Choosing The Right Pots & Containers For Your Balcony

Before moving house and getting access to our country garden, my wife and I had a small balcony that we loved to grow plants on. The balcony was just less than 2 square metres and became the home of many of our plants as we started to explore our growing passion for gardening.

As we began to buy more plants for our space, we quickly realised that what pot you buy really makes the difference between a successful garden balcony and a lot of dead plants!

In this article, we’ll share our top tips for choosing the right containers to create a beautiful balcony garden.

What To Consider

When growing plants on your balcony, we’ve found that you need to prioritise pot size, drainage, and material to have a healthy garden.

Choosing The Right Pot Size

It’s important to make sure that you’ve got the right size pots in your balcony garden, not too small to hinder your plant’s growth, but not too big to overcrowd your space.

From our experience, choosing a pot that’s just over 5cm wider and deeper than your plant’s current size will provide adequate space for it to grow in the future, without taking up too much of your precious balcony space.

Make Sure There’s Drainage

For the most part, plants really don’t like to be sitting in water. When planted outside in a garden bed, excess water is removed quickly from the plant, allowing it to have the right conditions for growth. However, in a plant pot, there can be nowhere for this water to go, making the plant sit in too much water.

With this in mind, we’d highly recommend that you buy pots with holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain out, placing crocks over the hole to prevent soil from falling out. This will help your plants to thrive in your newly created space.

Find The Right Material

We’ve found that porous ceramics, such as terracotta, dry out the soil more evenly in the sun compared to plastic pots, meaning that your plants will be much happier in one if your balcony only gets sun from one side throughout the day.

If the weight of your plant pots is a concern, then choosing a fibreglass pot will be significantly lighter than a terracotta or wood pot, so can also impact your pot buying decision.

Types of Pots

There are 3 main types of pots that we’ve seen growing on balcony gardens, window planters, regular pots and growing tables.

Window Planters

Window planters are containers specifically designed to be placed on windowsills or attached to the exterior of windows or balcony railings. We have one that used to be on our balcony railings for growing herbs which freed up space on our balcony floor for more plants! Because of these space savings, it’s no wonder that window planters were voted as one of the most popular containers for small spaces.


Of course, you can use normal pots to put plants on the floor or your balcony too. We’d recommend varying the size and colour of your pots to give a more interesting look to your balcony garden. We’ve had quite the collection of pots over the years but would recommend picking up some frost-proof terracotta pots, which can be found for between £10 and £40 pounds at your local garden centre.

Growing Table

If you’re planning to grow fruit or veg on your balcony, then a growing table could be the answer for you! It provides a larger area than most traditional pots allowing you to grow a much larger range of plants than you might have thought you could.


To make sure that your plants are healthy in your balcony garden, you need to make sure that they’re planted in pots that have adequate drainage, are the right size and are of a good quality material.

If you’re looking for plants to fill your pots, take a look at our top 5 flowering plants for your balcony garden.

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