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Plants That Grow and Live on Rock

rock image by H20 Salt photo from

Plants that thrive in a rocky environment are useful for creating a rock garden. A rock garden is a type of landscape feature that uses many sizes of rocks and plants adapted to a rocky environment to create a landscape addition. An advantage to a rock garden is that it can be created in a small amount of space for homeowners who have limited area. Rock gardens use plants that thrive on or near rocks. Each plant can be used in a rock garden and does well in rocky conditions.


This plant is classified as a rosette. It has small, thick, pointed leaves that grow around a central point. The growth pattern makes this plant appear like a green spiky rose. Short pastel flowers bloom during the summer and an orange to red color appear on the leaves tips during the winter. This rosette grows up to 8 inches high and can spread out up to 12 inches. The Hen-and-Chicks can grow from full sun to partial shade conditions.

Alpine Aster

The Alpine Aster appears like a daisy during the summer. It spreads out a green carpet in early spring with the daisy like flowers growing and blooming in the early summer. The leaves are a light green. It can grow up and spread out up to 12 inches. This plant does not survive long, but it is efficient at germinating itself for more flowers. It needs full sun to thrive and is resistant to drought conditions.

Rock Cress

The Rock Cress is a carpet plant that blooms dark pink leaves in the spring. The flowers grow thick on the foliage. The leaves are a gray to green color and stay on year-round. This plant can handle full sun to partial shade conditions. It can reach heights up to 6 inches and can spread out up to 23 inches wide.

Spanish Thrift

The Spanish Thrift forms a pillow of needle leaves. The light pink flowers bloom throughout the spring next to the dark evergreen needles. Care must be used when growing this cushion plant because it needs well-drained soil in order to grow. It needs to have full sunlight. It can grow up to 4 inches high and spreads out 6 inches.

Rock Rose

The Rock Rose is classified as a sub shrub. It has yellow to peach colored blossoms in the late spring. The leaves are evergreen and have dull green narrow leaves. This plant thrives in full sun and requires good soil drainage. It can grow up to 12 inches high and 23 inches across.

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