Meet our Rockstars: No-fail plants for rock walls

Ornamental Gardening
// January 13, 2018

Imagine decorating your building wall with gorgeous plants that need minimal care and bloom profusely. Before selecting plants for your rock walls remember that plants on a wall have minimal growing medium and limited water.

The other things you need to consider before selecting the plants are:

  • Wall material: Wall made up of limestone or mortar is alkaline. Thus, acid-loving plants won’t thrive on it.
  • Wall direction: North facing walls are ideal for ferns, while south facing one would suit sun-loving plants the most.
  • Wall purpose: Do not plant on walls that are part of a structure, i.e., a residence or house. For boundary walls opt for smaller plants. A dry stone wall is the best for planting as the gap between stones serves as pockets and open construction allows growing plants with thick stems.

Which plants can grow in rock walls?

Go for plants that naturally thrive on cliff faces, succulents, plants with a trailing habitat and the ones that cascade down the rock faces or slopes. You cannot change the plants growing on rock walls every season.

Thus, it is advisable that you select evergreen plants that have a long flowering period and attractive foliage. Avoid choosing plants with a thick taproot, instead, go for plants with single stems as they are easy to snap.

1. Climbing Hydrangea

The sturdy plant blooms with large and aromatic clusters of white flowers along with deep green heart-shaped foliage. The plant grows gradually and loves to climb and cling. It reaches up to 30 to 80 feet high and needs a substantial amount of support. You may like to read essential guide to hydrangea.

2. Creeping Thyme

Also known as Mother of Thyme, the plant proliferates among rocks, and can “creep” around its surroundings, creating a visually stunning carpet of blooms. Creeping Thyme is a perennial hardy and needs minimal care.

Thymus praecox

3. Ivy

Ivy comes with an enchanting, timeless charm and looks classic when grown on walls. The best part about growing Ivy is that they keep walls dry. Ivy can scale up to 20 feet or higher! Buy English ivy plant online.

Hedera helix

4. Japanese Forest Grass

This is an ornamental plant that is slow growing and requires extra care. Its semi-green color helps in adding a sense of softness to rock walls. This graceful plant is non-invasive and reaches up to 24 inches.

5. Moss Phlox

Moss Phlox paints the rock walls in gorgeous pink, purple, and white colors. Its showy ground-hugging mass spreads and cascades beautifully, with needle-like foliage and lovely bright summer flowers.

6. Moss

Moss gives the rock wall natural charm and sense of age. Its earthy look helps to paint a rock wall landscape green with complete ease. Learn how to grow moss at home.

7. Rock Cress

This cascading herbaceous perennial grows with edible flowers and foliage. An ideal plant for the novice gardener, Rock Cress requires minimal care and regular soil. The sweet purple blooms of this lovely plant last for many weeks.

8. Succulents

Succulents are not fussy about soil and water. They are sturdy plants that grow in a large number of unique varieties. When added to a rock wall, they are sure to add a pop of life to the otherwise dead wall. Buy cacti & succulents online.

9. Wisteria

Wisteria vines grow with a sweet fragrance and attractive violet flowers. Highly invasive, they can be planted as a tree or vine as they can both climb and creep. Its draping flowers are a sight to behold!

Wisteria Floribunda Macrobotrys

10. Yellow Alyssum

Also known as Basket of Gold, Yellow Alyssum look lovely against a rock wall. This cascading plant with its bright yellow blooms grows out instead of up, and transform the rock walls into a stunning yellow painting.

How to make these plants grow in a rock-wall?

  • Planting spaces in a wall are tiny, and you cannot transplant well-established plants into them. This is because the well-established plants will not be able to get roots into the crevices of the wall.
  • Thus, starting with seeds is the best idea. When you grow with seeds, the plant roots will establish themselves firmly.
  • You can do this by making tiny seed bombs made up of seeds and compost that could be popped into the wall.
  • You can also try thriving establishing plants in a container near the wall and wish that they self-seed and spread into the wall. This method might work.

Do you have any rock-wall planters in your neighborhood? Share the images in the comments section below. We would love to see these no-fail plants for rock walls.

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