50 Plants to Create a Stunning Rock Garden Oasis

1. Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum)

  • Benefits: Low maintenance, drought-tolerant
  • Description: Succulent rosettes with a variety of colors and textures
  • Ease of Growing: Very easy
  • Zones: 3-8
  • Tips: Plant in well-drained soil, provide full sun

2. Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum)

  • Benefits: Attracts pollinators, aromatic foliage
  • Description: Low-growing, mat-forming herb with tiny purple flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Tips: Perfect for between stepping stones, likes full sun

3. Moss Phlox (Phlox subulata)

  • Benefits: Early spring blooms, ground cover
  • Description: Evergreen, mat-forming plant with masses of pink, purple, or white flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-9
  • Tips: Plant in full sun, ensure good drainage

4. Sedum (Sedum spp.)

  • Benefits: Drought-tolerant, attracts butterflies
  • Description: Succulent with a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors
  • Ease of Growing: Very easy
  • Zones: 3-10
  • Tips: Requires full sun and well-drained soil

5. Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca)

  • Benefits: Ornamental grass, low maintenance
  • Description: Clumping grass with fine blue-green foliage
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Tips: Prefers full sun, well-drained soil

6. Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi)

  • Benefits: Drought-tolerant, long-blooming
  • Description: Succulent with vibrant magenta flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 5-9
  • Tips: Needs full sun, excellent drainage

7. Rock Cress (Aubrieta deltoidea)

  • Benefits: Early bloomer, attracts butterflies
  • Description: Low-growing plant with purple, pink, or white flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Tips: Full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil

8. Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

  • Benefits: Fragrant, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Woody shrub with purple flowers and aromatic foliage
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 5-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

9. Bellflower (Campanula carpatica)

  • Benefits: Long blooming period, compact
  • Description: Low-growing plant with blue, white, or purple bell-shaped flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Moderate
  • Zones: 3-7
  • Tips: Needs full sun to partial shade, regular watering

10. Alyssum (Alyssum montanum)

  • Benefits: Fragrant, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Ground cover with small, fragrant white or yellow flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

11. Dianthus (Dianthus spp.)

  • Benefits: Fragrant, attracts butterflies
  • Description: Low-growing plant with pink, red, or white flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

12. Sea Thrift (Armeria maritima)

  • Benefits: Drought-tolerant, salt-tolerant
  • Description: Clumping plant with pink, white, or purple pom-pom flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

13. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

  • Benefits: Drought-tolerant, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Clumping plant with feathery foliage and flat-topped flower clusters
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

14. Coral Bells (Heuchera spp.)

  • Benefits: Colorful foliage, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Clumping plant with a variety of leaf colors and tiny bell-shaped flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Moderate
  • Zones: 4-9
  • Tips: Partial shade to full sun, well-drained soil

15. Dwarf Iris (Iris reticulata)

  • Benefits: Early spring blooms, compact
  • Description: Small iris with purple, blue, or yellow flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 5-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

16. Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia)

  • Benefits: Ground cover, bright foliage
  • Description: Low-growing plant with bright green or yellow foliage
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-9
  • Tips: Full sun to partial shade, regular watering

17. Snow-in-Summer (Cerastium tomentosum)

  • Benefits: Ground cover, drought-tolerant
  • Description: Low-growing plant with silver foliage and white flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-7
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

18. Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)

  • Benefits: Evergreen, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Low-growing plant with white flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-9
  • Tips: Full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil

19. Soapwort (Saponaria ocymoides)

  • Benefits: Ground cover, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Low-growing plant with pink flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 2-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

20. Rockfoil (Saxifraga spp.)

  • Benefits: Evergreen, ground cover
  • Description: Low-growing plant with small white, pink, or red flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-9
  • Tips: Partial shade to full sun, well-drained soil

21. Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

  • Benefits: Early spring blooms, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Clumping plant with purple, red, or white flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

22. Alpine Aster (Aster alpinus)

  • Benefits: Attracts pollinators, long blooming period
  • Description: Clumping plant with purple, pink, or white daisy-like flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-7
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

23. Stonecrop (Sedum acre)

  • Benefits: Drought-tolerant, ground cover
  • Description: Low-growing succulent with yellow flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Very easy
  • Zones: 4-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

24. Primrose (Primula spp.)

  • Benefits: Early spring blooms, colorful flowers
  • Description: Clumping plant with a variety of flower colors
  • Ease of Growing: Moderate
  • Zones: 3-9
  • Tips: Partial shade, well-drained soil

25. Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina)

  • Benefits: Fuzzy foliage, drought-tolerant
  • Description: Clumping plant with silver, fuzzy leaves
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-9
  • Tips: Full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil

