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Planting wall: 15 plants that can grow on stones and are best suited for a dry stone wall.

A dry stone wall in the garden not only visually enhances the outdoor area, but is also an environmentally friendly option for privacy screens. But what plants grow on stones and are suitable for this purpose? We list 15 perennials with which you can plant your wall.

Which groundcovers, grasses and perennials grow well on stones?

Dry stone wall planting instructions and ideas

Whether you want to plant it from above or below: A wall presents a big challenge. And every wall is different. Freestanding natural stone walls that serve as property boundaries or privacy screens dry out quickly, heat up quickly and are more likely to be in the sun. Dry stone walls used for slope stabilization, on the other hand, are much wetter and are more often in the shade.  Fortunately, there are rock garden plants for every garden situation.  They can thrive in poor soil, withstand heat and rain, and are hardy. Below, we list several ideas for groundcovers, ornamental grasses and low perennials that grow well on stones while having no special requirements.

Planting a wall from above: Ideas for sun

Natural stone wall planting tips for garden

The next rock garden plants feel best in full sun and prefer well-drained soil. Nutrient requirements can vary greatly from species to species, some do well with poor garden soil, others need regular humus applications during the blooming season.

Planting the dry stone wall with sun-loving herbs

Plant dry stone wall with sun-loving herbs rockweed

Mountain rockweed charms with its bright yellow flowers that provide food for bees and other pollinators. This cushion perennial has a compact growth habit and reaches 40 cm in height.

Common mugwort is a very hardy, strong-growing seasoning plant . The native perennial prefers a location in the sun, where it can form its small yellowish flowers. The flowers themselves are rather inconspicuous, but extremely attractive to bees.

Chamomile is an annual herbaceous plant that prefers moderately fresh soil with a high sand content. Unlike the other plants in this list, it needs lots of nutrients and humus-rich soil.

Sand thyme is a hardy, low-maintenance seasoning plant that emits a light fragrance. This hardy groundcover does well with poor soil.

Carpet-forming rooftop houseleek is a true sun worshipper, making it perfect for a sunny dry wall.

Plant dry stone wall with sun-loving herbs rosemary


Other sun-loving aromatic plants:

  • Lavender
  • Lemon thyme
  • Common evening primrose
  • Soap herb
  • Rosemary
  • Caucasian goose cress

Rock garden plants for sunny and shady areas

Natural stone wall planted with bellflower from below

The evergreen ribbon flower enchants with its bright white flowers, which are particularly beautiful in the sun. At the same time, the rock garden plant is easy to care for, hardy and evergreen. It also tolerates chalky water and does well with soil that is low in humus.

The bellflower scores with a low growth habit and reaches a maximum height of 50 cm. This extremely adaptable flower is the perfect rock garden plant. It will feel at home both at the top, in full sun, and in the middle – in partial shade.

Felty bugleweed is a cushion-forming perennial that blooms in early summer. However, this evergreen groundcover is also attractive after the flowering period thanks to its late-flowering leaves.

Planting a wall from below: perennials for shade and partial shade

Planting wall for shade with various ferns


For columbine proves the optimal location in the light or wandering shade of the dry stone wall.

Larkspur prefers a location in partial shade, but can also thrive in shade without problems.

The pennywort is a low carpet-forming and evergreen perennial that likes it in off-sun to shade.

Wandering phlox exudes a gentle aroma day and night. Its purple, pink or white flowers perfectly brighten shady areas.

Mints are comfortable in partial shade as well as full sun. However, drywall heats up quickly, so a location in partial shade is best.

Cinnamon weed (wallflower) also thrives well in shade and is great for planting from below.

Lobelia pleases the eye with its purple flowers all summer long. The plant has a dense growth.

Planting a wall: succulent

Planting dry stone wall with succulents ideas

Sukкulente are best suited for planting natural stone walls. Most species are hardy, can easily withstand prolonged periods of drought, and have shallow root systems, so they require a small volume of soil.

  • Snapdragons
  • Sedum

Retrofit dry stone wall planting: Instructions

Choose succulents for partial shade dry stone wall planting instructions

The right time to plant a dry stone wall is in spring and summer. The process for doing this is as follows:

  • First, mix the substrate for the rock garden plants . To do this, mix washed sand, loamy potting soil and basalt chippings in a ratio of 1 to 1 to 1. Then fill the substrate into the joints.
  • Take the plants out of the transport pots, divide the root balls if necessary and put them into the joints. Arrange as desired and cover with substrate.
  • Water the plants carefully. Always check to see if more substrate needs to be added.
  • Heavy rain can wash away the substrate, so check regularly to see if you still need to add soil to the joints.