10 Best North Facing Balcony Plants

Are you struggling to find the right plants for your shady, north-facing balcony? In this article, we’ll introduce you to the best plants for north-facing balconies and show you how to transform your space into a lush oasis. 

Note: This article applies only to those located in the northern hemisphere (USA, Canada, etc). Due to the Earth’s tilt, north-facing balconies here receive less direct sunlight compared to those in the southern hemisphere.

Ferns: Nature’s Shade Lovers

Ferns thrive in the dim light and cool conditions of north-facing balconies. These shade lovers create a lush, tropical oasis easily with their delicate fronds and varied textures.

Low-light plants like ferns are ideal for balcony gardens that don’t receive direct sunlight or are shielded by buildings around them. Since they prefer shady areas to full sun, these hardy perennials can stay green all year long if properly cared for – adding life to your space regardless of the season.

Their adaptability and unique aesthetic make ferns one of the best plants for adding depth and interest to your north-facing balcony garden.

north facing balcony plant fern

Hostas: Lush and Leafy Greens

Hostas present a striking choice for your north-facing balcony. These lush, leafy greens thrive in the shade, making them an ideal pick for balconies shaded by other buildings. Their broad leaves come in various sizes and patterns, adding interesting textures to your garden space.

Known as perennials, hostas grace your garden year after year without the need for replanting. They require minimal maintenance and can withstand cooler temperatures of north-facing spaces.

Whether you have an expansive balcony or a compact one, hostas prove to be versatile contenders that can adapt well to pots or planters alike.

north facing balcony plant hostas

Begonias: Blooms in Low Light

A Begonia plant is a perfect addition to any north-facing balcony garden. Despite being in partial shade, they thrive well and delight with their vibrant blooms. Known for their ability to tolerate both full sun and shady conditions, these flowering plants bring life and color even to less sunny balconies.

Choosing begonias for your balcony means adding an easy-care plant that only needs minimal sunlight. They come in a variety of colors, providing endless opportunities for you to decorate your potted paradise.

Be sure to place them in well-draining pots since begonias don’t like sitting in water too much! With these resilient flowers on board, the lack of direct sunlight on your north-facing balcony won’t be a problem.


Ivy: Classic Climbers for Cool Conditions

Ivy is renowned for its ability to thrive in cool, shady areas. Ideal for north-facing balcony gardens, this classic climber finds comfort in partial shade and lower light conditions.

Its adaptability makes it a preferred choice among gardeners dealing with limited sunlight exposure. Ivy’s verdant vines add an enchanting, cascading effect that can accentuate any balcony space beautifully.

Moreover, these perennial plants require minimal care once established and continue to beautify your garden with their dense foliage year-round. Whether it’s trailing down from pots or climbing along the walls, ivy creates an atmosphere of lush greenery amidst city living.

north facing balcony plant ivy

Peace Lily: Elegance in the Shade

Peace lilies are a perfect choice for north-facing balconies because they thrive in low light conditions. These elegant plants have glossy, dark green leaves and beautiful white flowers that add a touch of sophistication to any space.

Peace lilies are also known for their air-purifying qualities, making them a healthy addition to your balcony garden. With minimal care requirements and the ability to withstand shade, peace lilies are an excellent option for adding beauty and tranquility to your north-facing balcony.

north facing balcony plant peace lily

Caladium: Colorful Foliage for Shady Spots

Caladium is a fantastic choice for adding color to shady spots on a north-facing balcony. With its vibrant foliage in shades of pink, red, green, and white, it can brighten up any space.

Caladiums are known for their large leaves and come in different varieties that can tolerate low light conditions. They are low-maintenance plants that thrive in partial shade or indirect sunlight, making them perfect for balconies with limited sun exposure.

If you’re looking to add a pop of color to your north-facing balcony garden, caladiums are an excellent choice.

north facing balcony plant Caladium

Impatiens: Vibrant Flowers in Low Light

Impatiens is a fantastic choice for a north-facing balcony as it thrives in low light conditions. These vibrant flowers come in a variety of colors and can add a pop of color to your shaded outdoor space.

Impatiens require minimal sunlight, making them perfect for balconies that don’t receive much direct sun. They are easy to care for and can bloom throughout the summer season, bringing beauty and life to your shady areas.


Snake Plant (Sansevieria): Hardy and Low Maintenance

Snake plants, also known as Sansevieria, are an excellent choice for a north-facing balcony. These plants are exceptionally hardy and require minimal maintenance, making them perfect for those who have little time to devote to gardening.

