Plants for Rockeries- Making Rock Garden With Full Sun Rockery Plants

Just imagine your garden bursting with plants having vibrant colors peeking out between the rocks and stones that’s actually the beauty of a rock garden. But now the question is, what flowers thrive in harsh environments?

Stop fearing plant lovers, there are plenty of rock garden plants, and if you are not aware just go through this article.

Here I have shortlisted some best plants for rockeries that help in the making of rock gardens. In case, you get into any problem don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section. So, let’s explore.

Quick takeaways:

  • A rock garden can be made dreamy by adding plants that are suitable for the rock garden.
  • These plants are usually low maintenance and need well-drained soil.
  • Sun-shined areas make the best rock garden. The plants that will complement the rocks and ultimately rock garden are too many.

But, you need to analyze the intensity of sunlight reaching the spot. In many cases, the spots are rock gardens in the shade areas, but that doesn’t mean you are left with no planting options. Take a look at the best plants for a rock garden according to the sun exposure.

Best plants to grow in your Rock Garden 

Full sun plants Plants for rockeries: it is the simple fact that most rock gardens are open and are fully sunbathed areas, the less moisture-demanding plants are best suited for these areas.  Most succulents are considered to be the best choice for the rock garden, as they can bear scorching heat and are drought tolerant. The native plants can’t go wrong, as they are already adapted to the weather conditions and variations in climate that occur. Other than these are:

Ice plant                


Aloe vera

Fragrant Woodfern  

Purple fountain grass


Spider lily


Other than sun-loving rock garden plants, if the area is hilly, and not too sunny, then plants that you can use are:

Yellow Alyssum

Dead Nettle

Snow in Summer

Wood Spurge

Some explanations:


the blooming time for Opuntia is from June to July. they are able to grow up to 6- to 12-inch tall, and 18-inch wide. the flowers are used to bloom in red yellow, and purple color. the plant does have spines all over the plant which makes it a deer-resistant plant.


Some shade-loving rockery plants are Ajuga, cyclamen, lungwort, Japanese painter fern, coral bells, bleeding heart, and Saxifraga.


the blooming time for Opuntia is from June to July. they are able to grow up to 6- to 12-inch tall, and 18-inch wide. the flowers are used to bloom in red yellow, and purple color. the plant does have spines all over the plant which makes it a deer-resistant plant.


The alyssum is also known as a basket of gold that is used to make a wall. The spring season is considered the blooming period of the plant when the flowers are used to bloom in cheerful yellow flowers. If grown in warmer regions they do have a short living period so you need to replant them every year or two. The plant can be grown from seeds or nursery transplants. You need to provide the plant with full sun and well-draining soil conditions. The plants are able to grow upto 12 inches tall. The plant grows best in the hardiness zone from 4 to 7.

Blue Fescue:

Adding blue fescue does keep your rock or wall garden color. They are able to grow and reach up to 12 inches tall. They consist of blue foliage having buff color flowers which is the main highlight of the plant. The plant is used to grow best in dry conditions that grow best with other rock garden plants. You need to provide the plant will full sun and well-draining soil conditions. The plant does grow upto 12 inches tall and is best in the hardiness zone from 4 to 8.  


If you grow candy-tuft plants in your garden you will see a stunning carpet of snow-white flowers having bright evergreen foliage. After coming to the maturing stages they fade to light pink which makes an extra point by having a second show of color. The plant is an easy-care perennial plant that is deer resistant and drought-resistant. You need to remove spent flowers after flower blooms which will help encourage green leaf growth during the winter season. They love to grow in full sun and well-draining soil conditions. The plant is used to grow upto 6 inches tall planting in hardiness zones from 3 to 8.

Creeping Phlox:

Creeping phlox is considered an ideal rock garden plant that can grow best in poor dry soil and the plant that can dry quickly after rain. The plant when blooms produces carpets of blue, purple, rose, pink, or bicolor. The plant consists of dark needlelike, evergreen foliage. You need to provide the plant with full sun and well-draining, dry soil. They can grow upto 6 inches tall when growing in the hardiness zone from 3 to 9.  


They are best for planting in rock gardens due to having colorful foliage and flowers. You need to plant them in shady locations. They are available in a variety of colors such as silver, chartreuse, green, and bicolor. The varieties do have different times for blooming for example the pink or white flowers start appearing from May to July and are deer-resistant.  You need to provide the plant with full to part shade sunlight having a well-drained condition. The plant can grow upto 12 inches tall. They are best thrive in the hardiness zone from 3 to 8.

What is a Rock Garden?

A rock garden is designing a garden with a special collection of rocks with plants growing in between them. The rocks are placed in such a way that they look extra attractive and let the tender plants grow without any kind of hindrance.

The rock gardens are made in open spaces with good sunlight, away from the tall trees that can cause too much shade for plants to grow. Open unused land is a good option for the rock garden.

Let’s select awesome-looking rocks for you!

Best tips to build a rockery 

  • Have a well-designed map of your selected plot that will become rockery. You should be aware of the square foot of the land. Preparing that area is ultra important.
  • Removing the outer dull layer of soil, even out the level. To create some slope, you can add extra dirt and soil. Then add topsoil with a loam finish. Make sure the tightness of the soil is according to the size and heaviness of the rock, so that grip is maintained.
  • Next go for buying rocks in various colors, and combinations. Create the patterns and aesthetic contrasting position of the rocks. You can create rock lining, walls, etc. if that suits your garden. Options are too many, just take a wider creative look at your garden.
  • Now add rockery plants, you just need to pay attention to the sun and shade level here, if they are getting blocked by rocks.

For more such plant related-articles, you may also read, Miniature Indoor Garden – How to grow Miniature Garden Inside Home?

Best rocks for the Rock Garden

The variety, different sizes, and dimensions of rocks are the components of a good-looking rock garden. Rocks that create extra lift to the beauty of your garden are volcanic, multi-color pebbles, flagstones, granites, limestone, and boulders. 

Mixing and matching the rocks will create an aesthetic appearance in the garden. For example:- putting the gravel, river rocks, and boulders together in one spot of the land. In case, you want a suggestion regarding the plants, then go for creating contrasting patterns with the plants and stone together. If the rock is bigger in size, plant tiny blooming plants near it, or grass, and vice versa.

To get more ideas about Plants for Rockeries, check this video out!


How do you arrange a rock garden flower?

Don’t go for boring placements of the rocks like placing inline or circle, instead choose the patterns in a natural manner. Face the rocks in such angles that they appear aesthetic, and choose the contrasting sizes and colors.

What is the best soil for a rock garden?

The best soil for a rock garden comprises equal proportions of topsoil, gravel, moss, and loam, adding manure is beneficial too. 

How do you maintain a rock garden?

Rock gardens don’t need much attention and care. Though, weeding, proper draining of soil, and avoiding overwatering can surely help.

Are pebbles good for the soil?

Pebbles are considered to be helpful in preventing soil erosion, many people use them as mulch in rock gardens to maintain healthy soil. 

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