Plants for a Mediterranean Garden

Updated April 17, 2017

A Mediterranean-style garden is a garden that consists of drought tolerant plants commonly seen growing in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, such Spain, Italy or Greece. A Mediterranean garden is designed with formality and straight lines. This design should allow abundant air circulation and sweeping views.


Lavender thrives in Mediterranean gardens in soil that is well-drained and alkaline. There are many types available, including a variety that produces pink flowers instead of the classic purple. Lavender is popular for its lovely fragrance and its ability to grow in adverse conditions.


Rosemary grows in most soils as long as they are well-drained. It's used extensively in Mediterranean cooking recipes, and it's an important addition to any Mediterranean-style garden. Some varieties grow tall, up to 5 feet, and others sprawl along the ground.

Mediterranean Palm

Mediterranean palm trees are a cold-tolerant palm appropriate for USDA agricultural zones 8 and warmer. It's one of the most drought-tolerant palms, and it's the only palm native to the Mediterranean area. The Mediterranean palm grows up to 6 feet tall and wide.


The agave plant is a bold, broad-leafed succulent with thick strong leaves. They reproduce by creating offsets or "pups" around their bases that can be left to form a clump, or the offsets may cut away from the mother plant and plant themselves in another location. Every seven years or so, the plant produces a tall flower stalk that shoots up to 20 feet high. This stalk eventually dies along with the blooming plant.

Lambs Ear

Lamb's ear is a drought tolerant ground cover that does best in the alkaline soils of the Mediterranean area. It has soft, velvet-like succulent leaves and reproduces freely throughout the garden. Lamb's ear is appropriate for USDA horticultural zones 4 to 9.

Italian Cypress

The Italian cypress is the plant that usually comes to mind when thinking about a Mediterranean garden. It's an evergreen with a tall narrow growth habit. The Italian cypress can be planted in a part of the garden with limited space or in containers. A driveway or walkway lined with Italian cypress trees evenly spaced makes a dramatic statement. The Italian cypress is suitable for USDA horticultural zones 7 to 11.


Oregano is a culinary herb used in Mediterranean-style dishes. However, not all varieties of oregano are used in cooking. Some types make beautiful shrubs, and some forms of oregano are colourful ground covers. Oregano is related to mint, and it produces flowers that attract beneficial insects. Oregano is appropriate for zones 6 and warmer if used as a perennial, but it can be grown as an annual everywhere else.

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About the Author

Jay Golberg is a certified Texas nursery professional and professional project manager. He has 30 years of business and farming experience and holds bachelor's degrees in English writing from St. Edward's University and finance from Lamar University.