Mediterranean plants for your balcony and terrace

Mediterranean plants for your balcony and terrace

Crystal, Owner of a small gardening business, Oxford

Guide written by:

Crystal, Owner of a small gardening business, Oxford

Mediterranean plants such as bougainvillea, lantana, arbutus, aloe vera and oregano can be grown in pots or planters, beautifying and perfuming your patio or balcony. Sunlight, size, water needs: read our guide and see these wonderful perennials thrive!

Important features

  • Plant type
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Water needs
  • Flowering
  • Size
  • Hardiness
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Mediterranean plant characteristics

Mediterranean plant characteristics

Mediterranean plants are resistant to a wide range of weather conditions, for instance mild but wet winters combined with hot, dry summers. They are particuarly resistant to drought and harsh coastal winds.

All the plants in this group have a few characteristics in common:

  • modest water requirement;

  • considerable need for sunlight;

  • can grow in stony soil.

Some species are better suited to growing in pots or planters, on a patio or on a balcony.

In the next section we give you an overview of five types of Mediterranean plants that lend themselves well to this type of cultivation.

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Mediterranean plants

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea is a climbing shrub originating from South America. Its mauve, red and white flowers pepper the picturesque facades of France's Côte d'Azur - where it can be planted outside directly in the soil.

For successful potted bougainvilleas, you'll need to:

  • plan in two prunings per year, one in spring and one in autumn;

  • choose the best variety for the amount of space you have;

  • place your pots in a location exposed to direct sunlight;

  • arrange a dedicated interior space for wintering.

Lantana

Lantana

Lantana, a type of verbena, is very widespread in hotter climates around the world. In Europe, they're found along the Mediterranean coast. This abundantly flowering plant produces an essential oil with a wide range of anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, analgesic and antipyretic properties. To let your lantanas thrive and beautify your patio or balcony with their bold colours, it's essential that you:

  • carry out pruning twice a year in spring and autumn;

  • don't forget to bring it inside before the first frost of winter;

  • water regularly but sparingly;

  • choose a rich compost and fertilise twice a month until flowering, starting at the end of winter.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a perennial used since ancient times for its many medicinal and cosmetic benefits. The gel extracted from the interior of the flowers is used as a moisturiser for the skin and hair. It can also be consumed as a drink. However, the yellow latex obtained from its leaves is toxic and has an irritant effect on the skin. This is also used as a laxative. For successful aloe vera cultivation, you'll need to:

  • place place the plant in direct sunlight or partial shade;

  • choose an appropriate variety that won't become invasive (they can reach up to 3m in height);

  • water very occasionally and sparingly;

  • arrange an inside space for it to spend the winter.

Arbutus

Arbutus

In autumn, the forests of the Côte d'Azur are covered in millions of little orange balls. That's how you know it's arbutus season. These sweet, floury berries are a favourite with gourmet ramblers. They're also used for jam and sold at local markets and delis.

Arbutus can be grown in a pot provided that you:

  • water sparingly;

  • choose a location with plenty of sunlight;

  • prune it once a year, in autumn;

  • use a rich compost.

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Compost.

Marjoram or oregano

Marjoram or oregano

Marjoram, or oregano, is a herb heavily used in Mediterranean cuisine. It often features on pizzas and other southern European classics, as well as in herbal infusions. Marjoram is also valued for its medicinal benefits, especially in aiding digestive function. It has fungicidal and antibacterial properties. Although it grows wild in Mediterranean scrubland, it's also great for growing in pots. For successful marjoram at home, you'll need to:

  • go for a location with plenty of sunlight;

  • maintain your plants carefully - pruning once a year in spring;

  • avoid excessive quantities of water;

  • store safely inside over winter.

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Plant protection
 
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Guide written by:

Crystal, Owner of a small gardening business, Oxford

Crystal, Owner of a small gardening business, Oxford

From a background in waste transportation, I became a farmer specialising in organic gardening. A graduate of Horticultural Production, I tried for several years as a young farmer to settle in the beautiful region of Oxfordshire.   After many disappointments, I finally started a small-business in home services, specifically in gardening, assisted by my loving, dear husband. Passionate about nature and wild edible plants, I am very attentive to ecological solutions and respectful of our environment in all aspects of my daily life.   From the vegetable garden to the flower beds, from seed to harvest, I have all kinds of advice up my sleeve. Do not hesitate to ask me your questions.

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