ways to plant your oasis without creating unnecessary clutter.

For balconies, a vertical garden is an amazing option because it doesn’t take up any floor space. A narrow series of pots framing the perimeter of the balcony also takes up less room and you can stagger the height of plants, giving a sense of an enclosed garden while still allowing a sense of space that comes from being outdoors.

There’s a little more room to play with in alfresco spaces. You can include more pots on the ground space here as well as include hanging plants or climbers.

Your aspect

The aspect of your balcony or alfresco area is one of the main things to consider when choosing plants. Both spaces will have their own microclimate so you’ll need to assess how much wind, sunlight and rain they’ll receive. For example, a windy area is not the best place for hanging pots because they’ll blow around, while some plants won’t cope with extreme sun or shade.

Your time

Another factor to consider is how much time you would like to spend tending to your plants. There are a lot of low maintenance options so make sure you choose the right one for you in terms of how much water, pruning and attention they require.

Other factors to think about include:

  • How and when you’ll water your plants. Where is your closest tap connection? Do you need to invest in some attractive watering cans that you can keep in the space? Is it best to put in an irrigation system?
  • Make sure you consider both the drainage of your pots but also your space. You don’t want water dripping all over the place, especially if its spilling off the balcony.
  • Choose the right potting mix for the plants you’ve chosen—look it up online or speak to your garden specialist to ensure your plants will thrive.

Some plants to consider:

  • Cacti
  • Succulents
  • Begonias
  • Bromeliads
  • Aroids

Come and check out the balcony and alfresco spaces in our display homes at Warwick Farm and get inspired by the spaces where you can create your dream garden.