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Large plant needed for balcony, help appreciated!

Ben1Ben1 Posts: 4


I am looking for a big, colourful plant for my girlfriend's west-facing balcony in London as a birthday present, to be delivered on Saturday. I know nothing about plants image I'm willing to pay up to £100 or so. 

I need it to be modern-looking, preferably with bright colours, and maybe spikes or something rather than flowers, and last for a while. 

Does this sort of thing exist? I would be so grateful for any advice. Also, I am new to the forum so sorry if this is in the wrong place!





  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    I think I'd go for a potted selection of Canna Lillies. You'll have plenty of good suppliers in London, and I'm sure a local Garden centre will be able to help. It would fit what you require as well, colour, spikes and they look very good in pots. They are frost tender, but in London winter temperatures never get far below freezing, so they could probably stay outside all year. I'll let someone else suggest a shrub. 

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,150

    I would have suggested canna, but Dave has, so what about a variegated phormium tenax, spiky plant from Australia? They come in reds, greens and golds.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • GardenmaidenGardenmaiden Posts: 1,126

    Agapanthus, the large flowered ones, or tree lillies very tall and a nice scent to waft indoors on those summer evenings.

  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Bottle brush plant


    A standard rose



    A ginger lily (hedichium or something like that!) Would be my choice tho imageimageimage

    Jungle plants or crocus are two places i have used and have been good image
  • Ben1Ben1 Posts: 4

    Thanks to everyone. Bekkie I like your suggestions, particularly the hedichium, after looking at google images of course. 

    I also like the abutillion and brugmansia. Of these, what do you think is the best suited to the balcony, in a big pot!? How long would they last and what do you think I should be ready to pay?

    Thanks again. 

  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Sorry Ben had to nip out doors to get warm!

    I have to be honest, ive never grown any of them, just drooled over them i catalogues!

    The main issue i can see would be damage from wind, unless its quite a sheltered spot, id probably still go with the heichium, probably corinarium ( scuse spelling) thats the one thats often used in perfume production, i brought mom a similar one years ago which is still going strong, i reckon to get a large specimin you are probably looking at between 50 and a hundred pounds, plus the cost of the pot!

    I would give somewhere like jungle plants a call and ask their advice, i think i had an email from them saying they have 25 percent off too, so it may be a good time!

    Please post on what you decide, its such a lovely thing to do image
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,150

    Brugmansia can grow very big. My son has one, very perfumed, like lemony soap.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Ben1Ben1 Posts: 4

    OK thanks, is the hedichium a perennial? By jungle plants do you mean Urban Jungle? I looked online but not sure which company you mean. 

  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,488

    I would go for Nerium Oleander. Evergreen and flowers.

    Callistemon (bottle brush plant) is slightly hardier but the flowers more fleeting and is also evergreen.

    The 2 above do not mind the winds associated with balconies.

    A Fatsia (there are lots of varieties, Spiders web, Annelise and Fatsia polycarpa come very well recommended).

    I would not advise to get any of the other plants mentioned above as they are not hardy and London gets air and ground frosts, even super sheltered central London ones. The wind will rip to shreds Canna and musa leaves and will look terrible in no time. You will also be staring at an empty pot come December for Hedychium, Canna and Brugs.

    I do like Jungleplants! but a balcony is no good for them.

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    I'm no good for advice as fairly new myself, but wanted to say welcome Ben, what a lovely thought and please let us know what you get....also, if I give you his details could you have a word with my husband image

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