The Best Plants for a Rock Garden

Rock gardens provide beauty to any landscaped locations. They work well around garden ponds or in areas that are shaded or have a slope. Rock gardens provide a natural planter area for many different types of plants, especially those that tolerate dry conditions. Rock gardens help to control weeds and also provide an excellent habitat for insects that are attracted to the plants.

Carpet Bugle

Carpet bugle is an evergreen groundcover that can be planted between rocks and stepping stones because it sends out deep underground roots. The flowers are blue or purple and they bloom in late spring through early summer. These plants require very little maintenance and can grow up to 510 inches tall. Carpet bugle prefers full to partial sunlight throughout the day and can tolerate drought conditions. It is very attractive to bees and other insects.


The common bluebell is a perennial flower that blooms in April and May. It can grow up to three feet tall and has lavender blue flowers. The bell-shaped flowers grow in clusters and bend over at the top as if they are wilting. The flowers are protected in the United Kingdom and homeowners are not allowed to remove them. The plant is also known as the English bluebell or wild bells. They can grow in many different climates and locations including between rocks. They require little care and can withstand drought conditions.

Purple Gem Rockcress

The purple gem rockcress is a flowering perennial plant that is frequently used in rock gardens and as an edging plant. It has purple blue flowers and can grow up to six inches tall. The purple gem rockcress blooms once in early spring and again in late summer. It prefers full sun and moist soils.

Creeping Baby's Breath

Creeping baby's breath is a perennial flower that blooms from early spring to late summer. They prefer full sunlight for two to three hours a day and well-drained soil. This flower can thrive in drought conditions and heat. The flowers are white and can reach a height of four inches. They are typically used as a ground cover and work well in rock gardens. They adapt well to all soil types.

Keywords: rock garden plants, rock gardens, garden plants

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists and has been writing since 2004. Works include publications with "Hall County Crime Examiner," "Player's Press" and "The Gainesville Times." Hammontree has a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism from the University of Tennessee.