Plants and Pots Suitable for Windy Balconies

Plants and Pots Suitable for Windy Balconies

Plants and Pots Suitable for Windy Balconies

Balconies are cherished spaces for urban dwellers, offering a breath of fresh air and a connection to nature. However, if your balcony is often exposed to strong winds, finding the right plants and pot styles becomes crucial for creating a thriving green haven. Let’s look at the best plant choices and pot styles that can withstand and even flourish on windy balconies.

Choosing Wind-Resistant Plants

Grasses and Ornamental Grasses:

Tall grasses like feather reed grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora) or fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) can sway with the wind without breaking. Ornamental grasses such as blue fescue (Festuca glauca) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) add texture and movement to your balcony garden.

Succulents and Cacti:

These resilient plants are adapted to arid conditions and can tolerate both wind and drought. Consider varieties like agave, sedum, and echeveria, which not only thrive in windy conditions but also add a modern and sculptural touch to your balcony.

Shrubs with Flexible Branches:

Opt for shrubs with flexible branches that can bend without breaking in strong winds. Examples include heather (Calluna vulgaris), bottlebrush (Callistemon), and lavender, all of which offer fragrant blooms and hardy foliage.

Wind-Adapted Flowers:

Choose flowers that are adapted to windy conditions, such as marigolds, cosmos, and nasturtiums. These flowers have sturdy stems and can handle the constant movement caused by the wind.

Australian Natives:

Many Australian Native Plants are well-suited for pot cultivation in windy conditions like the Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos spp), Lilly Pilly (Syzygium luehmannii), and Bottlebrush (Callistemon spp). These plants are adapted to the country's unique climate and can thrive in extreme containers.

Dwarf Variety Trees:

Many container-suitable trees are sturdy enough to withstand windy conditions. Generally, dwarf varieties grow better in containers which also makes them less willowy and more compact. Little Gem Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem'), Dwarf Olive Tree (Olea europaea), Dwarf Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum.

Selecting Wind-Resistant Pots

Weighty and Stable Materials:

Choose pots made of heavy materials like concrete, stone, or ceramic to provide stability against strong gusts. The weight helps prevent the pots from toppling over, ensuring the safety of your plants.

Low and Wide Containers:

If your balcony has a weight restriction and cannot support heavy pots. Opt for pots or containers that are low and wide rather than tall and narrow. This design helps lower the centre of gravity, making them less top heavy and prone to tipping over in the wind.

Another option is to opt for large pots rather than smaller sized ones. Overly large pots may not be ideal for limited spaces and young plants, but the more volume the pot can hold will mean more weight and greater stability.

Drainage Holes:

Ensure that your pots have proper drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, which can add unnecessary weight and destabilize the pots. Overly wet soil can also weaken the soil structure supporting the plant’s roots and can cause it to topple over.

Weather-Resistant Materials:

Select pots made from materials that can withstand the elements, such as frost-resistant ceramics or UV-stabilized plastics and resin composites. These are better at withstanding consistently unfavourable weather conditions like strong winds, moist conditions, and direct sun exposure. These materials have an extended structural life with less appearances of wear and tear over time.

Maintenance Tips

Regular Pruning:

Trim your plants regularly to encourage sturdy and even growth and remove any dead or weak branches that may be susceptible to wind damage. Make sure the foliage is not becoming overly tall, dense, and wide as this will catch the wind rather than let it pass through.  


Consider installing temporary windbreaks like bamboo screens or decorative lattice to shield your balcony from strong gusts. Protect young plants and less stable pots by placing them behind larger, more durable ones or temporarily moving them indoors if needed.

Secure Pots:

Use pot feet or non-slip pads under your containers to enhance stability and prevent direct contact with the cold balcony surface. Avoiding direct contact helps protect the roots from potential damage caused by cold or moisture, maintaining a healthier and more stable environment for the plant. Opt for smooth and flat-based pots that have a wide surface area to balance on like a square, rectangle, or even a cylinder shape.  Avoid pots that have a small base, especially if the style tapers outwards towards the opening like a cone or an egg. The narrower the base, the more unstable the pot will be.


Double-potting involves placing a smaller pot inside a larger one, with the gap between the two filled with soil or other stabilizing material. This method increases the overall weight of the container and provides insulation against temperature fluctuations and wind.

Stake Tall Plants:

For tall and top-heavy plants, use stakes to provide additional support. Push a stake into the soil near the base of the plant, making sure it reaches deep enough to anchor firmly. Gently tie the plant to the stake using soft plant ties or Velcro straps. Avoid tying too tightly to allow for natural movement in the wind while providing stability.

Brace Plants:

In extremely windy conditions, you can use bracing systems to secure pots to nearby structures or railings. This could involve attaching straps, brackets, or hooks to anchor the pots. Utilize adjustable plant ties to secure thin and unruly branches. These offer flexibility and growth while providing support. These ties can be loosened or tightened as needed and won't restrict the natural movement of the plant.

Creating a green oasis on a windy balcony is not only possible but can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. By selecting the right wind-resistant plants and pots, and implementing some simple maintenance strategies, you can transform your balcony into a lush and resilient space that thrives in the face of the elements. So, embrace the wind and let your balcony bloom!

Interested to learn more? Check out our blog on the evolution of indoor plant culture.