With their thick, upright leaves that come in various shades of green and yellow, snake plants add a touch of elegance to any balcony garden. They can tolerate low light conditions and do not require frequent watering, making them ideal for balconies that receive limited sunlight or are shaded by other buildings.

Snake plants are also known for their air-purifying qualities, helping to improve the air quality on your balcony. So if you’re looking for a plant that is both resilient and easy to care for, look no further than the snake plant.

north-facing balcony plant snake plant (Sansevieria)

Pothos: Trailing Beauty for Shaded Areas

Pothos is a beautiful trailing plant that thrives in shaded areas, making it an excellent choice for north-facing balconies. Its lush green leaves and cascading vines add a touch of elegance to any space.

Pothos is known for its ability to purify the air by removing toxins, making it not only visually appealing but also beneficial to your health. This low-maintenance plant can tolerate low light conditions and doesn’t require frequent watering, making it perfect for busy individuals or beginners in gardening.

With its versatility and beauty, Pothos is a must-have plant for creating a stunning balcony garden in shaded areas.

north facing balcony plant pethos

Heuchera (Coral Bells): Foliage in a Spectrum of Colors

Heuchera, also known as Coral Bells, is an excellent choice for a north-facing balcony garden. These plants feature stunning foliage in a variety of colors, ranging from deep burgundy to vibrant lime green.

With their attractive leaves, Heuchera adds visual interest and texture to your space. They thrive in partial shade or dappled sunlight, making them ideal for balconies that don’t receive direct sunlight throughout the day.

Heuchera is a low-maintenance plant that will bring beauty and color to your north-facing balcony all season long.

north facing balcony plant Heuchera

Final thoughts on the best plants for a north facing balcony

Choose the right plants for your north-facing balcony to create a thriving garden in the shade. Begonias and impatiens are perfect choices that bloom beautifully even with minimal sunlight.

Don’t forget about other options like fuchsia, cyclamen, coleus, ferns, and hostas that will add color and greenery to your balcony oasis. With these plants, you can transform any shady space into a vibrant retreat.


Frequently Asked Questions on plants for a north facing balcony garden

Can I grow plants that require full sun on a north-facing balcony?

No, plants that require full sun will not thrive on a north-facing balcony as they need several hours of direct sunlight. It is best to choose plants that can tolerate partial shade and do well in shady conditions.

What types of plants can I choose for a north-facing balcony?

For a north-facing balcony, you can choose plants like impatiens, fuchsias, ferns, begonias, hostas, and other shade-loving plants. These plants are suitable for shady areas and will thrive in a north-facing environment.

Can I grow herbs like parsley on a north-facing balcony?

Yes, herbs like parsley can be grown on a north-facing balcony as they can tolerate partial shade. However, it is important to ensure that they still receive some sunlight throughout the day.

Can I grow plants in hanging baskets on a north-facing balcony?

Absolutely! Many plants, including impatiens, fuchsias, and begonias, can be planted in hanging baskets and thrive in shady areas. Just make sure to choose hanging baskets suitable for balcony railings and provide proper care and watering.

Will plants on a north-facing balcony get any sun?

Plants on a north-facing balcony will receive some sun, but it will be limited. They will mainly be exposed to indirect sunlight, which provides partial shade. It is important to choose plants that can thrive in such conditions.

What are the best plants for a south-facing balcony garden?

Some of the best plants for a south-facing balcony garden include sun-loving varieties such as geraniums, petunias, and marigolds. These plants thrive in full sunlight and can add vibrant colors to your balcony garden. Other suitable options include herbs like basil and rosemary, as well as vegetables like tomatoes and peppers, which also require plenty of sunlight to grow successfully.

What are the best plants for a west-facing balcony garden?

 When choosing plants for a west-facing balcony garden, it’s important to consider the strong afternoon sun and potential heat. Opt for sun-loving plants like succulents, herbs, and ornamental grasses. Some good options include lavender, rosemary, sedum, and ornamental millet. These plants can thrive in direct sunlight and add beauty to your balcony garden.

What are the best plants for an east-facing balcony garden?

Some of the best plants for an east-facing balcony garden include ferns, impatiens, begonias, and geraniums. These plants thrive in partial to full shade and can tolerate the morning sun. They add a pop of color to the balcony and create a lush, green environment.