What Are the Best Plants for Creating Privacy on an Urban Balcony?

For the urban dwellers among you, a balcony can often serve as your only outdoor space. It can be a place to take a breath of fresh air, grow a few plants, or enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning sun. But, the lack of privacy can be a significant downside. Luckily, the right combination of plants can provide a natural screen, transforming your balcony into a private green oasis. The following article will delve into the best plants that you can use to enhance your balcony privacy.

Selecting the Right Plants for Your Balcony

Before we delve into specific plant recommendations, it’s essential to understand the factors that will influence your plant selection. Your balcony’s size, the amount of sunlight it receives, and your local climate all play a role in your decision.

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A small balcony may not have room for large plants, and pots can take up valuable floor space. In such cases, consider vertical gardening. Use wall-mounted planters, hanging baskets, or trellises for climbing plants.

A balcony that gets full sun for most of the day will need sun-loving plants. If your balcony is in the shade for most of the day, you’ll need shade-tolerant plants.

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Your local climate is another crucial factor. Some plants can stand up to frosty winters, while others are more suited to warmer climates.

Best Plants for Sun Drenched Balconies

Sunlit balconies can be a dream for the right plants. Here, we will explore some of the best privacy plants that thrive in full sun.

Bamboo is a great choice for sunny balconies. It grows quickly, providing a thick, lush screen in no time. Just make sure to choose a clumping variety to prevent it from spreading uncontrollably.

Oleanders also make a good privacy screen. They are not only tall and dense but also bloom with beautiful flowers throughout the summer. Just remember that all parts of this plant are toxic if ingested, so it’s not a good choice if you have pets or young kids.

Finally, consider lavender. It’s a shorter option, but its silvery leaves and purple flowers can add a beautiful layer of privacy at the railing level. Plus, it smells wonderful!

Best Plants for Shady Balconies

Your balcony may not get much sunlight, but don’t despair. There are plenty of shade-loving plants that can provide excellent privacy.

Ferns are a great choice for shady balconies. They grow tall and dense, providing a lush, green screen. Plus, they’re very easy to care for.

English Ivy is another great option. It’s a climbing plant, so it’s ideal for vertical privacy. Just be sure to keep it in check, as it can get a little invasive.

Rhododendrons are a larger option for shady balconies. They can grow quite tall and produce beautiful spring blooms. However, they do require a bit more care and attention than ferns or ivy.

Edible Plants for Privacy and Kitchen Use

Want to get more out of your balcony garden? Consider growing edible plants. They can provide privacy and fresh ingredients for your kitchen.

Tomato plants can provide a moderate level of privacy. They come in a variety of sizes, from small patio varieties to larger, sprawling plants. Plus, there’s nothing quite like the taste of a homegrown tomato.

Climbing peas and beans are also great choices. They grow quickly and can be trained to climb a trellis, providing a green screen of privacy. In addition, they produce delicious, fresh produce all summer long.

Lastly, consider herbs like rosemary or basil. They won’t provide a lot of privacy, but they can add a lovely green layer at the railing level. Plus, you’ll have fresh herbs at your fingertips whenever you want them.

Plants for Design and Aesthetic Appeal

If you’re looking to create a visually appealing space, consider adding some design-oriented plants to your balcony.

Ornamental grasses can add texture and movement to your balcony garden. They’re great for creating a soft, flowing screen that still allows some light to filter through.

Climbing roses are another beautiful option. They require a bit of care, but their stunning blooms are well worth the effort. Simply train them onto a trellis or wall-mounted planter for a beautiful vertical display.

Incorporating these plants into your balcony garden doesn’t just give you privacy, but it also creates a beautiful outdoor space that you’ll love spending time in. So, do some research, get your hands dirty, and before you know it, you’ll have a balcony garden that serves as your private outdoor sanctuary.

Taking Care of Your Balcony Garden

So now you have chosen your favorite privacy plants, but the job is not done yet. A successful balcony garden requires consistent care to ensure the plants remain healthy, vibrant, and continue to provide privacy.

Firstly, watering is key. Most balcony plants, whether they prefer sun or shade, require regular watering to thrive. However, be careful not to overwater, as this can cause root rot and other issues.

Fertilization is another crucial aspect of balcony gardening. Because the plants are in pots, they can’t receive nutrients from the ground as they would in a natural setting. Therefore, regular fertilization is necessary to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

Pruning your plants is also important. It keeps them from becoming too large and unmanageable, and it can also encourage new growth. Remember to prune your plants correctly, at the right time of the year.

Lastly, protect your plants from pests. Regularly check your plants for any signs of insects or disease, and act quickly if you spot anything unusual. There are many organic and synthetic pest control options available that can help keep your plants healthy.

Creating a Private Oasis: The Final Touches

Now that you have chosen and cared for your plants, it’s time to add the final touches to your balcony garden. Here, you can let your creativity shine.

Consider adding some outdoor furniture. A small table and chair set can make your balcony garden a lovely spot for your morning coffee or evening drinks. Ensure any furniture you choose is weather-resistant and fits comfortably in your space.

Lighting can also enhance your balcony garden. Fairy lights, lanterns, or solar lights can create a magical atmosphere after the sun goes down.

Lastly, decorative elements can add personality to your space. Consider adding a bird feeder, wind chimes, or garden sculptures to complete your outdoor sanctuary.


Creating a private oasis on your urban balcony is possible with the right selection of plants. Whether your balcony is bathed in full sun or nestled in the shade, there are plenty of plants to choose from. You can even grow edible plants for a fresh supply of ingredients. With proper care and a few decorative touches, your balcony can be more than just an outdoor space – it can be a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. So, start planning your balcony garden today, and soon you’ll be enjoying your own private green haven.

Image credit: Dunec Hoang, Getty Images, Stock Photo.

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