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What would a natural garden be without a dry stone wall, ideally made of natural stone? Animals find shelter here and with a planting it offers numerous, very individual and extremely decorative design options.

In a nutshell

  • Natural stone wall is a striking, visual and functional design element
  • Serves as a retaining wall, structural element, wind and privacy screen and for
  • property boundary
  • Between the stones, their own small habitats for small animals and plants
  • Plants for drywall must meet certain requirements

Wall plants for the sun

Bitterroot 'Rainbow' (Lewisia cotyledon)

  • Bitterroot convinces with different flower colors and coloring
  • Flowers partly simple, partly semi-double
  • Flowering period from May to June
  • Leaves arranged in evergreen succulent rosettes
  • Grows 5-25 cm in height and 15-20 cm in width

Rock Alyssum (Aurinia saxatilis)

  • Deciduous subshrub with bright yellow flowers
  • Strongly branched inflorescences
  • Flowers from April
  • Reaches growth heights of 20 to 40 cm
  • Forms large, pillow-like cushions
  • Foliage is gray-green and hairy tomentose

Tip: Pruning is recommended between June and July.

Rock Alyssum, Alyssum saxatile

Greek blue cushion (Aubrieta deltoidea)

  • Evergreen, vigorous cushion perennial
  • Known for its lush pile of light purple flowers
  • Flowering time from April/May to June
  • Plantlets 5-20 cm high
  • Spread via ground-covering stolons across drywall

Kent Beauty hops (Origanum rotundifolium)

  • Quite delicate plant up to 20 cm high
  • Grows bushy, clump-forming
  • Flowering period from June to September
  • Flowers filigree, like hops, soft pink
  • Leaves narrow, dark green and fragrant, slightly hairy.

Tip: Cut back the plant in late autumn and protect it from the sun during a frost.

Hunger flowers (Draba verna)

  • Rosette-forming plant for natural stone walls
  • Makes bright yellow umbel-like flower cushions
  • Flowering time from March to April
  • Growth height of 10-15 cm
  • Undemanding and robust
  • Thrives on very poor soils
Source: AnRo0002, 20150318Draba verna2, edited from Plantopedia, CC0 1.0

Hedgehog Pads (Acantholimon)

  • Hedgehog pads form prickly, evergreen, densely convex pads
  • After several years 10-30 cm high and up to 100 cm wide
  • Bright light or dark pink flower spikes
  • Flowering time from July to August
  • Foliage rich green, cushion-forming

Tip: The hedgehog cushion thrives in wall joints and on tops of walls.

Source: Erhan yelekci, Acantholimon Androsaceum II, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Gypsophila 'Flamingo' (Gypsophila paniculata)

  • Growing like a bush, up to 120 cm high
  • Blooms from June to August
  • Richly branched panicles with semi-double pink flowers
  • Leaves deciduous, coarse, gray to blue-green
  • Good frost hardiness

Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)

  • Evergreen spring bloomer
  • Shows its full splendor during the flowering period from April to May
  • Small, cruciform, bright white flowers
  • Beautiful contrasts of flowers and dark green foliage
  • Candytuft reaches a height of 15-30 cm

Tip: A dry, well-drained soil is just as important as a sunny location.

Steinkraut 'Berggold' (Alyssum montanum)

  • Full splendor of the golden yellow flowers only in the sun
  • Blooms from April to May
  • Foliage grey-green and very contrasting
  • Alyssum grows cushion-like
  • Grows up to 15 cm high and 30-40 cm wide

Dwarf palm lily (Yucca nana)

  • Dwarf Palm lily pretty but rare beauty
  • Copes with large temperature fluctuations, wind and heat
  • Leaves fibrous, stiff and 10-25 cm long
  • Magnificent white inflorescences up to 100 cm tall
  • Yucca hardy to minus 20 degrees
Source: Andrey Zharkikh from Salt Lake City, USA, 2015.05.24 11.27.23 IMG 2302 - Flickr - andrey zharkikh, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY 2.0

For the penumbra

Alpine carnation (Dianthus alpinus)

  • Dianthus alpinus up to ten centimeters tall
  • Forms lawn-like cushions
  • Leaves dark green, lanceolate
  • Flowers wheel-shaped, toothed at the edge and slightly fragrant
  • In the colors white, pink or red

Tip: This alpine carnation is well suited for niches in a dry or natural stone wall.

