The Cactus Garden

Collecting cacti, a family passion and Africa's largest cactus nursery

In 1964, Hans Thiemann discovered a location on the northern outskirts of Marrakech where, over decades, he created a remarkable garden to indulge in his passion for cacti. With a splendid outlook onto the celebrated Palmeraie and view to the distant Atlas Mountains, the garden is close to the city but far enough from it to be in the countryside.

An agricultural engineer, Herr Thiemann was already growing cacti in greenhouses in his native Bremen, Germany, where he was considered a distinguished specialist. But when he discovered Marrakech, Hans saw the opportunity to fulfil his dream of growing cacti in the open and, convinced by the advice of Jacques Majorelle, creator of the famous garden, he bought a ​​seven-hectare plot and began planting seeds and cuttings in the dry, well-drained soil. Initially the project was more challenging than expected because the cacti had trouble adapting to the hot and dry climate of the region. Frost nights are not exceptional in winter and summer is long, hot and, above all, very dry; not only is there no precipitation, but the air is also dry, with little or no dew. Under these conditions, even cacti need to be watered.

Not all the species thrived in the environmental conditions so, with natural selection coming into play, today all the species on the plantation are perfectly adapted to the climatic conditions and have flourished. Today, the garden boasts over one hundred and fifty varieties from all over the world, many of them from Latin America, some growing to heights of up to eight metres. 

Today, the founder’s widow, Fatima THIEMANN, and her daughters open the garden to visitors in order to share their family passion for cacti with the world.

Entry prices are: 80 dh for adults and 40 dh for children (5-12 years old)

The garden is open 1000 TO 1700 Wednesday to Saturday but is closed in August.