12 Rockery Plants To Grow On Rock Gardens

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Real Men Sow

You can create a rock garden that displays small or alpine plants. You only need a few large stones or stones, some free-draining soil, and a mixture of rockery plants. Both sun- and shade-loving species can be grown. The sun-loving plants may be planted in the foreground, while the shade-loving plants can be placed in the shade by large rocks.

What Are Rockery Plants?

Alpine plants are found in mountainous areas. They are often cold and dry, so they don’t grow tall. There are small plants that can be grown in rock gardens, but they are not always alpine. They thrive in warmer climates. A rock garden display that includes both alpine and non alpine plants can be attractive if it is well-planned.


There are many types of thyme, and they come in a variety of colors. The leaves can be dark green or golden or variegated. They are ideal for rock gardens because they have a spreading, low-growing habit. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. (H x S: 20cm x 40cm)


Saxifrages are evergreen, mound-forming alpine plants that bear rosettes of leaves. From spring through summer, tall stems of flowering plants called rosettes appear. Plant in moist, well-drained soil in full to partial shade. (H x S: 30cm x 20cm)


Although Gentians are difficult to grow, they can provide stunning trumpet-shaped flowers over a mat of almost mossy leaves. These plants are perfect for rock gardens. You can grow them in full sun with soil that is neutral or acidic. (H x S: 8cm x 20cm)


Sempervivums, also known as hens and chicks, are tough, succulent plants that are native to mountainous outcrops. They look great in rock gardens, especially when paired with low-evergreen plants like sedums. They will thrive in full sun in well-drained soil. (H x S: 30cm x 40cm)


Aubretias, which are low-growing plants that produce a carpet of color in the late spring and early part of summer, are very popular rock garden plants. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. (H x S: 10cm x 45cm)

Pasque flower

Pulsatilla vulgaris, a Pasque flower, is a cup-shaped, light purple plant that produces star-shaped, mature flowers. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. (H x S: 20cm x 20cm)


Pinks, Dianthus, are named after the serrated edges of their flower petals. Making them look like they’ve undergone careful trimming with pinking scissors. They have a clove-like smell to their flowers. There are many flower colors to choose from, including pink, white and red. Many are small in size. You can grow them in full sun or partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. (H x S: 30cm x 40cm)

Trailing bellflower

Campanula poscharskyana, also known as trailing bellflower, is a low-growing alpine campanula. You can grow them in pots or as groundcover in hot sunny areas. From summer through early autumn, it bears large, star-shaped, purple blue flowers. They’re best grown in full sun in well-drained soil. (H x S: 15cm x 60cm)

Gypsophila cerastioides

gypsophila cerastioides (mouse-eared gypsophila), is a semi-evergreen dwarf plant with a creeping habit. In spring, the leaves are a combination of green-gray hairy and masses of white trumpet-shaped flowers. In full sun, grow in well-drained soil. (H x S: 8cm x 20cm)

Lithodora diffusa ‘Heavenly Blue’

Lithodora produces gentian-like flowers in the middle of summer, when very few true gentians bloom. It is easier to grow than gentian, and it flowers well. The evergreen leaves spread slowly and make a good ground cover in a rock garden. You can grow them in full sun in acidic, well-drained soil. (H x S: 15cm x 60cm)


Iberis sempervirens is a low-growing perennial that bears mounds of evergreen, dark green leaves and contrast pure white flowers. It’s perfect for rock gardens. Hoverflies love its blooms. Grow them in full sun in well-drained soil. (H x S: 20cm x 50cm)

Erodium × variabile

Erodium, also named stork’s bill’ because of the shape of their mature seed pods. The five-petalled flowers are similar to cranesbills and come in a variety of colors, including yellow, pink, purple, red, green, white, and white. From May through September, Erodium variabile produces a dense matt from its leaves. You can produce pure white flowers. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. (H x S: 10cm x 30cm)

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.