While south-facing balcony gardens might get all the fanfare, there is no reason you can’t make a good garden on your east-facing balcony. Let us explain what conditions you’re likely working with on your east-facing balcony and how you can make the most of them.

Is An East Facing Balcony Good for Plants?

An east-facing balcony isn’t ideal for a lot of the most popular garden plants, but it has exceptional conditions for others. When you’re facing east, your plants will get a limited amount of sunlight, and they will get most or all of that in the morning. At the peak of summer in most places in California, that means your plants will get about six hours of sun before noon, but this will be less intense sun than in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, that is not quite enough to support sun-loving options like tomatoes. However, on a garden balcony, you probably wouldn’t have enough soil to support heavy-feeder plants like this anyway. You can still have an exceptional garden by choosing plants that don’t need much in terms of root space or intense sun.

Plants for East Facing Balcony Gardens

Flowers that do well in east facing spots include:

  • Clematis: Some clematis varieties enjoy the shade. Plus, as climbing plants, they can give your balcony some privacy.
  • Morning glory: Morning is the best time to enjoy your space, and adding morning glory, whose blooms only open in the morning, can enhance it.
  • Berberis: If you have room for this small shrub, it can add privacy to your balcony.
  • Coneflowers: There are many coneflower varieties that are well suited to shade environments.

Vegetables which do well in east facing spots include:

  • Leafy greens: Almost all leafy greens, including spinach and
  • Peas: Pease prefer gentle sunlight, and they do not need deep soil (although it should be rich in organic matter)
  • Green onions: Simple to grow, green onions are a good place to start if you’re new to gardening.
  • Garlic: Garlic does not like intense sun and will do well in your conditions.
  • Cauliflower: This plant and other brassicas will bolt in full sun, so they may do better in an east facing balcony.

You might also consider planting ornamental grasses facing east, as many are tolerant of shade and provide year-round interest.

Other Tips for East Facing Gardens

Here are a few other tips that can help you maximize your garden:

  • If you are growing climbing plants, ensure your balcony railing is strong enough to withstand them, or remove them if they grab onto the railing.
  • Choose plants that withstand the wind well or add trellises and other objects that can block the wind.
  • When growing from seed, start plants inside to avoid damage from the wind. Move plants outside only when they can withstand wind.
  • Use large pots or baskets, which take longer to dry out than smaller options and can therefore be watered less.

Following these tips and using the right plants, you can have a great balcony garden if it faces east.