A breezy garden can be healthy, as air circulation helps prevent diseases associated with fungus, and it also aids in plant pollination. But when the breeze becomes wind, problems arise. Harsh winds in gardens can damage and dehydrate plants (prevent dehydration by properly watering your container plants).
If you have a wind problem in your balcony garden (this is common on balconies on tall city buildings), you have several options for dealing with the wind.
Homeowners with gardens can easily set up a windscreen to decrease wind speed. This involves setting up a wall with holes to allow air to pass through. This can be a wooden trellis or wall that is securely buried or cemented into the ground. The problem with this is that in a balcony garden, there is nowhere to cement a windscreen or trellis to the ground.
If you stick a trellis in a plant container and expect it to decrease wind, you’re just going to end up with a blown-over trellis and many broken plant stems. If your apartment manager allows it, you may be able to secure a trellis or windscreen to the side railings of your balcony. It is likely that this is a liability for your apartment management, and you may won’t be able to use a windscreen or trellis.
If you have a lot of light and your balcony can hold a lot of weight, set up a row of heavy plant containers with tall, strong, woody plants, such as boxwoods, holly or rosemary plants. If these plants are grown tall, they will be able to diffuse strong winds. These plants may block some light, so plants that you grow next to them will need to be lower-light plants. Make sure to use large and heavy containers, otherwise the wind will blow the container and the pot over. A strong gust of wind will topple over tall, skinny containers much easier than short, squat plant containers.
If the first two options are not possible on your windy balcony garden, you have one final option: grow wind-tolerant plants. Plants with wide bases and narrow leaves that originally come from arid climates are generally good plants to grow in a windy balcony garden. Some wind-tolerant plants include Japanese anemone, coreopsis, penstemons, mondo grass and other ornamental grasses, phlox, bamboo, heather, holly, azaleas and more.