Plant ideas for a colourful autumn balcony
No garden? No problem! There are many ways for you to brighten up your surroundings with colourful plant arrangements in the autumn – even if you only have a balcony. Our step-by-step guide shows you how to plant out an autumnal flower box and we reveal how to maintain your decorative autumnal balcony, including during the winter months.
You can let your creativity run wild when decorating an autumn balcony. Combinations of yellow, orange and red will make your balcony look especially autumnal. And you can give your flower box that certain something by adding discrete touches of purple and pink.
For example, the Chinese lantern plant will enchant you in the autumn with small orange flowers, making this low-maintenance plant the perfect candidate for the front row. Autumn chrysanthemums will provide a beautiful colour contrast. These popular late-flowering plants catch the eye from August to November with their colourful flowers and are ideal for planting in a balcony box or container due to their spherical and compact growth. And there is every conceivable colour and shape to choose from thanks to their variety diversity.
The boxberry is another plant that should definitely not be missing from an autumnal balcony box. Bringing colour into the depths of winter, from classic red across pink through to pristine white, this popular shrub will delight balcony owners with its glistening berries until well into the next spring. And it's worth noting that the evergreen boxberry will fit perfectly into any balcony box thanks to its low and creeping growth.
Tip: Leave grasses and the stalks of withered summer flowers in a pot or balcony box until next spring – insects will use them as a winter home and birds can use the seeds as a source of food in the cold season.
A sunny spot
A sunny spot is recommended when planting a combination of Chinese lantern plant, boxberry and autumn chrysanthemum. The Chinese lantern plant and members of the heath family like the boxberry favour a sunny to semi-shaded spot on the balcony. Autumn chrysanthemums also feel at home in a bright location. Since they are quite sensitive to moisture, a covered balcony is ideal and should prevent any rainwater from above.
As a rule, members of the heath family such as the boxberry or common heather prefer slightly acidic soil. Having said that, since late-flowering plants only grow slowly in the autumn and absorb hardly any nutrients, it is not a problem if they are in soil with a higher pH level at this time of year. If you want to reuse the perennial boxberry for next year's balcony arrangement, then plant it in an acidic speciality soil, such as the 'COMPO SANA® Potting Soil for Rhododendron' rhododendron and hydrangea soil, in the spring so as to provide your balcony plant with the perfect conditions for abundant growth. Put the boxberry in a sufficiently sized container and water it regularly so as to prevent it from drying out.
Before filling your balcony box with soil, we recommend that you cover the bottom of the container with a drainage layer consisting of pumice stone, clay fragments or gravel to improve aeration of the plants and prevent waterlogging. Now create the perfect foundation for your autumn flowers by filling your balcony box with a soil especially for balcony plants, such as the 'COMPO SANA® Potting Soil for Balcony Plants' balcony and container plant soil. This slow-release speciality soil will ensure an optimised delivery of water and nutrients so that your balcony flowers are perfectly cared for. Make sure that the balcony box is filled with substrate to about 5 cm below the rim.
Now carefully remove your balcony plants from their pots. If the roots are already growing out of the drainage holes at the bottom, it is advisable to shorten them. If the root ball is already quite matted, carefully loosen it with your fingers. This will stimulate the plants to grow again. If the root ball has already dried out, place the balcony plants in a water bath before planting to provide the roots with sufficient water.
Now plant your autumn flowers in the balcony box as required. Since there will be hardly any growth in the autumn and winter, you can put the plants quite close together. To ensure the overall design is pleasing to the eye, position the late-flowering plants slightly offset in the balcony box. After planting, fill the gaps with some soil and press it down gently. Finally, don't forget to water thoroughly!
Colourful autumn look
Flower boxes are just one of many ways to conjure up a colourful autumn look on your balcony. For example, autumn asters and ling or common heather cut a great figure in a container thanks to their colourful flowers. More than just a feast for the eyes, winter hardy herbs are also delighted to reside on your autumn balcony. Perennial herbs such as English lavender, thyme or wild majoram will fit into your autumnal plant arrangement perfectly. And if you overwinter them properly, you will benefit from the delicious herbs next year, too!
One nice bonus is that many autumn plants like common heather provide bees and butterflies with valuable nectar in the colder months, too. Accordingly, these late-flowering plants will provide small beneficial insects with sufficient provisions after the summer flowers on your balcony have long since withered.
For that certain something, autumnal decorations such as ornamental gourds and atmospheric lighting with candles, lanterns or fairy lights will make your balcony feel especially cosy.
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