Creating a rock garden: which succulents should be installed?

The delicious, which are unfairly called succulents, are perfect for creating a rock garden. There are very many species, making it possible to provide a note chart the most beautiful effect in the garden. Thanks to the juice that these plants accumulate, they do not need frequent watering. They are therefore very well suited to regions that benefit from particularly dry climate. Here are examples of “succulents” to install in a rock garden and some tips for growing them.

A Houseleek

There are nearly 4,000 species and cultivars of houseleeks. These so-called succulent plants, from the family of Crassulaceaeare delightful with their leathery leaves attached which give them a fake artichoke air, and we are seduced by their flowers which bloom during the summer season. They can be red, yellow, sometimes even white or even greenish yellow. We can highlight for example the star shape of the flowers of the species Everlasting roofs.

Admittedly, the houseleeks die after flowering, but as they reproduce spontaneously with disconcerting ease, they can completely cover a rockery in a few years. The icing on the cake, they withstand both severe droughts and biting cold and do not need any particular care.

An Aeonium

Genre Aeonium includes more than 40 species of succulents. These shrubs of the family of Crassulaceae turn out to be very easy going. However, care is taken to plant them in a rockery in full sunnot exposed to cold drafts, and only in a region where frosts are rare and moderate because they are little rustic. This is the reason why in our latitudes (except in the South) they are rather grown in pots to bring in the winter or simply as houseplants.


Cacti rise among the stars of rockeries and dry gardens. These are succulents that have prickles. There are more than 2,300 species, which leaves the choice to collectors and amateurs of the genre. Do not hesitate to combine different species of cacti to obtain a delightful palette of colors and shapes. We cannot, for example, remain insensitive to the great beauty of one Gymnocalicium but alas, the cold resistance of these cacti is very low.

L’Agave americana

Graphic with its yellow, blue or green or even variegated rosette, this species of Agave is a succulent of imposing size which is therefore suitable for a large rockery. After fifteen years, it is adorned with a absolutely spectacular flower stalk reaching ten meters in height! But this plant is monocarpic. In other words, during its life cycle it flowers only once and then dies. But the elegance it brings to the rockery for many years before disappearing is well worth devoting a beautiful space to it.


Genre Sedum has at least 400 species of succulent plants that are also called orpins. Sedums give a rock garden a highly ornamental note. They have beautiful foliage. Their starry flowering spreads out from May until frost depending on the species and comes in a rich palette of colours. Some of these plants have a ground-covering habit, others have an upright habit, allowing a little verticality to be brought to a dry garden or a rock garden.

Monster shaped succulents

These are highly sought after succulents by collectors. Needless to say, they bring a very original touch at a rockery. The genres Opuntia et Cereus are the most affected by this phenomenon, the origin of which cannot yet be explained. Still, these plants abnormal forms arouse both the curiosity and the enthusiasm of some gardeners.

Tips for creating a succulent (succulent) rock garden

These plants are extremely easy to grow and able to adapt like no other to long periods of drought. As we have seen, some do not flinch more under negative temperatures. However, it is necessary to be well informed before choosing succulents intended for outdoor cultivation, and in particular about their ability to withstand frosts or not.

They certainly have few needs in terms of care because of their low requirementsbut it is still necessary to take care to respect the following points when planting them in a rock garden.

  • Prepare the soil well so that it is perfectly drained. Indeed, if the so-called succulent plants are not careful in terms of the quality of the soil which can be very poor, they do not tolerate excess water. It should therefore never stagnate because this would only lead to the rotting of the succulents. The watering basins at the foot of these plants are to be banned. On the contrary, we can put a handful of gravel in the planting hole for promote drainage.
  • Place the succulents in a loose and light soil with a little river sand to allow their roots to sink deep in order to draw a little water in case of extreme drought.
  • Most chilly must absolutely be protected in winter if there is the slightest risk of frost, snowfall or freezing rain.
  • Avoid fertilizers high in organic matter which tend to reduce flowering by favoring leaf development instead. This type of fertilizer also tends to dull succulents with colored foliage.

Finally, for a worry-free rockery, succulents are a must because they are not very susceptible to pests and diseases (except in case of excess water). Nothing prevents them from being associated with grasses, Lavender, Heather or even Panicaut plane. Even if they are not succulents, all these plants are easy to live in dry ground, therefore ideal for a rock garden.

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