Mediterranean Plants: How to plant and care for them

You may have dreams of a luxury villa in the Tuscan countryside or a poolside retreat in the Costa Del Sol, but while the weather may not be as sun-blessed, it is possible to recreate some of that Mediterranean garden glamour back home.

Whether you want to include one of the many varieties of olive trees into your garden, a Trachycarpus Fortunei palm, Tuscan Cypress tree or Bay Leaf Topiary, there are many plant species from the Mediterranean which can be planted in different shores to their origins.

To help you care for your specialist plants, Olive Grove Oundle are on hand to provide their advice for some of the most popular additions you can make to your Mediterranean garden.

Olive Trees


No Mediterranean garden would be complete without an olive tree, and including one in your garden will certainly make a statement in your garden. Olive trees are best planted in spring and will flower in the summer, growing up to 10 metres in height at their largest.

This type of tree requires a sunny, but well-sheltered spot, as although they are particularly hardy, they are unable to withstand cold, harsh winds. Olive trees are relatively low maintenance once planted, as providing they have a well-drained soil, they require little watering.

In late spring or early summer any diseased, dead or dying branches should be removed to encourage new growth and allow light to reach the centre of the tree. However, as olive trees grow slowly, you may find that pruning is very minimal. With those species which are being grown in containers, requiring additional pruning to maintain their shape and growth within the pot.


Cypress Tree

The Cupressus sempervirens is the Italian variety of Cypress which grows in columns up to 20 metres tall. With an elegant shape, it’s a must-have for adding a sophisticated touch to your Med-inspired garden – whether you line a driveway with Cypress or add a countryside feel by planting them sporadically throughout your garden.

As they are used to sunnier climes, you will need to ensure that when planting, your Cypress tree is in one of the sunniest spots in your garden. The tree should be placed in a hole which is able to accommodate the current ball, as well as a few feet surrounding it to allow for growth. To ensure that you have provided the tree with good drainage, organic matter should be added in when planting.

Bay Leaf Topiary

Adding a Bay Leaf tree to your garden is not only a plant which will look visually pleasing, as it can also be useful in the kitchen too – used in soups, stews and many other dishes, but it’s also a fragrant addition to have in your herb collection.

Flowering in spring, Bay Leaf can be planted from April through to September and can grow up to 7.5 meters tall. Requiring either full or partial sun in a sheltered spot, this type of tree is hardy to temperatures of minus five degrees.

Best grown in containers, Bay Leaf can be trained into topiary to create a specifically shaped tree to add to your patio.

Palm Trees

When you think of Mediterranean beaches, palm trees are likely to be on the first things that spring to mind. With their long-leaves and striking tree trunk, adding a palm tree to your garden will provide you with a plant statement.


With many species of palm tree available, some will prefer sunny spots, while others will thrive in the shade. Hardy palms are the best variety to plant if you aren’t blessed with as much sun and warmth as the Mediterranean, as they will be able to withstand colder temperatures.

You should plant any palms in spring to allow them time to establish before winter arrives, at which time you should move them indoors to improve their chances of survival throughout this season. However, as the plant grows and the stem becomes thicker, it’s able to withstand colder temperatures.

Whether you choose to complement your existing garden with a few Mediterranean plant additions or redo it completely to reflect southern Europe, these additions will transform your garden into a tropical oasis.

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The Olive Grove Oundle is one the UK's largest stockists of Mediterranean plants. With over 1,200 varieties of olive trees available and 25 years of experience, Olive Grove Oundle also stocks a range of palm and ornamental trees.