Best Plants For Rock Gardens

 

A rock garden, recognized as an alpine or rockery garden, is a planting space composed of a hardscape highlighting various boulders, gravels, and rocks. In addition, it generally has softscape plants that are suitable. The attraction of a thoughtful rock garden is the plants and rocks work mutually to improve the impact.

As we call them, the “rock garden plants” do not come under a part of the botanical classification. However, more as a collection that shares specific characteristics, including drought resistance, proper drainage, and dense growth habit. So, here are the best plants for your rock garden, from small to large varieties.

Tip

When you need to get your plant selection right, keep in mind the rock gardens’ requirements. Gather specimens with related growing conditions.

Yellow Alyssum (Aurinia Saxatilis)

  • This is a spreading, low-growing plant that can put out groups of tiny yellow flowers during April and May. It grows in soft soil and has been considered tolerant to drought. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: 7
    • Color: Yellow
    • Soil Requirements: Well-draining, average, sandy, Dry
    • Sun Exposure: Complete sun

Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi)

  • This purple-colored ice plant has been usually utilized as a growing floor cover, and this flowers all the summer. This plant is drought and heat tolerant and, it could be dead if it doesn’t have proper drainage. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: six to ten
    • Color Varieties: Purple and red
    • Exposure: Complete sun
    • Soil Requirements: well-draining, dry, average, poor

Angelina Stonecrop (Sedum Rupestre ‘Angelina’)

  • Angelina stonecrop is also a growing ground filler, increasing to create a cover that is about six inches in height. The more sun this plant will get, the golden the foliage will turn. It can produce tiny, star-yellow blossoms in the summer season. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: five to eight
    • Colors: Yellow
    • Soil Requirements: Well-draining, dry and medium moisture, Average,
    • Sun Exposure: Complete sun

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop (Sedum Spurium)

  • Many tiny rock garden shrubs are creepers, like dragon’s blood stonecrops. The plant will endure drought to some extent and also rocky, shallow clay. Butterflies usually love their tiny red-pink flowers. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: four to nine
    • Colors: Pink
    • Soil Requirements: well-draining, Average, dry, medium moisture, acidic 
    • Sun Exposure: Complete sun

Hens And Chicks (Sempervivum Tectorum)

  • This Hens and Chicks, a mat-creating succulent, can produce rosette clusters. Their parent rosettes have been known as the hens. The smaller offspring rosettes are called chicks. This plant can grow very well in the stone walls and rock gardens or within field step stones. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: three to eight
    • Colors: Red-purple
    • Soil Requirements: well-draining, dry, medium moisture, Average, 
    • Sun Exposure: Complete sun

Creeping Thyme (Thymus Serpyllum)

  • This one is aromatic similar to edible herbs, though mainly it is planted to stuff in the area within the stepping stones or as a ground cover. This plant can cascade over lower stone walls and rocks in the rock garden for a softer setting. It can readily grow within nutrient-less soil as it can have proper drainage. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: four to eight
    • Colors: Pink
    • Exposure: Complete sun
    • Soil Requirements: Well-draining, dry, medium moisture, Average, 

Blue Fescue Grass (Festuca Glauca)

  • Blue fescue comes under as an ornamental grass planted for the yellowish-green flowers and blue-tint foliage. It can produce the fittest foliage in full sun but will tolerate a light shade, also. This plant can grow up to a considerable length and spread about afoot. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: four to eight
    • Colors: Yellow, light green
    • Soil Requirements: well-draining, dry to average moisture, Average
    • Sun Exposure: Complete sun

Snow-In-Summer (Cerastium Tomentosum)

  • This plant got the name from the new white-colored flowers blooming in early summer. It blankets the ground just like a recent snowfall. This is a low-growing plant, and it can thrive in sandy or poor rocky soil, but it should have proper drainage. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: three to seven
    • Colors: White
    • Exposure: Complete sun
    • Soil Requirements: Well-draining, dry, sandy 

Candytuft (Iberis Sempervirens)

  • Candytuft is usually used as edging or in rock gardens, with the showy flowers appearing in the mid-spring. Though the petals make a beautiful pattern, the flowers have a fairly unpleasant aroma. However, the plant is drought tolerant and can handle being planted in a limited shade. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: three to eight
    • Colors: Pink and white

