The ultimate guide to privacy plants for apartment balcony

privacy plants for apartment balcony

A balcony can be a wonderful addition to your home. It provides a quiet outdoor space where you can relax and spend time outdoors. But what if your balcony is overlooked and/or exposed? In these situations, it can be easy to feel uncomfortable spending time on your balcony because of a lack of privacy. One great solution is to install privacy plants for apartment balcony areas since this not only helps you have more privacy but it also improves the overall look. Read on for our handy guide on how to achieve this on your balcony.

How to use privacy plants for apartment balcony

Using plants to create privacy for balconies is a popular choice but there are some important considerations that you need to take into account before you go ahead and make a choice about what plants to use and where to place them. 

How much weight can your balcony take?

Plants, and especially their pots and compost, can be surprisingly heavy. Especially if you are planning on using a lot of big plants to create privacy. The average balcony can hold at least 50 lbs per square foot or, in other words, the weight of no more than 10 people. With that being said, every balcony is different and the amount of weight they can hold can vary depending on their size, the materials they are made of, and when they were built.

It can be worth having an expert come in to assess your balcony and see how much weight it holds, if you aren’t sure or you want to be careful. Or you can choose a plant type that will be lighter weight or that will bear its weight on your property’s wall, rather than the balcony itself. 

How exposed is your balcony?

The amount of exposure that your balcony receives is an important consideration when it comes to creating privacy using plants. If your balcony has no natural shelter and is often buffeted by wind, then you will either need to create a windbreak to allow your plants to thrive or choose plant types that have evolved to grow in exposed areas. 

How much sun does your balcony get?

Some plants thrive in the sunshine and don’t do well in the shade whereas other plants will get scorched in the sun and do better in a shady area. Make note of how much sun your balcony gets over the course of the day so that you can make the right decision about the types of plants for apartment balcony privacy you need.

How will the plants on your balcony drain?

All plants will need some form of drainage so you will need to think carefully about where the water is going to go. You don’t want it to drain in an area that will mean that it drips on other people or their property so placing your plants thoughtfully is important. Another consideration is that, often, along with the water, you can find soil draining out as well, which can create a mess on your balcony. Using these mesh drainage disks can help because they help to keep the soil in the pot while also allowing the water to drain properly (which helps to prevent root rot). 

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Types of plants for apartment balcony privacy

You can create privacy on your balcony using plants in a few different ways. The one you choose depends on your taste, the way your balcony is set up, and the plants that you will be able to grow on it. Let’s take a look at your options. 

Tall plants for balcony privacy

A tall plant that will grow high enough from a pot or planter to create a privacy screen is an easy solution that will give your balcony even more of a nature feel. 

1) Bamboo

Bamboo is a great choice as a balcony privacy screen. It is lightweight, it grows quickly and tall, and it is hardy. Better still, its roots are contained so it will grow nicely in a pot or planter without it taking over the entire balcony. Choosing a lightweight planter is often a good choice for a balcony, and this one is a great option because while it is lightweight it is also sturdy and attractive. Make sure to pick a type of bamboo that is relatively thin and that has foliage that grows horizontally so that it will create a decent screen. 

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2) Hollyhocks

Hollyhock is a beautiful plant that will add a gorgeous burst of color to your balcony from early summer to autumn. It is a perennial plant so the flowers will come back every year. They are a good choice for a privacy screen because they can grow up to 12 feet tall. They do need to be sheltered from high winds and require plenty of sunlight but, other than that, they are quite easy to care for. You may want to place a plant support stake into the pot to assist the plant in growing upright but they don’t need any special pruning and can be left alone in the winter. A lot of plant stakes are just sticks but choosing ones with a hook at the top, like these can be so helpful in making sure that your plant stays secure. 

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Trellis plants for balcony privacy

Another option instead of using plants that grow tall is to use a trellis with plants that will weave their way through to create a privacy screen. This trellis comes in a pack of three so can easily be laid out to create a privacy screen and they are an attractive and modern shape that will help to elevate your outdoor area. 

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1) Ivy

Vines are a classic choice for growing on a trellis to create a privacy screen and ivy is probably the most popular of the lot. It can take a little work, in the beginning, to encourage the ivy to grow around the trellis. Rather than pruning the plant, make sure to weave the leaves through the trellis to encourage them to grow fully around. Once it is fully grown, the ivy leaves will create perfect coverage will also keeping your balcony feeling green and pleasant. 

2) Pyracantha

This stunning plant is also known as firethorn because of its flame-colored berries in reds, oranges, and yellows, and its prickly thorns. It has dense foliage so will provide a lot of coverage for your balcony and it will also add color to your outdoor area throughout every season. It has white flowers that emerge in the springtime and create a blanket of white that is then followed later in the year by the beautiful flame colors. This plant can be grown well against a trellis and won’t need too much pruning or care (beyond feeding once a year). If you want to extend the plant, you just need to tire new leafy shoots onto the trellis. 

Hanging plants for balcony privacy

All of the plants we have covered so far grow up to create your privacy screen, but hanging plants can also be a great choice for types of plants for apartment balcony privacy. If your balcony is quite small, for example, and you would rather not clutter the floor with pots or planters, choosing plants that hang down instead can be a great option. A hanging basket like this one with coconut lining is perfect because it allows the plants to breathe will also keeping them securely in place even in bad weather. 

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1) Dichondra argentea 

This plant is also known as “silver falls” which is a great description of how it looks. It doesn’t grow very high but it trails beautifully, up to 1.2m. It has heart-shaped leaves that are a striking silvery color and it also has yellow or white flowers in early summer. This plant will create a natural-looking and eye-catching privacy screen for your balcony without compromising on floor space. It will need to be grown in a sheltered location, however, although it is quite easy to care for otherwise. 

2) Golden Creeping Jenny

This plant trails beautifully and shines golden in the sunlight. It will make your balcony feel warm, cozy, and inviting while also giving you the privacy you need to really relax. It creates a mat of round/heart-shaped leaves that range in color from lime-green to gold and it blooms in early-to-mid-summer with cup-shaped yellow flowers. It needs to be kept in the sun or in partial shade. 

The bottom line

Using privacy plants for apartment balcony areas can help you to feel more comfortable when you are relaxing in your outdoor space but they also look good too. They bring a real garden feel to your balcony and that greenery and the scent of the plants can help you to enjoy your balcony area even more. Carefully choosing the types of plants for apartment balcony privacy is important as they all behave differently, will create different looks for your balcony, and will require different types of conditions and care.