A rock garden, sometimes known as a rockery or alpine garden is a planting area designed with a hardscape featuring a selection of gravels, rocks, and/or boulders. It typically includes softscape plants suitable to those conditions. The beauty of a well-planned rock garden is the rocks and plants work together to elevate each other’s impact.
Transforming an unsightly slope or mound in your backyard into a colorful rock garden is easy when you chose the right plants. These amazing, low-maintenance ground huggers don’t mind poor soil but do need good drainage to survive. Here’s a list of our top plants for rock gardens.
If you live in a frost-free region, be sure to include Euphorbia in your rock garden. This amazing family of succulents comes in a seemingly endless selection of shapes, sizes, and colors.
Adding yellow to your rock garden is a great way to brighten it up. This plant is a soft yellow, which makes it perfect as a plant that blooms in the spring. It is easy to grow; the plant is resistant to drought conditions, and it can thrive in soil that holds very little nutrients.
PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS
Drought resistant plants are typically best, which is why the prickly pear cactus is a great option. Of course, this cactus is going to have spines on the leaves, so you will need to take care while planting it in your rock garden.
The purple ice plant is often used as a spreading ground cover, and it can flower all summer long. The plant is tolerant of heat and drought, though it will die if it does not have good drainage.
HENS AND CHICKS
Hens and Chicks is a mat-forming succulent that produces rosette clusters. The parent rosettes are called the “hens,” and the smaller rosettes that offshoot from them are the “chicks.” The plant grows well in rock gardens, as well as in stone walls or between garden stepping stones.
BLUE FESCUE GRASS
Blue fescue is an ornamental grass grown for its blue-tinted foliage and yellowish-green flowers. It produces its best foliage in full sun but can tolerate a little shade, too. The plant grows to a height and spread of about a foot.
Candytuft, with its showy flowers that bloom in mid-spring, is commonly used in rock gardens or as edging. Although its petals form a pretty pattern, the flowers tend to have a rather unpleasant aroma. Still, this plant is tolerant of drought and can even handle being grown in a little shade.
Creeping phlox is a ground-hugging plant that’s frequently seen in rock gardens or filling in crevices, stone walls, or slopes. It grows well in sandy or gravelly soil and can tolerate heat and drought better than some of the other phlox species.
AUTUMN JOY SEDUM
Autumn joy will tolerate loamy, well-draining soil, but it thrives in soil that’s sandy or gravelly. The plant doesn’t need much water and has excellent drought tolerance.
When planning to do rock gardening, you want to make your rock garden plants and the rocks in the garden mesh with your home. The idea is to make the garden look natural. The more natural your rock garden plants look, the more attractive your rock garden will be to the onlooker.