You can use the table below to help you choose the plants for your rock garden. The plants included here are either real alpine plants, plants native to rocky, non-alpine habitats or, at the very least, low-growing or spreading species that are suited to a rock garden.
It is also important to consider how easy they are to care for. It was tempting for us to include a few special high alpine beauties, but the fact that they are very difficult to grow here quickly brought us back to reality.
Finally, since availability is an important factor, we limited our list to plants available from garden centres and growers.
|Androsace sarmentosa||alpine||10||pink to blood red||June||Kashmir to China||Forms bushy mounds of leaves resembling Sempervivum|
|Aquilegia bertolonii||rock garden||10-30||blue||June||Eastern Alps||Needs to be reseeded every few years|
|Aubrieta deltoidea||alpine||15||mauve to purple||April - May||Greece||Forms spreading mounds|
|Aurinia saxatilis||alpine||30||yellow||May - June||Southern and Central Europe and Turkey||Forms trailing mounds|
|Dianthus alpinus||alpine||5-10||pink||June||Alps||Needs a spot with no competitors|
|Draba aizoides||alpine||5-10||yellow||April - May||Mountainous parts of Southern and Central Europe||Early blooming|
|Gentiana acaulis||alpine||5-10||blue||May||Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathian Mountains||Simply spectacular|
|Gentiana Septemfida lagodechiana||non-alpine rock garden||30||blue||July to September||Caucasus||Easy to grow|
|Iberis sempervirens||alpine||15-20||white||May - June||Southern Europe||Evergreen foliage|
|Lychnis flos-jovis||rock garden||30||dark pink to scarlet||May to July||Alps||Pleasantly woolly leaves|
|Papaver alpinum||rock garden||15||various colours, from white to yellow or orange||June - July||Alps and Carpathian Mountains||Short-lived, but reseeds itself|
|Penstemon hirsutus 'Pygmaeus'||rock garden||15||mauve to purple||June to August||Easy to grow, mat-forming|
|Phlox subulata||non-alpine rock garden||15||various colours||May||Eastern United States||A classic
|Saxifraga x apicula||rock garden||5-10||yellow||April - May||Forms dense mounds of narrow leaves|
|Sempervivum arachnoidium||alpine||5-10||pink||July to September||Alps and Pyrenees||Forms a spreading mat of rosettes of leaves|
|Silene schaffa||alpine||10-15||pink to purple||September - October||Caucasus||Late bloomer. Excellent choice|
Full sun, partial shade
|Armeria maritima||non-alpine rock garden||15||pink to red||all summer||Europe and coastal North America||Known as thrift, sea thrift and sea pink|
|Campanula portenschlagiana||alpine||10-15||blue||July to September||Eastern Europe||Easy to grow|
|Chrysanthemum weyrichii||rock garden||10-15||pinkish white||September - October||Kamchatka||Makes a good groundcover|
|Primula denticulata||rock garden||15-30||various shades of pink||May||Himalayas and China||Easy to grow. Flowers appear before leaves|
|Sedum kamtschaticum||non-alpine rock garden||5-10||yellow||June||Northern Asia||Very easy to grow|
Based on an article by René Giguère in Quatre-Temps magazine, Vol. 22, No.1.