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making my new balcony a trellised heaven

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by mzucker on June 13, 2006 12:02 AM
Hi all,

I am indeed both new to the site as well as guardening in general. I "got" a new balcony and I am beginning the process of planning it. It has a north view and no cover (though I am cosidering one in the future). I was looking at some of the climbing vined flowering plants like the ipornoea family on a trellis vs. a climbing honeysuckle plant.

I'm looking for fast and good coverage (the wall effect) with scent (so star jasmine is also a possibility).

But I have some basic questions: how many individual plants should i plant per unit square of wall that I need covered? how big of a pot would need to hold such growth? Is there a difference between using a clay earthen pot or a plastic one is necessary (I prefer the look of clay pots). Is northern exposure problematic for climbing plants as the abovementioned?

thanks for any and all advice

by joclyn on June 13, 2006 06:47 AM
unglazed clay pots will cause the soil to dry out much quicker. you can always keep the plants in the plastic pots and then insert them into larger clay type so that you have that 'look' that you like.

what's the weather like where you are at? could you possibly make a comparision with our
zones ? that would help in being able to make suggestions on different plants to use.
by mzucker on June 13, 2006 07:34 AM
Well, that is a bit difficult.

We are hot and humid like Houston Texas (which would put us in the 9's) but we don't have a frost every year - which would put us in categories of the more tropical elements. Our winters are short and often rainy with a short spring and an almost non-existant fall. The longest season being, of course, summer. The summer temps can reach 40 (104F), but it isn't often and it isn't long. We have peaks of temperature when a "hamseen" blows through from the desert peninsula which comes with very dry sandy heat - though these are only a couple times per year and for less than a week each time. Though the native soil and water isn't ideal - these are all things (at least for pots) that can be altered with automatic watering systems and $$.

I hope this helps. Thanks for your help!!!
by joclyn on June 13, 2006 12:01 PM
yes, that does help!!

bougainvillea, calico dutchman's pipe, moonvine, carolina jessamine, cherry jubilee allamanda, brazilian flame vine, star jasmine, garlic vine, hyacinth bean vine, purple queen's wreath, guacamaya, madagascar jasmine, passion flower are some that should be okay where you are - especially since you'll be doing the vines in pots.
by mzucker on June 13, 2006 10:53 PM
Thanks so much for the ideas of plants - there were some there that I hadn't thought of, indeed.

What I'd like to direct my question to - in addition - is the way that I should approach the planning of plants. That is, if I have a rectangular planter which is about 2.5-3 ft in length and about 0.5 feet in depth - would this fit the root structure of 4 mature vines? How much could I expect on average a vining plant to grow within a given amount of time? e.g. - within 1 year, could I expect to see my vines get to cover 1 square foot/meter/mile? [Smile]

I also saw that you did not mention honeysuckle in your list of good there a reason for this - or is it included in your "and more" part?

Thanks very much for your time on this issue.
by Deborah L. on June 14, 2006 01:41 PM
MZucker, are you planning on edibles such as strawberries and herbs? Patio tomatoes? Or not, due to the northern exposure?

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by joclyn on June 14, 2006 02:53 PM
hmmm. i replied to this earlier today - what happened to my post??

anyhoo, i didn't mention honeysuckle because i didn't think it would be workable with your weather was the first thing that came to mind too! there are some really lovely varieties that have red flowers as well as multi-colored.

if you see others growing honeysuckle, then by all means, go right ahead if that's what you'd prefer! [Smile]

i'd stick to 2 vines in planters of the size that you are'll want the roots to have some breathing space. if you go with the hyacinth bean vines, you could put 3 or 4 in the planter...i don't think their root system is too extensive since they're usually an annual. they are slow to take off, once they do they are very fast spreaders. you might even think about doing one along with something else, too. they have an interesting seed pod and it would look nice poking through the foilage of another vine.

the purple queens wreath is particularly beautiful - both the leaves and the flowers (sadly, i can't have that one in my zone).

most of the vines i mentioned are pretty quick growers...some will do a better coverage than others.

you might also want to do some low-growing type of plant also...they will keep the roots of the vines protected from the sun as well as help keep the moisure in the soil. [Smile]
by mzucker on June 14, 2006 09:20 PM
Deboah - no - no vegetables, but on a different side of the balcony I was thinking of some lemon basil and maybe some other potted herbs...mostly for the look and the smell but maybe even to eat.

Where I grew up we had honeysuckle and it was wonderful (we had this amazing mimosa with a smell that could get you drunk on life) but here in tel aviv i've seen only 1 or 2 plants let alone varieties. I, too, am not sure about the honeysuckle, but I really do like it.

In regards to the cover - yes I was thinking of just some simple small flowering plants that I would have to replant every season. It would add some color and then some basic soil coverage. We have a lot of volcanic rock in the area, so I was also thinking of ground cover with that - but nothing is 100% solid yet (am still planning). and i have to run it by my big boss (my wife) after that. [Wink]

One last thing - can you give me the latin name or another name for the purple queen's wreath because even on google I couldn't find the plant!

Thanks again and happy gardening!
by mzucker on June 14, 2006 09:22 PM
nevermind. i found the name. I guess I just mistyped it.
by joclyn on June 15, 2006 06:16 AM
yes, the honeysuckle is very nice - i really don't think it would thrive in your weather tho.

the volcanic rock would be a good thing to protect the soil and hold the moisture in a bit longer - you could still do some underplantings, too.

please post some pics after you get your plants in and they've grown a bit!
by mzucker on June 16, 2006 12:41 AM
I will for sure! and I probably will come back again for some more advice! [Smile]
by Deborah L. on July 14, 2006 02:39 PM
Mzucker, are you there? Would love to hear how it all turned out ! [wavey]

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by angelblossom on July 16, 2006 04:39 AM
Originally posted by mzucker:
I will for sure! and I probably will come back again for some more advice! [Smile]
[wavey] I live in hot TX it has been 101-103 all week ! Moonflowers grow well here the blooms open in the evening and smell soooooo good! the blooms only last one night then turn to seed so the next year replant the seeds and it it will be thicker and fuller.. this is a fast grower and will cover a trellis in no time! [thumb]

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Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up!  -  -  -  -
by Deborah L. on October 09, 2006 11:39 AM
Anyone know if MZucker is OK? I mean, there was the conflict and all. I'm concerned.

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