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Old 28.06.2020, 10:16
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Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

Hi,
Am extremely frustrated with figuring out how to make our balcony pot holders to work. We get strong sun from around noon and most flowers don't seem to like that - my solution is to spray them every couple of hours when it's really sunny. And then when it rains, the holders get flooded so I have to take them off and empty them. Ditto with taking off the holders when it's very windy.
Any tips on how to manage balcony pots without the huge effort that I seem to be making? What flowers are the best for balcony pots ( we have narrowed it down to geraniums )? Any other advice?
TIA.
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Old 28.06.2020, 10:58
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Re: Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

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Hi,
Am extremely frustrated with figuring out how to make our balcony pot holders to work. We get strong sun from around noon and most flowers don't seem to like that - my solution is to spray them every couple of hours when it's really sunny. And then when it rains, the holders get flooded so I have to take them off and empty them. Ditto with taking off the holders when it's very windy.
Any tips on how to manage balcony pots without the huge effort that I seem to be making? What flowers are the best for balcony pots ( we have narrowed it down to geraniums )? Any other advice?
TIA.
Make sure your Geranium flowers are the correct, authorised colour.
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Old 28.06.2020, 11:09
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Re: Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

the geraniums should tolerate being in the heat. If you water them the pores of the leaves open. Then the sun hits and they wilt even faster as they actually lose water through the leaves.


I would either move them if they are in really direct sun all day, or leave them be and only water early morning or at the end of the day.


It sounds like your holders don't have enough holes in them...they should be draining naturally...



Post a photo...
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Old 28.06.2020, 11:51
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Re: Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

Nothing wrong with leaving water in the holder, it's what happens when you water the plants anyway, and there's absolutely no reason to empty it.

Spraying plants when there's sun on them will scald the leaves and flowers, so should be avoided at all costs. It's likely that this is the major cause of your problems. Watering them is OK as long as you only get the water into the soil. To be safe, just top up the water level in the holders and let it get absorbed into the pot.
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Old 28.06.2020, 13:48
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Re: Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

Thanks Tom1234, sweepea and Ace1234.
Actually, the holders don't have holes in them and the pots can be completely submerged if it rains a lot.
Here's a pic of one of them - there are 2 pots in each holder.
Thanks again.
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Old 28.06.2020, 14:25
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Re: Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

These pots are Ikea and don't have holes in them. You need to put at least 4-5 reasonable sized holes in them so they drain.



Probably because they are metal buckets and in full sun, they are getting too hot.



Move them to a more shady area of your balcony.
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Old 28.06.2020, 16:11
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Re: Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

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These pots are Ikea and don't have holes in them. You need to put at least 4-5 reasonable sized holes in them so they drain.
Yes, contrary to what I was saying earlier, where I was imagining more of an open tray underneath the pots, these will keep the compost completely soaked if you leave water in them. I'd probably drill holes in them but put a small saucer inside to hold a little water and stop any compost that comes through from the pot from leaking out, which would make a mess if you let it drain out.
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Old 28.06.2020, 16:25
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Re: Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

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These pots are Ikea and don't have holes in them. You need to put at least 4-5 reasonable sized holes in them so they drain.



Probably because they are metal buckets and in full sun, they are getting too hot.



Move them to a more shady area of your balcony.
The neighbours won't like it, if they're drizzled on all the time. With these pots one must put the plant in an "inner pot" and set that one into the Ikea one.
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Old 28.06.2020, 18:17
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Re: Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

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The neighbours won't like it, if they're drizzled on all the time. With these pots one must put the plant in an "inner pot" and set that one into the Ikea one.
We are on the ground floor and the water will drain into the garden below. So I think drilling holes in the pot holders will solve my rain problem.
How to handle the sun is still an issue We have one long south facing balcony and can't move the flowers to a more shady spot. But if geraniums can handle the sun ,as many of you are saying, provided I don't spray them and water them judiciously, I could be fine?
Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 28.06.2020, 18:44
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Re: Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

I looked it up, and it says that geraniums do well in full sun but that they also do require good drainage. So I have a feeling the drainage issue is the problem.

If you find it difficult to create holes in the existing pots and/or to not bother your neighbors with the overflow, maybe you could consider getting a new planter system for your balcony railing -- one with some kind of tray underneath to catch the excess water draining from underneath. I recently bought a rectangular flower box that has a built-in tray underneath it that collects water and serves as a water reservoir. It's never dripped at all, and I water the petunias that are in it almost every day. (As a side note, I had also planted them in universal potting soil -- inside that planter -- and they bloomed like crazy afterward).
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Old 28.06.2020, 21:40
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Re: Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

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We are on the ground floor and the water will drain into the garden below. So I think drilling holes in the pot holders will solve my rain problem.
How to handle the sun is still an issue We have one long south facing balcony and can't move the flowers to a more shady spot. But if geraniums can handle the sun ,as many of you are saying, provided I don't spray them and water them judiciously, I could be fine?
Thanks for all the advice.
My main point was not the neighbours but if the plants are directly in that pot, they will always have "wet feet" and they don't like that in general and geraniums in particular. On the other hand, if you drill holes into the bottom, they have no reservoir during a sunny day.
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Old 28.06.2020, 21:58
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Re: Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

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Nothing wrong with leaving water in the holder, it's what happens when you water the plants anyway, and there's absolutely no reason to empty it.
It's not always the case... some plants don't like the soil being too wet and you must provide good draining. Most balcony pots come with holes or instructions on where to make holes depending on the needs. The only pots without holes are those with a water reservoir, e.g. those with the floating gauge stick; in that case the water part and the soil part are separate by a layer of solid material with some "communication" holes and gaps.
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Old 29.06.2020, 07:16
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Re: Balcony railing pots - can't get them to work

Put a 3-4 cm layer of hydro-culture balls in the bottom of the pot as dranage (polysyrene bits also work). Tip excess water out after heavy rain - water around the roots, not the leaves. Geraniums thrive in the sun but do need plenty of water.
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