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    Habitats on balconies and terraces

Flourishing life on balconies and terraces

Would you like to fill your balcony or your terrace with bustling life? That’s a great idea, as balconies that attract wildlife play an important role in promoting nature in cities. Even the tiniest balconies or even just windowsills can accommodate logs as nesting aids for insects or flowering plants to provide food for wild bees, beetles or butterflies. That way, you’d be creating habitat and flowered area at once.

Target species


European orchard bee

Grape hyacinth

Small tortoiseshell

Violet carpenter bee

Woodland sage

Good to know

  • Native flowering plants such as chives or grape hyacinth attract bees.
  • These plants can share pots with vegetables, kitchen herbs, berry bushes, and fruit trees.
  • Use peat-free soil! Our love for nature shouldn’t destroy swamps.
  • One condition for insects to live in the nesting aids is the vicinity to nectar-rich, flowering plants.
  • Ornamental plants and common balcony plants such as geraniums and petunias may have colourful flowers, but no nectar or pollen. Which is why they are not suitable for most species of insects.
  • Please avoid chemical fertilizers and pesticides! It’s much better to use natural fertilizer.

What does the City of Vienna do?

The City of Vienna - Environmental Protection department awards a prize to the most beautiful, bee-friendliest balconies and terraces:

Plakette Naturnahe Grünoase der Stadt Wien (wien.gv.at)

Insect nesting aids as habitats

Instead of “hotels”, small animals also need social housing. Many of the “insect hotels” available in stores don't work properly. It is better to make your own nesting aids or to buy them from the suppliers listed below. There is a plethora of great instructions, of which you will find a selection here. You’ll see, it’s worth it. Have fun observing!

The following collection of Internet links was selected as an example and does not claim to be complete.





Further browsing:

Insect-friendly planters as flowered areas

Each planter on your balcony is its own universe: Great diversity can evolve in the tiniest space, and you can have a piece of nature right at home. If you switch form geraniums to nectar-rich flowers, that’s already a great first step. Perennial, cold hardy shrubs and herbs are also very low maintenance, but still colourful and pretty.

The following collection of Internet links was selected as an example and does not claim to be complete.


Tips and instructions:

Plant types: