Apartment Balcony Succulent and Cacti Garden

I have a confession to make. I am a plant killer. Yes, it’s true, I have murdered many of plants. I wasn’t always a killer though. In fact when I was younger I fancied myself a green thumb, but somehow along the way I became the black widow of gardening. My latest killing spree happened when I attempted to plant herbs and lavender on my balcony. It was pretty for like, a day, and then it all went to hell. I won’t even show you pictures of the crime scene. I’m too embarrassed.

Now that I’ve come to terms with my inability to maintain flowers, and apparently herbs, I’ve decided to attempt and embrace succulents and cacti.

Why succulents and cacti? Because I kill everything else, obviously. Also, because our super cool and hip mayor, Eric Garcetti, suggested it is our civic duty to do so. My hopes are that one day I’ll meet him and bring up my drought tolerant balcony garden and we’ll become friends. *end squiggly line fantasy sequence*

I’m no stranger to native succulents and cacti. I grew up throughout Southern California and in the desert where our lawns consisted of mostly rocks, palms, and some variation of cacti. I don’t want to speak too soon, but I think low-maintenance plants will be the key to my success.

Balcony Succulent Garden Planters

As you can see we used window box style planters from IKEA. We have a tiny balcony and we wanted to see the plants through the window, so these were our best bet. (I’ve had these for over a year, so I can’t find them on IKEA’s website to be able to link you.) The only problem was there were no drain holes, and well draining pots are necessary with succulents and cacti. We ended up drilling holes into the bottom to ensure drainage.

Balcony Succulent Garden PlantersWe took a trip to the nursery and came home with a variety of plants and a couple of cacti. We also picked up specific “well draining cacti, palm, succulent” soil, because I am not taking any chances this time. Don’t ask me the names of any of these because I have no idea. We’ve just been calling them “the yellow-ish one” and “the one that looks like jellybeans”. So scientific.

Balcony Succulent Garden Planters

Balcony Succulent Garden Planters

Balcony Succulent Garden Planters

Anyway, we just plopped them in and filled any empty spaces with succulent-ish ground cover and prayed to Frank the Flamingo to watch over them all.

One thing I did learn the hard way is if you’re going to handle any kind of cacti, WEAR GLOVES. These little jerks sneak up on you with their prickly thorns.

Balcony Garden Planters

We’re also attempting “weed like” herbs with hopes that they’ll grow like weeds and not die a horrible, temperamental, death like my lavender and rosemary of gardens past. I’m actually leaving those up to my husband. I can’t be trusted.

Wish us luck!

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11 thoughts on “Apartment Balcony Succulent and Cacti Garden

  1. I’m so glad you shared this. I needed inspiration for my kitchen window. I have the worst view of our Neighbor’s ugly brick house. I also want to do some of these once our deck is installed. Happy little succulents. I canny believe how beautiful you have done them up. I doubt I’ll be that successful.

  2. What a beautiful little balcony! So great to see that you make the most out of the space you have. Great inspiration for the planter boxes too. I do want some new ones for your balcony too. Maybe Ikea will get them back in soon. 🙂

  3. I can relate to your non-green thumbless! Lol Succulants might just be the thing for me. My theory on plants….if you can’t make it on your own then you probably won’t survive at my house. Lucky for me I live in a climate that lets Mother Nature cover for my brown thumb.

  4. Quite a good idea! I just moved to a new place and the balcony has all the qualities to become a small garden. There’s a perfect place for few succulent containers. Thank you for the inspiration!

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