Getting to learn how to plant shrubs in rock beds is the first step to helping you make use of that rocky backyard you have always ignored. Rock gardens can range from those natural creations to mounds of rustic river rocks, depending on your preference.How to Plant Shrubs in Rock Bed

Plants that work well in these rock garden ideas are small shrubs that can do well in poor soils with low maintenance. In this article, you will quickly learn how to plant them right, saving you all the mistakes.

How to Plant Shrubs in Rock Bed Using These Simple Steps

To plant shrubs in a rock bed using simple steps, you must start by preparing everything your garden needs. Prepare the garden by putting the stones in place and removing the weeds, preparing the soil mix, and finally, placing the plants of your choice.

1. Prepare the Rock Garden for Planting

The first step is to remove all weeds as you prepare the garden. Dig into the topsoil to make it light and ready to hold new plants. Depending on your rock garden design, prepare adequate soil that will be able to cover the plants.

If you don’t have adequate soil, you can bring in some more to create a more natural look. Remember not to cover the rocks as you bring in more soil because they are a part of the beauty of your garden. Dig between the rocks to create crevices that accommodate larger and smaller shrubs.

2. Prepare the Crevices

Once the soil is ready, you can prepare the crevices where you will plant your shrubs. Dig between the rocks to create crevices that accommodate larger and smaller shrubs.Planting Shrubs in Crevices

Leave adequate spaces between the crevices to give each plant enough room to grow. Remember, the soil here does not have many nutrients, therefore, cannot accommodate plants that grow too close to each other.

3. Fill the Crevices With Well-draining Soil Mix

If your soil is fully loamy, it’s vital to add some gravel to give it good aeration. Add some rock to the base of the crevices to provide adequate drainage for your shrub before planting.

Add plenty of well-draining soil mixed with compost to cover the gravel. You are now ready to plant your shrub.

4. Plant the Shrub of Your Choice

Put the plant in the middle of the crevice and mound the well-drained soil around its roots. Firmly but gently press the roots in the soil to secure the plant’s roots, making them firm. Once the roots are firm, add the rest of the removed soil to the crevice.

You may add some of the topsoil you dug for a larger shrub. Choose shrubs suitable to your USDA hardiness zones so they can thrive. Some rock garden plants include small or large shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, or creeping groundcovers.

You can also make a flower bed with wild tulips, alliums, or narcissus to soften the appearance of your garden. Generally, go for plants that thrive in rock gardens without much care.

How to Care for a Rock Bed?

To care for your rock bed that is already planted, you will need to start by watering it, controlling the weeds as they appear, fertilizing the plants when necessary, checking for pest infestations, and finally, pruning the overgrown ones to encourage new blooms and growth.

1. Start by Watering

Though this garden can thrive in desert-like conditions, it’s best to water your plants to keep them growing and beautiful. Water them at least once weekly to moisten the soil during the hot season. If you are growing cold-sensitive plants, cover them with protective gear to keep them from dying from frost. Water them once or twice monthly if they can survive the cold.

2. Control the Weeds

As you water your plants, weeds may grow faster than the plants you are growing. Eliminate any weeds you come across so they don’t take up the nutrients from your plants. Leaving the weeds to grow will deplete the nutrients meant for your plants.Controlling Weeds of Rock Planting

To keep the weeds away, you can lay a thin layer of gravel or smaller rocks that act as a weed suppressant. You won’t have to worry about the weeds for grown plants as the plants mainly cover the whole space suppressing them.

3. Fertilize the Soil

As plants grow, they may need additional nutrients to keep them thriving. Add fertilizer to your soil to keep the plants healthy and thriving when necessary. Do this annually by adding organic or commercial slow-release fertilizers to provide the nutrients all year round.

Compost manure is one of the best fertilizers, giving the plant the necessary nutrients throughout the growing season.

4. Check for Pests

Carry out frequent checks to see if pests infest your plant. If you notice any pests, deal with them immediately to avoid more damage. You can use pesticides like neem oil or insecticidal soap that are organic to avoid common pests like aphids. You can also grow plants that defend each other from pest infection as the best pest protection.

5. Finally, Prune the Plants

Cut off all the dead foliage and remove spent flowers to encourage new blooms or growth. Pruning also keeps your plants neat in appearance. Remove the dead or old leaves to allow your plants to thrive.Pruning Shrubs Plants

Remember to prune young plants lightly and prune older plants deeply. Prune at the end of the growing season before the cold winters begin or at the end of the winter.

How to Arrange a Rock Garden? Ideas

To arrange a rock garden, start with the shortest plants at the front, like for example the ground covers, followed by the bulbs that do not grow too tall, and finally, the perennials that last longer than the rest to get the most out of your garden.

1. Plant the Ground Covers at the Front

Plant these at the front of your garden as they cover the ground and the rocks around the garden beautifully. These plants are also low maintenance. They include sedums, succulents, creeping thyme, ice plant, gold alyssum, creeping phlox, snow-in-summer, sweet woodruff, ajuga, deadnettle, mosses, and creeping Jenny.

2. Follow Them With Bulbs

Bulbs are best to grow second after the groundcovers as they grow slowly and steadily. It is easy to grow bulbs you had planted the previous season if you harvest and store them properly. These plants include tulips, alliums, crocus, narcissus, squill, crocus, caladium, snowdrops, begonias, and reticulated iris.Tulips in Rock Bed

3. Complete the Look With the Perennials

Perennials are the best to grow right at the back, as you won’t have to plant them yearly. They may include sedges, ornamental grasses, dianthus, dwarf conifers, lamb’s ear, rockcress, bellflower, columbine, ferns, columbine, hostas, barren root, coral, bells, astilbe, hellebores.

Frequently Asked Questions

– What Is the Best Rock To Put in Flowerbeds?

The best rocks for flower beds include pea gravel, river rocks, crushed stones, or lava rock. These types will help you occasionally weed or rake beneath them. You can also use large stones to hold the garden on the edges.

– What Plants Look Best in a Rock Garden?

Plants that look good in a rock garden include creeping, ornamental, and seasonal flowers. Look for plants that add color, height, and texture to your garden. You can intermix plants with shorter plants at the front and large plants at the back.

– How Do You Keep Weeds Away From Your Rock Bed?

To keep weeds away from your rock bed you may add a proper layer of mulch to suppress the weeds and keep them from growing. A ground cover or creeping plant will also do well in keeping the weeds away.


This guide shows you how to plant shrubs in rock beds and how to take care of them in an easy way. These gardens can be aan excellent way to add life to your lawn by growing different plants. Here are some critical points to remember before starting your garden.

  • Provide adequate soils so that the plant roots are well-covered and protected from injury or dryness.
  • Fertilize your soils annually or before planting to give the plants the proper nutrients throughout their growing season.
  • Plan your garden well before executing so that you place it in the right point of your yard. Do not place it in a place that floods; it will carry away your soil with all the nutrients.
  • To eliminate weeds, you can mulch your rock beds with gravel, pebbles, or wood chips.

These gardens bring a rustic natural look with a modern touch; why not try them today?

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