Before setting up the various plants on the terrace, it will be a good idea to assess its conditions of exposure to direct light. For a south-facing balcony, plant spoecies that resist heat and drought will be perfect. Among them you will find the decorative and classic Hibiscus, or the evergreens Mirto and Viburnum, both with white flowers and spring flowers. The Alzalea, the Camellia, the Forsythia and the Kerria are instead all plants to be set in an east-facing terrace, which has a more direct sun exposure during the first hours of the morning, to then gradually decrease during the day, condition that it facilitates the growth of these beautiful evergreen acidophiles. Finally, if the terrace is facing north or west, you will have to choose plants that are used to surviving in low light and heat, since here the shaded areas have a predominant space. Opt for strong shrubs with rough character, such as Bosso, Alloro or Solanum, which can also be used for hedges and natural shading. Although at first sight it looks like a fragile and delicate flower, geranium adapts very well to this setting, as it originally developed in countries with a harsh climate. It boasts numerous species, does not need special care and will be very useful in the summer to hunt annoying mosquitoes thanks to its scent. After this introduction, however, keep in mind that any plant you are going to set, you will have to follow general rules designed to persevere in its beauty and health. We will see below how to proceed based on the category of shrubs in question.
Surely the balcony is the most suitable place, both for space and climatic factors, for the insertion of climbing plants, which are able to create natural shades and decorate architectural elements such as railings and columns in a truly extraordinary way. The most appreciated varieties for this purpose are the Jasmines, the Ivy, the Wisteria in clusters and the highly perfumed Passionflower. Another flower with a striking midnight blue color is the climbing bell, which presents a fast and luxuriant growth. If you live in a cold area, give up the beautiful Bouganville, as it needs temperate and dry climates. All creepers should be sown so that the roots can receive sunlight and the leaves and branches remain in the shade. For their care, regular watering is essential, but never in the middle of the day, to avoid water evaporation.Viola, Skimmia and Gerbera
The Viola, the Skimmia and the Gerbera are the three most suitable floral species for arrangement on the terrace. As for the Viola, an annual plant widespread for its simple beauty and relative ease of cultivation, we can say that depending on the variety it has a flowering that moves from May until September. In detail, the Mammola is the first subspecies in spring. That of Thought, on the other hand, is the most resistant of all, also because it has mountain origins. The Viola adapts well to all weather conditions but it is preferable to plant it in pots placed in semi-shaded corners. The earth must always be well drained. The greatest danger of this plant is the rust that sticks to the stem, caused by the stagnation of water. So remember to empty the saucers after each watering. An evergreen shrub belonging to the Rutaceae family is the Skimmia japonica, born in the Asian continent millennia ago. It is easy to grow and comes in a round shape with ivory flowers. In winter, the typical red berries will develop from the floral growths, which are also widely used for Christmas decorations. It lives well in fairly deep pots, placed anywhere on the terrace, as it has no problem related to the cold rather than to the heat. In the winter season the waterings must not be too frequent, while in summer it requires a greater water supply. The Skimmia lends itself easily to propagation. Just pick some shoots in the summer and plant them in a jar filled with earth mixed with sand. After a year, you will see the first cuttings appear, which will then be transplanted into suitable vessels. Pay attention to its main enemies, represented by the cochineal and the mushrooms, which you will fight with special sprays. Finally, let's take a look at Gerbera, a perennial plant belonging to the large group of Compositae. The most widespread variety is Jamesonii, born in Africa. The peculiarity of this fantastic plant is the large size of the flowers, present in nature in the shades of red, brick and all varieties of yellow. If you decide to grow it in pots on your terrace, keep in mind that in the winter season it must be protected from frost, while in summer it must be placed in a very sunny area, so that it can recover in all its vigor. As for the soil, the classic humus mixed with sand will be fine. Gerbera then needs constant watering, especially with increasing temperature. To multiply it is recommended the planting technique, to be carried out in spring. Prune the damaged parts and remove the dry growths every fortnight and check that the soil is always well fertilized and drained. After each watering operation, empty the saucers because Gerbera fears attacks by parasites such as fungi and aphids, which develop due to water stagnation.