Mediterranean garden: the 10 best plants for southern flair

Frederike
Frederike
Frederike
Frederike

I am a student of agricultural sciences and a real country kid. At home, I love tending my small vegetable garden and spending time out in nature. When not outdoors, I love to write. Beyond gardening and writing, however, I am particularly passionate about wildlife.

Favourite fruit: currants and raspberries
Favourite vegetables: salsify, savoy cabbage and potatoes

Bring the holiday mood back home with a Mediterranean garden. We present 10 Mediterranean plants that provide southern flair in the garden.

Building with arches in garden
Bring the world into your home with a Mediterranean garden [Photo: InnaFelker/ Shutterstock.com]

For many, a holiday in the sunny south is the highlight of every year. But it is not just the warm weather and great beaches that make the Mediterranean so popular with tourists – the unique flora also captivates many. Fortunately, you can also grow numerous Mediterranean plants in our gardens and bring a bit of Mediterranean romance back home. Find out here how you can best do this and which plants exude a particularly Mediterranean flair. A Mediterranean garden is a true oasis of well-being and the dream of many gardeners. Fortunately, even in here, with the right plants you can get a piece of the south in your own garden.

Mediterranean garden: what to consider in the design

Warm temperatures and bright sunshine – the Mediterranean area is particularly known for its pleasant climate. Mediterranean plants are also often true sun worshippers and should accordingly be given a bright place and not have to hide in dark corners. As far as the soil is concerned, the plants have requirements: it should be as permeable as possible and low in nutrients so that the exotics also feel at home in our latitudes. Waterlogging, on the other hand, is something many plants cannot tolerate at all. But despite good care, some plants cannot stand the whole year outdoors. Fortunately, however, many Mediterranean trees and shrubs are suitable as potted plants and can enrich the garden in summer, while spending the cold winter indoors.

But not only the appropriate plants are important when you want to create a Mediterranean garden. The arrangement of individual beds and the choice of appropriate materials are also of great importance. Typically, Mediterranean gardens are very symmetrical and divided into clear geometric shapes. The focus is usually water, which is the highlight of the garden in the form of a water feature, fountain or even pond. A terrace or gazebo is another essential feature of any Mediterranean garden. Natural stones and metal with patina as materials are particularly attractive, while muted colours around off the picture harmoniously.

Stone building behind garden pond
Mediterranean gardens feature a fountain or pond as the centrepiece [Photo: redzen2/ Shutterstock.com]

The 10 most beautiful plants for a Mediterranean garden

To give your garden real Mediterranean appeal, below we have put together a list of our ten most beautiful plants for a Mediterranean garden.

1. Shrub roses

Roses (Rosa) must not be missing from any garden, and the Mediterranean garden is no exception. Especially shrub roses are popular here. With their imposing growth and eye-catching flowers, they emphasize the elegant charm of the garden and can be used universally. Shrub roses can thus be planted in the centre of the garden as an elegant solitaire or stand charmingly in the background. In addition, many species of shrub roses exude a seductive fragrance, which directly reminds you of a holiday on the Mediterranean Sea.

Pink rose bush
Rose shrubs are a very popular choice in Mediterranean gardens [Photo: nnattalli/ Shutterstock.com]

2. Cypress

Real cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens) are indispensable in Tuscany and with their pillar-like growth, they shape the landscape of entire areas. Here, however, the slender trees are sufficiently frost-hardy only for the mildest regions and are therefore difficult to cultivate. If you are looking for a worthy replacement for the Mediterranean tree, you will find it in the Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum). The plant also has the typical pillar-like growth and is additionally very hardy.

Cypress trees overlooking seaside
Cypress trees are an essential part of the Mediterranean landscape [Photo: Gelia/ Shutterstock.com]

3. Crown imperial

When the crown imperial (Fritillaria imperialis) blooms in April, it outshines most other spring flowers with its beauty. The plant proudly wears its unique crown of flowers, which is composed of numerous bellflowers. With its distinctive shape and warm flower colours, it fits perfectly into the Mediterranean garden and provides beautiful colour accents already in the spring. But also their beguiling fragrance makes you want to spend your holiday only in your own garden.

Orange flowers facing downwards
Warmly coloured crown imperial flowers fit perfectly into a Mediterranean garden

4. Citrus trees

Fruit trees are a must for every garden and, of course, no such plant should be missing in a Mediterranean-inspired bed. Perfectly suited for this purpose are citrus trees such as the orange (Citrus sinensis) or lemon (Citrus × limon), even if these can only be cultivated as container plants due to the climate and oranges must be overwintered indoors. Especially so-called four-season lemons are a real insider tip for Mediterranean gardens – these not only bear delicious fruit all year around, but also bloom beautifully and spoil their owner with an intense smell.

