How to Cascade Flowering Plants for a Rock Wall

Updated February 21, 2017

Cascading rock garden plants thrive where others cannot. An ugly retaining wall, an unsightly slope or a steep hillside can be turned into a vibrant focal point of dramatic colour and eye-catching appeal by establishing perennial plants to cascade and cover unattractive areas in the landscape.

Choose perennial plants that are low growing and clumping. Plants that cascade to create a draping effect in the rock garden include Basket of Gold, ivy, alyssum and rock cress, Rockfoil and Creeping Broom. Irish Moss, Lewisia, Moss Pink and Ice Plants are well adapted to the rock garden, filling in bare spots and growing in cascading mounds to add dramatic colour and scent to the garden. Mat Daisy and lemon thyme quickly fill in bare spots in the rock garden.

Provide good drainage. Plants suitable for rock gardens require well-drained soil. Mix organic matter into clay soils to improve texture and drainage.

Plant a wide variety of species. Repeat some plants several times to help make the garden look natural.

Do not over-plant. Rock garden plants need space to spread to form cascading clumps.

Water frequently. Rock gardens with correct drainage dry out quickly in the summer sun. To encourage growth, water twice weekly.


Ground-cover sedum is a low creeping plant, ideal for along walls or in rock gardens.

Things You'll Need

  • Perennial rock garden plants suited for your garden zone.
  • Shovel
  • Potting soil
  • Organic compost
  • Mulch
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About the Author

A passionate writer for more than 30 years, Marlene Affeld writes of her love of all things natural. Affeld's passion for the environment inspires her to write informative articles to assist others in living a green lifestyle. She writes for a prominent website as a nature travel writer and contributes articles to other online outlets covering wildlife, travel destinations and the beauty of nature.