The word planta in Spanish can be confusing because it has several uses and meanings. In this article we are going to know some of them in order to learn Spanish in the most natural way possible.

First of all, planta is polysemic, that is, it has several meanings. We should not confuse this concept with homonymy, words that come from different origins but evolved into the same form. In this article you have some examples of homonymous words in Spanish:

These are some of the most common meanings of the word planta in Spanish.

The origin of the word planta in Spanish: the foot

In Latin, planta referred to the lower part of the foot, the part that is in contact with the ground. So, if the sole of your foot hurts, it is best to put it in hot water and relax!

No puedo caminar porque algo me ha pinchado en la planta del pie.             



From the literal to the metaphorical: the vegetable

When we rest the soles of our feet on the ground, we plant ourselves, or in other words, we stand still. In this way, we resemble a plant, a vegetable.

¿Te gustan las plantas que tengo en mi jardín?

The word plant in Spanish: the factories

Industrial facilities or factories are also related to our feet. The metaphorical relationship is similar to the previous usage. In a factory, installations, machines and buildings are fixed in one place.

En esta planta industrial se fabrican motores para los coches.

Description of presence or appearance

There is no doubt that physical appearance is something important for many people. Therefore, una buena planta is synonymous with success in many aspects of life.

El profesor de educación física tiene muy buena planta.

From floor to paper

Let’s go back to the original meaning and imagine the soles of our feet in the sand. When we remove them, we will leave a footprint. What would happen if we drew those footprints on a piece of paper? We would have the design of our feet, seen from above. We can do the same with any object or building.

El arquitecto ya ha diseñado la planta de nuestra casa.

From the ground, to the sky

Finally, we go to the heights. If at the beginning of this article on the word plant in Spanish we talked about its origin in the feet, on the ground, in this last meaning we must look up. Las plantas of a building are each of the sections into which we divide the height of that construction.

Yo vivo en la planta octava y desde aquí se ve toda la ciudad.


Infografía sobre los significados de la palabra planta en español


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As we can see, the word planta in Spanish has many meanings. If you are interested in learning Spanish and know more about this word or want to use it in conversation, don’t hesitate to book classes on Spanishviaskype, ¡Te esperamos aquí plantados!