The best plants for a Spanish garden | Our Spanish Adventures (2024)

Whether you’re a green-fingered gardening expert, or a complete novice when it comes to plants, having a garden in Spain is very different from the UK or elsewhere in Europe!

With such hot temperatures and a distinct lack of rain, you might find that many of the plants and flowers you’re used to growing just won’t grow in an arid Spanish garden.

If you’re wondering what Spanish plants to grow in your garden, whether in the ground or in pots, read on. After a year of (trying to!) look after our garden and keep various different plants alive, we’ve found a few different plant species that seem to grow ok in Spain, We’ve listed some of these Spanish plants below to help you make your garden in Spain beautiful…

Succulents and cacti

An obvious choice of plant for a Spanish garden with hardly any rain are succulents as they retain water. Once planted you don’t really need to do much to look after them, which is great if you aren’t a natural gardener as they are near impossible to kill!

As you don’t need to do much to look after them, they’re perfect if you need to leave your garden unattended for long stretches of time, for example if you have a holiday home in Spain.

There are lots of very cool and unique looking succulents and they tend to be fairly cheap to buy from the garden centre. A popular choice is Aloe Vera which you can actually get as a cutting from another plant, and are great for sunburn so handy to have in the garden.

Succulents and cacti work well in the ground as they aren’t too fussy about high quality soil. They also work well in pots on a terrace or balcony.

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Fruit and vegetables

Most gardens here on the Costa Blanca will have a fruit tree or two – usually lemon and orange. We also have apricot, pomegranate, nispero, olive, and grape vines which have all done quite well despite the high temperatures.

If you don’t have a lot of outside space you can buy small lemon and orange trees that can be grown in pots on a terrace or balcony and still produce decent amount of fruit.

We have also done really well with our bell pepper, padron pepper, and various chilli pepper plants, but the tomatoes didn’t like the heat so these did better in the autumn and spring months.

Whatever fruits and vegetables you decide to grow in Spain, remember that they will need some shade in the middle of summer as well as a lot of watering.

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Another great plant to grow in a Spanish garden is lavender. There are various different types of lavender plants that can be grown in pots or in the ground. As they don’t need a lot of water they will tolerate droughts quite well, though when in the full Spanish sun you must remember to water so they don’t dry up.

Lavender grows very quickly, doesn’t need too much looking after, and smells amazing so is a good addition to a Spanish garden. Lavender is also said to repel mosquitoes so worth growing in pots on your Spanish terrace or balcony to avoid getting bitten.

Plant lavender in dry, and well drained sandy soil, in full sun for best results.

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Probably the plant that most people associate with Spain is the bright pink and purple flowering bougainvillea plants. These grow best in the full sun with well drained soil, and while they do grow ok in pots they do much better planted in the ground where the roots can spread. If growing bougainvillea in a pot it’s important to make sure the water drains as they do not like standing water.

Bougainvillea flower all year round bringing lots of colour to a sunny Spanish garden. They are climbing plants so are perfect for growing over gates and around the garden walls. Bougainvillea grow well in the summer months in Spain but do need to be watered daily when temperatures are at the highest.

Be careful though because although they look very pretty they have large, thick spikes, so make sure you wear gloves when pruning them!

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The best plants for a Spanish garden | Our Spanish Adventures (5)


Hibiscus have to be the one of the most tropical looking plants, characterised by dark green leafy bushes with beautiful trumpeting flowers in various colours from pale pink to bright yellow.

Hibiscus are easy to look after, they don’t need too much watering if planted in the ground in Spain, and grow very well in the warmer areas of Spain that don’t get frost.

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If you like cooking and want to grow your own herbs, then this is a good idea for your Spanish garden. We’ve found that our parsley, mint, basil, and rosemary have grown very well despite the scorching sun, though they do need watering regularly. We haven’t had much luck with coriander or thyme though, they seem to have just frazzled in the heat!

Some herbs such as coriander, citronella, basil and mint repel mosquitoes so these are definitely worth a try for gardens in Spain.

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We hope these suggestions of plants to grow in a Spanish garden help you to make your home more green despite the heat and large amount of sun.

If you have a home in Spain, what plants have you found that grow best in a Spanish garden?

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The best plants for a Spanish garden | Our Spanish Adventures (2024)


What plants are popular in Spain? ›

These differing climates have a substantial impact on plant selection. In the Mediterranean region, plants that tolerate dry, sunny conditions are popular choices, such as lavender, rosemary, olive trees, and citrus trees. Succulents and drought-resistant plants like Agave and Yucca also thrive in these conditions.

