Can I Water Plants On A Balcony?

Yes, you can water plants on a balcony, but you need to avoid water draining onto your downstairs neighbors, and you need to be careful of damaging your balcony. You also might not have a hose spout on your balcony.

Getting Water To Your Plants

You can use two different methods to get water to your plants.  Watering can or a hose.  These are my favorites for use on balconies.  Also here is a great adaptor to use with your indoor faucet if you do not have an outdoor spigot!

I prefer the Water Rite Hoses, click here to see on Amazon, instead of the expandable hoses. The problem is when the hose shrinks back again when the water is turned off, that water in the hose drains out and ends up on your balcony. Not what you had in mind!

Controlling Run-Off, this can be done with:

  • Water trays. These can be used permanently sitting under your pots, or you can move your plants onto the trays to water and let drain out the excess.
  • Self-watering Planters.  Self-watering planters will still need to be watered.  The water reservoir will need to be refilled, and expecting there to be water spillage while doing this will help you accommodate this without accidents.  You can use a tray under your refill area, or where the overfill spout drains to.  You can use an absorbent pad or towel to catch any water splashes.

My favorite self-watering planters are here…

Protecting Surfaces

None of these are to catch the initial water overflow while watering..all overflow needs to be drained immediately, and the following is to prevent the moisture condensation and few drips after the initial flush water flows during watering.  If any water is left in the saucers or trays, this needs to be drained off within an hour.  If you are trying to increase humidity around your plants put in stones to lift the bottom of the plant pot up and out of the standing water.  You can also use a try like this that has ridges to hold the pot up and out of any standing water, but to be effective to increase humidity, the tray needs to be wider than the width of the further edges of the leaves.

  • Pot Feet.  Click here to read about how pot feet are the best thing to protect your outdoor surfaces from your plant pots.
  • Saucers.  Many pots come with saucers, and people think these are to catch the excess water as you water your plants.  If this is what you are expecting, you will be disappointed.  Saucers hold minimal water and regular watering, done as water should be, click here to find out the best way to water and not overwater your plants, will drain off much more water than a saucer can hold.  These saucers need to be emptied of standing water within an hour of watering your plants.
  • Cache Pots. The same thing goes here, these are not to hold water in the bottom.  This does not self-water your plants, this drowns them.  The excess water will turn sour and smelly if left there.  Cachepots are for decorative purposes, they are great for dropping in the cheap, ugly plastic pots you bought the plant in, into.  Do not transplant into these, just think of it as a slipcover/saucer for your plant pots, all in one.  These need to be emptied of excess water that has drained out of your pot every time you water.  This is easy as you just lift up the plant in the original pot, and pour the excess that has gathered in the bottom of the cachepot.  
  • Plant Coasters. These work great to prevent mold or condensation from growing under your pots, as well as protecting your surfaces, like tabletops, from trapped moisture under your pots.

Watering this way, you can water the plants out on your balcony without worries of raindrops dripping on your downstairs neighbor’s head!


Toni has a bachelor degree in Plant & Soil Science, has lived, gardened and growing all over the US, in Vermont, Tennessee, Idaho, coastal North Carolina and Virginia. She has been sharing her knowledge through writing, one on one consulting and talking to anyone who wants to listen at social gatherings everywhere : )

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