Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening

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-   -   ~Making a Balcony Jungle~ (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/small-space-gardening/6051-making-balcony-jungle.html)

Sage 05-02-2010 03:54 PM

~Making a Balcony Jungle~
Last year some suggested I plant a trumpet vine. A month ago I took it out of the closet and put it on the balcony along with all the other dead looking stuff.

Finally! It's showing signs of life! In all my long terra cotta planters only the chives have come back, but Yea! I told Roger that this week we are going to get everything pulled out and the soil changed so I can go get some stuff!

Last May was so horrible, but this year I'm going to go ahead and plant!

I want birds, bugs, butterflies and hummers among the jungle! This is Buffalo so basically I need annuals, unless they will survive the winter in planters. I think Cosmos are perennial and I love them so I'll get them.

Last year Buffalo gardeners cried and nothing grew well. We had virtually no hot weather.

Trying to upload pix and got this again

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Sage 05-02-2010 04:15 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Okay, I exited WG, reopening it and I'll try again to post last year's pix so you'll know what I'm dealing with~ I'm doing one pic at a time...and that taking way too long...

Attachment 16350 This is the type of planter, and I have 5 now and will get a 6th

Attachment 16351 I cram them and other years they get fantastic but 2009 was dismal

Attachment 16352 The poor trumpet vine - should I cut it back?

Attachment 16353 The nasturtiums did well and I love their brights colors. I add them to salads.

Attachment 16354 The balcony is small, about 13' long and very narrow.

I want tall stuff and low stuff. We put up matchstick rollups to cut the afternoon sun so we can sit out there so nothing near the railing can be too tall. The walls are brown brick, ceiling white. I hang three planters out beyond the blinds, the last couple years Million bells, but last year they died.

If things don't do better this year I'll give up. I've always been told I have a "green thumb" but last year was so discouraging...

So, "Live Vicariously" and "Plant a Balcony by Proxy"! :happydance

dapjwy 05-02-2010 07:28 PM


For years, until I had land of my own, I grew everything in containers--all natives. Most everything survived for me. Some finally got planted in the ground after 12 years in pots.

I still have a few of my trees in pots until I decide where I want them. That makes 14 years for some. With the trees, I trimmed the roots (and some of the top growth to balance it out) every couple of years. The wildflowers, I would divide and repot or give to friends. I'm sure you could have success even with cold winters--although mine were kept on the ground, not on a balcony.

Also, as far as I remember, Cosmos are annuals (and not native).

Sage 05-02-2010 08:24 PM

dapjwy, I just googled cosmos and and they are perennial and native to the Americas and I just love them!

TheLorax 05-02-2010 09:29 PM

There are more than 20 different species of Cosmos. Two are native to North America while the rest are not. It is terribly confusing trying to determine native range using the word Cosmos when there are 26 different species of Cosmos plus many cultivars. The cosmos most frequently sold at nurseries are Cosmos bipinnatus and C. sulphureus. These cheery little plants are indigenous to South and Central America-
PLANTS Profile for Cosmos bipinnatus (garden cosmos) | USDA PLANTS
PLANTS Profile for Cosmos sulphureus (sulphur cosmos) | USDA PLANTS

Our native Cosmos are parviflorus and caudatus. They are indigenous to the southern states.

Sage 05-02-2010 09:46 PM

1 Attachment(s)
These are the cosmos I want Attachment 16357

TheLorax 05-02-2010 10:37 PM

The picture you have appears to be Cosmos bipinnatus. The common name for it is the Mexican Aster.

Here is a photo of a native Cosmos-
Wild Cosmos on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

dapjwy 05-03-2010 06:14 AM


Originally Posted by Sage (Post 65639)
These are the cosmos I want Attachment 16357

Those were the Cosmos I was picturing (Thanks, Lorax for mentioning the two species native to the Southern states.). You are more than welcome to use them in your balcony garden...I meant to mention that you may want to save some of the seeds and plant them again the next year.

When posting to another native plant forum, we tended to make mention if something was not native to the area, so that others reading the post would not assume it was native just by being mentioned on that site.

Equilibrium 05-04-2010 01:13 AM

It lived!!!! I'll be darned.... it made it!!! Congrats to you on the trumpet vine!!! I'd leave it alone. See how it goes and revisit pruning it later. Poor thing's had a rough winter with you abandoning it to "fly" south!!!

Sage 05-04-2010 09:15 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Lib, here's a portrait of my survivor trumpet vine taken just today!

Attachment 16383

Attachment 16384 and the only other survivor, which actually weathered the winter outside because we didn't put those planters in the storage closet. I have two clumps of chives! :happydance

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