Biodiversity is very much about preserving the original nature, but you cannot do anything good for amphibians, lizards and hedgehogs on a balcony. Besides, only few will plant stinging nettles, dandelions and squatter cabbage in the flower boxes.
Balconies can greatly help to improve biodiversity despite these limitations. However, the insects and birds are where one can do something good.
If you want to do something good for biodiversity, you should preferably choose “native plants”, among others. Because many butterflies only lay eggs on very specific plants and their lichens also thrive best on these plants. Many people may think of pesticides when it comes to lichens – but remember that without lichens there will be no butterflies – so let go and enjoy how nature unfolds on your balcony.
We all have a responsibility to take care of the diversity of nature, because if a species becomes extinct, it will never come back!
SELECTION OF PLANTS
What are “native plants”? To help you along, here is a selection of native plants in different sizes that may be suitable for living on a balcony. Remember that this list is just for inspiration and feel free to fill up your balcony with all sorts of plants.
(Can for example fit in the Herbster Tube – if you hang them on the inside in 2 rows below each other, you can close the view to your balcony)
- March violet
- Cornflowers – buy seed mixture
- Forest berries (Strawberries)
- Blue hatred
- Blue monk
- Wild garlic
- Hose head
ASK AND GET SUCCESS
There is no fact list for the right plant selection. You must take individual consideration. For instance, is there a lot of sun or shade, wind or shelter on your balcony? Alternatively, do you prefer edible plants such as herbs? Some plants are hardier than others are and can withstand drying out for a shorter period. Therefore, they may be the right choice if you are often away from home. Possible, use the trick of sticking a bottle filled with water upside down into the ground, then the water will slowly drip out over the course of a few days, thus ensuring your plants water during dry periods.
It is sad to start with a failure, so ask yourself well before you buy plants for your balcony!
Also, keep in mind that a small birdbath with some stepping-stones, bird boxes and insect hotel can lure even more wildlife to your balcony.
Also read the Herbster blog: “BALCONIES CAN CONTRIBUTE TO A RICHER NATURE”