Potted lemon tree with lemons
Citrus fruits can also grow in pots [Photo: ciud/ Shutterstock.com]

5. Daylilies

Warm flower colours are the key to adding a Mediterranean flair to a garden. Perfect for this purpose is the day lily (Hemerocallis). With its mostly yellow to orange-red flowers, the plant brings some real sunshine into the garden. What many people do not realize is that the blossoms only last a single day – fortunately, however, they are immediately replaced by a new, splendid bloom, so that the day lily is a real eye-catcher from June to August. But the plant is not only pretty: all parts of the plant can also be used in the kitchen and especially the edible flowers are considered a real insider tip.

Many yellow daylilies
Daylilies flower in abundance and brighten up every garden [Photo: Krzysztof Slusarczyk/ Shutterstock.com]

6. Basil

What would a Mediterranean holiday be without pasta? And what would pasta be without fresh pesto? For this reason alone, every friend of the Mediterranean lifestyle should plant basil (Ocimum basilicum) in their garden. The aromatic herb goes perfectly with pasta, but is also a hit with tomatoes or as a seasoning for meat dishes. But the kitchen plant is especially popular because of its uncomplicated nature. Thus, basil requires little care if allowed to grow in a warm, sunny place.

Green basil plants from above
Basil is absolutely indispensable in Mediterranean gardens [Photo: ulrich22/ Shutterstock.com]

7. Oleander

Anyone who goes on holiday in the south is bound to come across the oleander (Nerium oleander) – the ever-blooming shrub is one of the most popular ornamental plants in the Mediterranean and also has many fans here. Since the plant is quite sensitive to the cold, it enriches gardens in our latitudes especially as a tub plant and is a guarantee for Mediterranean flair. Especially the eye-catching flowers, which are available in countless colours and variations thanks to about 400 varieties of oleander, make the plant a real eye-catcher. But be careful: oleander is poisonous and therefore should not get into the hands of small children or animals.

Pink mediterranean oleander bush
Oleander is a popular ornamental plant in the Mediterranean region [Photo: Cyrustr/ Shutterstock.com]

8. Paperflower

Whether grown as a bush, small standard or on a trellis – the paperflower (Bougainvillea glabra) exudes southern flair like no other. With its outstanding beauty, this charismatic plant magically transforms any garden into a Mediterranean oasis of well-being. At the same time, the flowers of the plant, also known as Bougainvillea, are rather inconspicuous: delicate and white, they hardly catch the eye. The bright pink-purple coloured bracts, on the other hand, are a real splendour and immediately attract all the attention. Here, because of its sensitivity to frost, the plant is mainly found in containers where it also puts on a fine display.

Pink bougainvillea growing along wall
Bougainvillea will turn any garden into a Mediterranean paradise [Photo: Rrrainbow/ Shutterstock.com]

9. Olive tree

Few plants are as closely associated with the Mediterranean as the olive tree (Olea europaea). Already in ancient Greece, the tree was revered for its fruit and the olive oil produced from it, and even today the plant dominates the landscape of many areas. So if you want to bring some Mediterranean flair into your own garden, the olive tree is the perfect choice. However, the plant with the striking silvery-green leaves is only conditionally hardy – as a tub plant in a terracotta pot, the olive tree is an impressive solitaire that is not only a winner with its fruits, but also with its enchanting blossom.

Olive branch carrying olives
Olive trees can bear fruit even here

Tip: Especially in the tub, the nutrients are quickly depleted. An organic liquid fertiliser, which is simply added to the irrigation water, can be a remedy. Our Plantura Liquid Citrus Food is perfectly adapted to Mediterranean plants such as the olive tree and also promotes root growth for strong and resistant plants.

Liquid Citrus Food, 800ml
Liquid Citrus Food, 800ml
  • Perfect for all citrus plants & Mediterranean plants
  • Liquid fertiliser for healthy plants & aromatic fruit
  • Quick & easy application - child & pet friendly

10. Lavender

With its intense fragrance and distinctive colour, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) immediately awakens a longing for a holiday in Provence. And indeed, the lavender fields that dominate the landscape have since become real tourist magnets in the Mediterranean region – no wonder, as the blue-violet flower spikes captivate visitors with their unmistakable charm. Even in here, the hardy lavender with its impressive beauty and extreme versatility should not be missing in any Mediterranean garden. Even the somewhat more cold-sensitive variations of the plant – such as French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) or the Spanish lavender (Lavandula dentata) – are increasingly common and thrive wonderfully as potted plants.

Lavender bush with purple flowers
French lavender is becoming more and more common [Photo: S1001/ Shutterstock.com]
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