Many people believe that rock gardens are both beautiful and practical. This type of garden is easier to maintain than others because it doesn’t require frequent mowing and deadheading.

Traditional rock gardens may have serious issues that need to be fixed for plants to grow. The soil in a rock garden is generally dry, which makes it difficult for many plants to flourish there. Some plants do better in this environment, even though the conditions are not ideal.

The following plants will thrive in your rock garden despite drought or poor soil. As long as there is functional drainage, you can allow a variety of lovely plants to blossom here, enhancing the hardscape aesthetic of the gravel and rocks. The plants listed below have several qualities that make them suitable for rock gardens.

What Pants in Canadian weather grow in Rocks?

Phlox Douglas Moss

Dark green phlox leaves with a needle-like form will contrast beautifully with the rocks in your yard. While it may survive in colder climes, it grows best in areas with moderate temperatures. 

The flowers of this shrub are frequently pink and purple. This plant has a longer stem, enabling it to cover rocks and provide depth to your landscape.


The Columbine is a lovely perennial herbaceous plant with a unique flower and long, thin spurs. The floral plant, which comes in various colors, draws hummingbirds and butterflies.

Columbine is a great choice for garden borders because it grows to a height of three feet and a width of two feet in conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade and medium rainfall. Once grown, this delicate wildflower can withstand dryness. Cut it back in the fall, then in the spring, look for seedlings (Columbine is a great self-seeder).

Cranesbill Geranium

Due to their low maintenance needs, hardy geraniums are a favourite among gardeners. Most flowers are produced in full sun, although the geranium may also be cultivated in light shade.

The magenta blossoms glitter against the geranium’s green, textured foliage as the blooms bob and sway in response to other plants in the area. The plant thrives with a little maintenance: split the plant once every three to five years when the center dies back; trim the plant to a few inches above the ground once it has finished flowering to encourage a second bloom.

Yellow Alpine Alyssum

Yellow is a great colour to add brightness to your rock garden. This variety of alyssum blooms in the spring and has a subdued golden hue.

It grows easily, resists drought, and does well in nutrient-poor soil. This plant may have difficulty surviving in dark or cold regions for most of the year because it prefers to grow in direct sunshine.

Work with Landscape Professionals

If you live in Calgary and have just improved the landscaping surrounding your home or intend to change it come spring, think about including lovely plants and flowers in your landscape design that endure and grow in the harsh Canadian climate. 

Your garden may survive and be lovely year-round, even in the coldest temperatures, with the help of these plants that grow in rock, as recognized by Project Landscape, your neighbourhood Calgary landscaping company.