Source: Stefan.lefnaer, Dianthus alpinus sl1, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Brown-stemmed spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes)

  • In nature it grows mainly between joints and rocks
  • Because of this, it was made for a natural stone wall
  • Doesn't stand out because of its flowers, but because of its leaves
  • They are deep green, simply pinnate and serrate at the leaf edge
  • Leaves are on brown stems
  • Fern grows up to 20 cm high and just as wide
Spleenwort, Asplenium trichomanes

Yellow Larkspur (Pseudofumaria lutea)

  • Larkspur impresses with a long flowering period
  • Blooms from May to October
  • Special luminosity of the yellow funnel flowers
  • The bluish-green, finely feathered leaves are also very decorative
  • Yellow Corydalis grows between 25 and 35 cm high

Tip: This plant can be planted very well in the joints of a dry wall.

Source: Wouter Hagens, Pseudofumaria lutea A, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Golden Stonecrop (Sedum floriferum)

  • Widespread sedum
  • Maximum 20 cm high
  • Forms large cushions over time
  • Evergreen and succulent leaves
  • Flowers small, golden yellow, star-shaped
  • Flowering time from July to August

Golddroplets (Chiastophyllum oppositifolium)

  • Evergreen clumpy perennial
  • Growth height up to 20 cm
  • Makes rosettes of fleshy, succulent leaves
  • Flowering period from June to July
  • Overhanging flower clusters with drop-like single flowers
  • Hardy and easy to care for

Stag's tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium)

  • Leaves are distinctly different from pinnate ferns
  • The stag's tongue fern is smooth, shiny and undivided
  • Grows sloping and sprawling
  • Reaches heights of 30-60 cm
  • Requires a shady and calcareous spot
Stag's tongue fern, Phyllitis scolopendrium

Carpathian foam cress (Arabis procurrens)

  • Carpathian foam cress develops evergreen carpets
  • Made of dark green, glossy leaves
  • Flowers are small and white
  • Hover above the foliage on thin stalks
  • Flowering time from April to May
  • Growth height is 5-15 cm
Source: DHochmayr, Arabis procurrens 01HD, edited from Plantopedia, CC0 1.0

Wall cymbal (Cymbalaria muralis)

  • Also known as wallflower
  • Extremely decorative and stoloniferous perennial
  • Dark green, heart-shaped to rounded foliage
  • Small light purple flowers on reddish stems
  • Flowering period from May to September
  • Growth height up to 10 cm
Source: H. Zell, Cymbalaria muralis 001, edited from Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Moss Saxifrage (Saxifraga arendsi)

  • Moss Saxifrage forms dense, rosette-like cushions
  • Foliage evergreen, with a height of and about five centimeters
  • Inflorescences up to 15 cm high
  • Countless, small, crimson-pink single flowers
  • Flowering time from March to April
Autumn is the best time to plant the moss saxifrage.

Cushion bellflower (Campanula poscharskyana)

  • Coleforming plant for drywall
  • Long flowering period from June to September
  • Growth is carpet-like
  • Reaches heights of about 15 cm and widths of 30-40 cm
  • Foliage deep green and very contrasting
  • Flowers violet and bell-shaped
Source: Femme Fatale, Purple Campanula poscharskyana, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Polypodium vulgare

  • Evergreen native perennial
  • Spreads carpet-like over runners
  • Dark green fronds, slightly overhanging
  • Simply pinnate, with a leathery surface
  • Growth height is between 20 and 40 cm
  • Would like to stand in the same place for many years

Eyelash fern (Woodsia obtusa)

  • Greatest ornament, the lush green, doubly pinnate leaves
  • Grows up to 30 cm high and similar in width
  • Grows upright at first and later overhangs
  • Decorative foliage is also convincing in autumn and winter
  • Considered to be frost hardy
Source: Choess, Woodsia ilvensis on serpentine, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

For the shadow

Alpine columbine (Aquilegia alpina)

  • Extremely decorative flowers
  • Graceful and nodding, seem to float in the air
  • Typical spurs are short and curved
  • Flower color varies between light blue and blue-violet
  • Flower stalks between 30 and 50 cm high
  • Flowering period from May to June
  • Foliage rosette-like, deep green, lobed, pinnate and dull
  • Columbine likes to settle at the base of the wall

Tip: After flowering, pruning is recommended.

Source: Ibex73, Aquilegia alpina, Vanoise 2022 (1), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Houseleek (Sempervivum tectorum)

  • Badger grows in a cushion-forming manner
  • Growth height up to 30 cm and diameter up to 25 cm
  • Develops green rosettes with reddish-brown tips
  • Leaves succulent and broadly lanceolate
  • Flowering time June to July
  • Forms 20-60 cm long flowering shoots
  • With white, yellowish or pink individual flowers
  • Rosette dies after flowering
  • Always forms new rosettes

Tip: The houseleek, but also other types of sedum, are very suitable for planting in stone joints in a dry stone wall.