How to make a Spanish garden? ›

Here are some plant combinations that encapsulate the spirit of Spanish gardens: Olive Tree + Lavender, Bougainvillea + Jasmine, Spanish Lavender + Sage, Lemon Tree + Rosemary, Geranium + Pomegranate.

What plants for Spanish courtyard? ›

Shrubs – Coral bean, esperanza, palms, bottle bush, Pride of Barbados, cassia. Cactus – Sedums, spineless prickly pear, ocotillo, soft leaf yucca, agaves. Tropical Perennials for Large Containers – Brugmansia, Moy hibiscus, bougainvillea, geraniums.

What vegetables grow well in Spain? ›

know how to eat like a local: seasonal vegetables in spain
  • Apricot – In season: May – August.
  • Artichokes – In season: December – May.
  • Apple – In season: August –January.
  • Avocado – In season: June – October.
  • Green/White Asparagus – Green is in season: March – April. ...
  • Aubergine/Eggplant – In season: May – November.

What type of plant is Spanish? ›

Despite its name, Spanish moss is not a moss but a bromeliad—a perennial herb in the pineapple family. Most bromeliads, including Spanish moss, are epiphytes. Epiphytes grow on other plants, but do not rely on them for nutrients. They take nutrients from the air and debris that collects on the plant.

How do you grow Spanish plants? ›

Grow Spanish moss in a light, humid environment such as a bathroom. Avoid direct sunlight as this can scorch and dry out the leaves. As it's an epiphyte, the plant doesn't need compost to grow, so fix it to a piece of wood or other frame, from which it can hang down like it would naturally from a tree.

What plants are potted in Spain? ›

Pots will need more watering than plants in a flowerbed. Go for palms, hot climate herbs, lavender, oleander and succulents – all of which are happy with small amounts of water, but make sure your pots are large enough for the plant to spread.

What is the concept of a Spanish garden? ›

Spanish gardens are a mixture of the grandiose and pastoral, of curves and columns, of vibrant colours and pastel hues. They take their influences from Persian, Roman, and Moorish designs (like the famous Moroccan Jardin Majorelle), changing over the centuries but keeping the same general outline.

What are the best colors for Spanish houses? ›

Typical features of Spanish Colonial buildings are courtyards, tile rooftops, arches and smooth stucco walls. With Spanish Colonial homes, you can really play with color in a fun way. The most common palette we see in this style of home is filled with rich tones like beige, deep yellow, red, purple, pink and white.

What is the best Spanish flower? ›

Spain's Popular Flowers
  • Pomegranate. The pomegranate flower is the national flower of Spain. ...
  • Red Carnation. Carnations have a round flower with several petals intricately weaving around each other. ...
  • Spanish Bluebells. Spanish bluebells are gorgeous flowers that are very popular in Spain. ...
  • Lantana Flowers. ...
  • Valencia Rose.

What is the Spanish plant with orange flowers? ›

Choisya ternata (Mexican Orange Blossom)

What is a famous plant in Spain? ›

Among over 1400 vascular plant species known solely from Spain are a pink Dianthus charidemi (iNaturalist), the Dwarf Spanish Foxglove (Herbario Virtual), Borderea chouardii (PLOS), Narcissus bugei (ARKive WM), the Alpujarras Mallow (AlmeriNatura), the Cazorla Violet (iNaturalist), Erodium astragaloides (IUCN), the ...

What is Spain's top crop? ›

Barley and wheat, the major crops in Spain, predominate on the plains of Castile-León, Castile–La Mancha, and Andalusia, while rice is grown in coastal Valencia and southern Catalonia. Corn (maize), grown in the north, is a major fodder product.

What fruit grows best in Spain? ›

Spain's Mediterranean region produces a large number of high-quality fruits, such as citrus in Valencia, peaches, oranges, apricots and pears in Murcia; the Canary Islands also produce high-quality subtropical fruits such as mango and papaya.

What are the national plants of Spain? ›

The carnation is the national flower of Spain, Monaco, and Slovenia, and the provincial flower of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. The state flower of Ohio is a scarlet carnation, which was introduced to the state by Levi L.

What is the most popular crop in Spain? ›

Barley and wheat, the major crops in Spain, predominate on the plains of Castile-León, Castile–La Mancha, and Andalusia, while rice is grown in coastal Valencia and southern Catalonia. Corn (maize), grown in the north, is a major fodder product.

What is the native flora of Spain? ›

Flora and Fauna in Spain

Oak trees and beech trees are often found in the wet regions of Spain. In lower areas chestnut, ash-tree, linden, hazelnut, and maple trees are growing. Fern, broom, and different heather species are also widely spread. In the dry southern parts of Spain many palm trees can be seen.


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