Rock garden plants are commonly grown in naturalistic gardens, usually around and among rocks.
They tend to be compact in size, many have their origin in the mountain regions of the world, and they are often quite winter hardy. The larger scale Rock Garden Plants included here are grown in the open rock gardens, on hillsides, or draping over rock walls.
One of the fun aspects of Rock Garden Plant is learning about the ecology of the plants you grow.
This information makes you a better gardener by increasing your understanding of your plants’ needs. Plants for Rock Garden come from habitats that differ by climate, location and setting. Plants adapt to their habitat through growth habit, form, color, season of growth and bloom, etc. Understanding the ecology of your Rock Garden Plants can help you determine whether to grow them in sun or shade, the best type of soil, and how much water and fertilizer they need.
Proper drainage is the key to successfully growing rock garden plants. This is because many of the plants grown in rock gardens require excellent drainage for healthy growth. They are often grown on a slope or in a raised or mounded bed where irrigation or rainwater flows quickly away from plant crowns and roots.
Rocks play an important role in the growth and health of plants both in their natural habitats and in the garden. Rocks modify the environment in a number of ways allowing plants to flourish: Rocks shelter seeds, allowing them to lodge and germinate; Runoff from rocks provides supplemental water and nutrients that help the plant become established; Rocks shade the soil, keeping plants from drying out and keeping the roots cool; Rocks limit crowding and allow plants to achieve their true form in a competition-free environment.