            Exposure: Complete sun 

  • Soil Requirements: Well-draining, Medium moisture, 

Ajuga (Ajuga Reptans)

  • This one is a quickly spreading, mat-creating groundsheet, and it will get invasive in optimal growing circumstances. Additionally, it can fill in slightly shady spaces where many different plants can not grow. It would be best if you were not planting ajuga close to gardens where they will spread. Alternatively, keep this plant enclosed in a pot or a rock garden. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: three to ten
    • Colors: Violet and blue
    • Exposure: Full or part shady
    • Soil Needs: Well-draining, medium moisture, Average, 

Creeping Phlox (Phlox Subulata)

  • This plant is ground-loving, frequently observed filling in slopes, crevices, stone walls, and rock gardens. It can grow well in gravelly or sandy soil and tolerate drought or heat better than many different phlox species. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: three to nine
    • Colors: Pink, white, red, blue, and purple
    • Exposure: Complete sun
    • Soil Requirements: Well-draining, medium moisture, Humusy.

Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla Vulgaris)

  • This one is a clump-creating, low-growing plant. An early blossom in the spring season, bringing shade to the scene. This prefers humus or proper-draining sandy soil and will handle little shade as observed. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: four to eight
    • Colors: White and purple
    • Exposure: Full to part shady
    • Soil Needs: Well-draining, Humus, medium moisture, gritty, 

Reticulated Iris (Iris Reticulata)

  • This one is also an early blossom during spring. As this holds a tiny flower, raising approximately 6 inches in height, it is planted in bulks to increase the visual impact. Furthermore, their bulbs must stay in reasonably dry soil while in the summer dormancy, making it perfect for a proper-draining field. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: five to nine
    • Colors: Purple and blue
    • Exposure: Complete to part shady
    • Soil Needs: well-draining, medium moisture, Average 

Wood Spurge (Euphorbia Amygdaloides)

  • Wood spurge will provide a colorful influence in your rock garden, with the purple-tinged foliage. This plant is poor soil tolerant but requires good drainage. This one can handle a little shade, particularly midday, but a lot of shade will make the plant lose its form. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: six to eight
    • Colors: Yellow

            Exposure: Full to part shady 

  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, dry to average moisture, Average

Moonbeam Coreopsis (Coreopsis Verticillata ‘Moonbeam’)

  • This one comes under the perennial herbs from the family of aster. It can thrive in poor rocky or sandy soil, which can tolerate humidity, drought, and heat. It is known as boundary planting, though its growing conditions also make it an excellent addition to a rock garden. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: three to nine
    • Colors: Yellow
    • Exposure: Complete sun
    • Soil Requirements: Well-draining, dry to average moisture, average

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

  • Having all the pretty blossoms and aromatic foliage, lavender is versatile and famous in a garden. One can use this in a herb garden, rock garden, or low hedge or edging. It favors light, slightly infertile soil having proper drainage. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: five to eight
    • Colors: Purple
    • Exposure: Complete sun
    • Soil Requirements: Well-draining, average, alkaline, dry to average moisture

Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)

  • Yarrow is a blooming perennial seen as an edging plant and in the rock garden. This can grow ideally in average garden soil still can tolerate drought and poor soil. This plant is a vigorous spreader. Therefore this one is best in an enclosed area. A higher plant in your garden works well next to structures like planted or fenced in the back of the garden bed. 
    • USDA Growing Regions: three to nine
    • Color Varieties: Yellow, red, pink, and white
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-draining, dry to average moisture

Autumn Joy Sedum (Hylotelephium Herbstfreude)

  • This one can tolerate well-draining, loamy soil, but it can thrive in gravelly or sandy soil. This plant does not require lots of water and holds superior drought tolerance. It can grow up to around 2 feet in height and bears tiny reddish or pinkish flowers in fall. 
    • USDA Growing Zones: three to nine
    • Colors: Red, purple, and pink
    • Exposure: Complete sun
    • Soil Requirements: Average, dry to average moisture, well-draining

CONCLUSION

Rock gardens are unique types of gardens one can have. Providing proper care to the plants growing in the garden, you will get a wonderful place where plants will bloom. For that to happen, you will need to get the plants growing there, which can grow on grounds with soft soil that might not get sufficient water every time.