Part of a display wall at Rockdale Community Nursery.  You can see how the Australian native violets cascade eventually hiding the pots.  I thought it lovely.

Part of a display wall at Rockdale Community Nursery. You can see how the Australian native violets cascade eventually hiding the pots. I thought it lovely.

I saw this wonderful idea at Rockdale Community Nursery last week & thought it was an attractive & relatively cheap way to establish a green wall on a house or apartment balcony.

Two Australian native plants are very suitable to achieve this look.

  1. If the area is shady, then the Australian native violet (Viola banksii) is a perfect choice.  It is quite hardy & will cascade out of a hanging basket.  All you need to do is keep the soil moist. The Australian native violet produces attractive 150-mm high purple & white flowers throughout the warmer months & spot flowers throughout the year.
  1. If your balcony space is hot & sunny, then Kidney weed (Dichondra repens) may be a better choice as it tolerates full sunlight to 80% shade, but you still need to keep the soil moist.   Kidney weed produces small white flowers throughout the year. If your balcony is a hot space, a green wall will reflect heat & cool the area for you.
A side view showing the pots.  These plants do not need a lot of soil to grow well.

A side view showing the pots. These plants do not need a lot of soil to grow well.

If potted, both plants respond well to a slow release native fertilizer in early spring.

Both plants are often recommended to use instead of lawn, as they will tolerate some foot traffic & can be mown occasionally to make them thicken up.

Use Australian native violets in shady areas of the garden & Kidney weed elsewhere. They are also good plant choices for the spaces between pavers.

Propagation is easy, as both plants spread by putting out stems, which take root & establish a new plant.   A single plant can spread to cover a large area given time & the right growing conditions.

If the plant becomes too long for your liking in a green wall or hanging basket arrangement, snipping off the length will not hurt the plant & will also provide you with more plants to establish somewhere else.

With balcony spaces often being quite small, both are a great low maintenance option to add green & make the space attractive.

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