What flowering
plants can I grow
on east-and west-
facing balconies
duringwinterand summer?
I live in Navi Mumbai.
The east-facing balcony is likely to get the
morning sun while the west will get the noon
and evening sun, depending on how the
neighbouring buildings are located.
W inter flowering plants: petunia, phlox,
viola, aster, marigold, chrysanthemum, salvia,
cosmos, gladiolus, cineraria, and geranium.
Summer flowering plants: vinca, zinnia,
balsam, sunflower, celosia, gerbera, heliconia,
and cockscomb.
It is advisable to go for standard earthen
pots that facilitate free flow of air to the roots.
You can place them in decorative planters made
of ceramic, brass, plastic, or wood. The potting
mixture can be made by mixing fine soil, sand,
and manure in the ratio of 2:1:1. Use the same
mixture for summer and winter.
\ lam m o vin g fro m
Gurgaon to Chennai.
W hat plants can I take
with me that will thrive there?
Most of the ornamental plants of
Gurgaon such as croton, fern,
dieffenbachia, cannas, Ficus benjamina
variegata (song of India), different
dracaenas, duranta, murrayas,
putranjiva, hibiscus, ixora, crossandra,
cycads, areca palms, araucaria, china
orange (Citrus japonica), mussaenda,
gardenia, variegated rubber plant,
hostas etc. would do well in Chennai as
it is hot and humid, and Gurgaon is
also quite hot and dry during summer.
You may like to choose the plants of
your choice out of those listed above.
These plants are available in several
good nurseries in Chennai as well.
During transportation, package them
well keeping the prevailing winter in
Gurgaon and North India in mind. All
the best for your move!
Are there any bulbs I
can plant in Delhi now
that will flower in Feb.
or March, or is it too cold?
January is too late to plant bulbs of
flowering plants in Delhi (bulbous
plants are planted in January only in
the hills). Most of the bulbous flowers
like liliums, gladiolus, daffodils, iris,
dahlia, tuberose, and narcissus are
planted during November and very few
during early December. They need a
growing period of 45 to 75 days to
flower in the Delhi climate. However,
you may try planting tuberose, freesia,
tulip, dahlia, and gladiolus which may
flower during the later part of February
onwards but the quality of flowers may
not be very good. You may get good
flowers if the winter is prolonged to
March/April, but that is unlikely.
However, you can try your luck, and be
better prepared this year. c5)
Horticulture expert Brahma Singh, author
Roses o f Rashtrapati Bhavan
of Rashtrapati Bhavan,
answers common
gardening queries. If you have any
questions, write to
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