How to Plant a Rock Garden

Rock gardens can be planted in almost any location using low growing native plants mimicking a natural setting. Rock gardens attempt to mimic nature using low water plants that work well with the Xeriscaping. Again, this is a conceptual form of gardening using native friendly plants. Check with your local garden experts or read local garden books for advice. The information below is from a rock garden built in the British Isles. Plants suggested would work in that environment but may not grow well in other areas.


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    Have a soil analysis done to determine what plants would grow well in the proposed location. Amend soil, if needed.
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    Select plants based on the location. Rhododendrons would grow well in an acid soil but not an alkaline soil.
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    Mulch the area.
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    Apply gravel and rocks to mimic nature.
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    Provide transition areas between plants and rocks. Gravelly areas , Xeriscape friendly grasses, lawns or driveways can be interspersed with transition areas.
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    Select low growing and low water use plants.
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    Add dimension by selecting larger rocks to add natural depth. Terrace the area to promote even water distribution.
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    Paint the rocks if you want; this will make it look natural but elegant.
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    gather the rocks and try out a geometrical pattern like a straight line or a star or circle.


  • Balance the garden with the correct size rocks and plants. In other words, if you have a small space, don't overload the area with huge rocks.
  • You can grow rock gardens in small containers including aquariums. This makes a fun project for kids.


  • Check with local authorities about collecting native plants. Some plants are considered a protected species.

Things You'll Need

  • - things from your house., never ever buy junk... it may turn out to waste your money
  • - natural soil
  • - plants(of course)
  • - figurine toys

Sources and Citations

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Article Info

Categories: Theme and Feature Gardens