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Help with rooftop plant selection

Hello lovely people! 

Let me start by saying, I'm am a complete novice and know nothing of gardening. 

Ive recently moved into a roof top apartment with a huge outdoor space in Spain. My goal is to convert this space into a potted plant paradise. 

My first thought was to simply purchase the plants I desired until I realized that large plants cost around 70€ :neutral: so I've decided to grow them myself.

My question is, which plants would you recommend for a very sunny rooftop. Ideally, I'm looking for tall plants or climbers.

Thanks in advance! 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    Sounds like warm, sunny and possibly dry conditions, I recommend you look at a variety of drought tolerant small shrubs and sub-shrubs. Far easier to look after over plants with large leaves and requires constant watering.

    Plant annual seeds like Nasturtiums. Easy care and do well in dry conditions. Moroccan Daisies, Rhodanthemum Hosmariense will do well too. There are so many pink tinged ones and white colours to choose from. Lavender, Rosemary & Thyme would do fine too. All don't get bothered with wind and sun. 

    For more structured and permanent plants, Olive shrubs/trees, Pomegranate, Punica Granatum should do well if you have larger sized pots. For longterm colour, Polygala Myrtifolia should do well in a large pot. Flowers all summer into autumn. 
  • Thank you for the detailed response! 
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    I would take time to speak to green neighbours and do some detective work and find out what is delighted to grow in your specific area. There will be things that romp away. It's generally much easier to grow things that want to grow with you, rather than trying to force sulky plants to your will. You choices will be limited by how chilly/windy it gets in the winter. Bougainvillea (climber) loves lots of sun and grows in Med climates well, like pelargoniums and dianthus, which you see growing all over Spain. They all can look spectacular en masse - if colour is your thing. Mandevilla and Bougainvillea need a min winter temp of over 10 degrees.

    Plants like jasmin and roses can grow well in containers (if you research the right types). But as Borderline says, it depends on how much watering you are prepared for (long term). Fruits like tomatoes, kiwis and grapes can make great vines. Check what your wind conditions are like and if the space is not sheltered, I'd advise putting in something to cut the effect - matting, trellising, tough plants around the edge...  Generally, the larger container you have, the less the watering.

    There are lots of articles online about the plants you are looking for - that like full sun. Happy hunting!

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