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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Lavender

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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Bougainvillea

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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Hibiscus

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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Herbs

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)
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