26. Rockrose (Cistus spp.)

  • Benefits: Drought-tolerant, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Shrub with pink, white, or purple flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 7-10
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

27. Hardy Geranium (Geranium sanguineum)

  • Benefits: Long blooming period, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Clumping plant with pink, purple, or white flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Tips: Full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil

28. Golden Alyssum (Aurinia saxatilis)

  • Benefits: Early spring blooms, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Ground cover with bright yellow flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-7
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

29. Creeping Sedum (Sedum rupestre)

  • Benefits: Drought-tolerant, ground cover
  • Description: Low-growing succulent with green or blue foliage and yellow flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Very easy
  • Zones: 4-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

30. Silver Mound (Artemisia schmidtiana)

  • Benefits: Low maintenance, silver foliage
  • Description: Clumping plant with fine, silver foliage
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-7
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

31. Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’)

  • Benefits: Ornamental grass, colorful foliage
  • Description: Clumping grass with green and red foliage
  • Ease of Growing: Moderate
  • Zones: 5-9
  • Tips: Full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil

32. Woolly Thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus)

  • Benefits: Aromatic foliage, ground cover
  • Description: Low-growing, mat-forming herb with fuzzy foliage
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

33. Basket-of-Gold (Aurinia saxatilis)

  • Benefits: Early spring blooms, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Ground cover with bright yellow flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-7
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

34. Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)

  • Benefits: Ground cover, colorful foliage
  • Description: Low-growing plant with blue, purple, or pink flowers and dark green to bronze foliage
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-10
  • Tips: Partial shade to full sun, well-drained soil

35. Purple Rock Cress (Aubrieta deltoidea)

  • Benefits: Early spring blooms, attracts butterflies
  • Description: Low-growing plant with purple, pink, or white flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Tips: Full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil

36. Helianthemum (Helianthemum nummularium)

  • Benefits: Drought-tolerant, long-blooming
  • Description: Low-growing shrub with yellow, orange, pink, or red flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 5-7
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

37. Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)

  • Benefits: Evergreen, ground cover
  • Description: Low-growing shrub with blue-green foliage
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

38. Partridge Feather (Tanacetum densum ssp. amani)

  • Benefits: Silver foliage, low maintenance
  • Description: Low-growing plant with silver, feathery foliage
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-7
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

39. Rock Jasmine (Androsace spp.)

  • Benefits: Ground cover, early spring blooms
  • Description: Low-growing plant with tiny white, pink, or yellow flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 5-7
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

40. Spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites)

  • Benefits: Drought-tolerant, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Low-growing plant with blue-green foliage and yellow flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 5-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

41. Catmint (Nepeta spp.)

  • Benefits: Fragrant, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Clumping plant with purple, blue, or white flowers and aromatic foliage
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

42. Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

  • Benefits: Decorative foliage, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Clumping plant with scalloped leaves and yellow-green flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-8
  • Tips: Partial shade to full sun, well-drained soil

43. Thrift (Armeria maritima)

  • Benefits: Drought-tolerant, salt-tolerant
  • Description: Clumping plant with pink, white, or purple pom-pom flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

44. Lavender Cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus)

  • Benefits: Aromatic foliage, drought-tolerant
  • Description: Low-growing shrub with silver foliage and yellow flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 6-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

45. Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)

  • Benefits: Drought-tolerant, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Clumping plant with blue, globe-shaped flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 3-8
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

46. Cushion Spurge (Euphorbia polychroma)

  • Benefits: Long-lasting blooms, colorful foliage
  • Description: Clumping plant with bright yellow-green flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

47. Ornamental Oregano (Origanum spp.)

  • Benefits: Fragrant, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Clumping plant with purple, pink, or white flowers and aromatic foliage
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 5-9
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

48. Silver Speedwell (Veronica spicata)

  • Benefits: Long blooming period, attracts pollinators
  • Description: Clumping plant with blue, pink, or white flower spikes
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

49. Saxifrage (Saxifraga spp.)

  • Benefits: Evergreen, ground cover
  • Description: Low-growing plant with small white, pink, or red flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-9
  • Tips: Partial shade to full sun, well-drained soil

50. Cushion Spurge (Euphorbia polychroma)

  • Benefits: Long-lasting blooms, colorful foliage
  • Description: Clumping plant with bright yellow-green flowers
  • Ease of Growing: Easy
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Tips: Full sun, well-drained soil

Tips for Rock Garden Success

  • Soil Preparation: Ensure well-drained soil to prevent root rot.
  • Sunlight: Most rock garden plants prefer full sun, but some tolerate partial shade.
  • Watering: Many rock garden plants are drought-tolerant, so avoid overwatering.
  • Spacing: Give plants enough space to grow and spread.
  • Mulching: Use gravel or small stones to mulch and retain soil moisture while preventing weeds.