Wall rue (asplenium ruta-muraria)

  • Wall rue belongs to the ferns
  • Frond grey-green and coarse
  • Barely longer than 10 cm
  • Leaves bi- or tripinnate
  • Leaf blades diamond or fan-shaped, usually finely toothed on the front
  • Wall rhombus often found in wall joints

Tip: One of the peculiarities of this plant is that it prefers nutrient-rich limestone.

Source: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, Asplenium ruta-muraria kz10, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Porcelain flowers (Saxifraga x urbium)

  • Porcelain flowers form compact cushions
  • Pretty evergreen rosettes of leaves
  • Filigree, red, pink or white star-shaped flowers
  • Flowers arranged in panicles
  • Flowering period from May to June
  • Reaches heights of up to 30 cm

For the mural crown

Mountain Chickweed (Arenaria montana)

  • Grows cushion-like and decumbent
  • Growth heights up to 10 cm
  • Flowers simple, white, cupped
  • Flowering time May to June
  • Foliage dull green, finely hairy
  • For sunny and partially shaded wall crowns
Source: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, Arenaria montana kz2, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Spring Cinquefoil (Potentilla neumanniana)

  • Native creeping, carpet-forming perennial
  • Mats of green, finger-like divided leaves
  • Simple, small, golden yellow cup-shaped flowers
  • Blooms from April to May
  • Often surprises with a second bloom
  • Grows up to 10 cm high and loves the sun

Tip: One of their special features is that there is no risk of slugs being eaten.

Large-flowered stone purse (Aethionema grandiflorum)

  • Pillow-like growth
  • Upright flower stalks up to 20 cm high
  • Pink flowers appear from May to July
  • Low wall, good location
  • And a sunny spot
  • In the wrong location, perennial only short-lived

Tip: After flowering, pruning is recommended, and winter protection in snowless winters.

Source: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, Aethionema grandiflorum kz01, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Cushion Soapwort (Saponaria ocymoides)

  • Carpet-forming perennial
  • Spreads fast
  • Grows up to 20 cm high
  • A feast for the eyes, especially during flowering, from May to July
  • Countless purple-pink, umbel-shaped flowers

Tip: The location on the wall should definitely be low in nutrients.

Source: Isidre blanc, SAPONARIA OCYMOIDES - QUERALT - IB-325 (Sabonera petita), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Creeping Gypsophila (Gypsophila repens)

  • Native, profusely flowering species with overhanging growth
  • Quickly greens larger areas of a natural stone wall
  • With an infinite number of white, veil-like flowers and grey-green, frosted foliage
  • Flowering time is from May to July
  • Growth height is a maximum of 25 cm
  • Particularly suitable for stone joints and wall crowns

Tip: Gyposophila repens is well suited for wall crowns but also for planting in wall joints.

Source: Lazaregagnidze, Gypsophila repens Alpine Gypsophila ალპური წინწკალა, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Ostrich Saxifrage (Saxifraga cotyledon)

  • Develops rosette-like leaves
  • Covers natural stone wall with dense cushions over time
  • Ideally in sunny to semi-shady places
  • The highlight are the panicle-shaped, white flowers with reddish markings
  • Flower stalks up to 50 cm high
  • Flowering period from June to July
Source: digital cat from Munich, Bavaria, Bastionsgarten Eichstätt -Flora 2009 (6), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY 2.0

Dwarf Tufted Bell (Edraianthus pumilio)

  • Rarity with cushion-like growth
  • Leaves linear to linear-lanceolate, grey-green, glabrous with a slight downiness
  • Attractive blue-purple, bell-shaped flowers
  • Blooms from June to July
  • Under favorable conditions, a maximum of five centimeters high
  • Sunny place recommended
  • Very suitable for dry stone walls and calcareous substrates
Source: Ghislain118, Edraianthus pumilio 2, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

frequently asked Questions

Are herbs also suitable for a natural stone wall?

Warmth-loving herbs such as rosemary, thyme or lavender are particularly suitable for a dry wall.

What should be considered when planting?

Ideally, the joints of the drywall should already be filled with soil when the wall is laid. When choosing plants, soil and light conditions must be taken into account.

Which soil can be used for planting a natural stone wall?

Commercial potting soil is not recommended, it is often over-fertilized. Top soil is more suitable, especially from molehills.

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