Intro: Pansies are hybrid flowers that were developed in England in the early 1800s. Because pansies have been selectively bred by humans, they are hardy and bloom quickly. Flower colors include yellow, gold, orange, purple, red and white, and pansy flowers often have “faces” (think of the singing flowers in Alice in Wonderland). Pansy flowers are easy to care for and do well in container gardens.
Intro: The arrowhead plant is a great container plant for shady balcony gardens that don’t get much direct sunlight. If you have a southern exposure with bright light, it will do better in an indoor garden (it will also not tolerate temperatures below 60 degrees). Arrowhead leaf color varieties vary from dark green to highly variegated dark and light green, but the leaf of each arrowhead variety will always have that interesting arrow shape. You can keep the arrowhead plant pruned so it only has juvenile leaves, or you can allow it to mature and climb up a trellis or support sticks.
Intro: Chamomile is a beautiful little white-petaled flower that can be dried and made into a fruity-tasting herbal tea. If you are growing chamomile in your balcony garden to make tea, get the German chamomile variety and not Roman chamomile. This container plant can is usually only about 9 inches tall, but it can grow to 2 feet, and it spreads up to 2 feet across. Chamomile flowers look like dasiies and are about 1 inch in diameter.
Intro: There are many species in the Impatiens genus, but the varieties that you’ll find at your local garden shop are annual hybrids (some Impatiens species are perrenials). This commonly used flower usually shows up in flowerbeds, but they also look great in windowboxes, plant containers and hanging containers, and will even do well in a shady balcony garden.
Intro: The Clivia lily, also called flame lily, kaffir lily or bush lily, is a fantastic container plant for shady balcony gardens. These flowers have clumps of orange, red or yellow flowers that resemble those of geranium flowers. They can also grow well in indoor gardens. These larger flowers should be kept in 12-inch or larger pots and be a few years old before they are expected to bloom (see Misc. Info for more information on how to make the Clivia lily bloom). While the plant is not blooming, its interesting thick, dark green leaves still make for an attractive display in the balcony container garden.