Contrary to what many of you believe, Alpine plants are quite easy to grow and maintain. They require very low maintenance and can adapt to any weather conditions with very little care. If you are a beginner then growing alpine plants can turn out to be the best garden decision ever.
They can easily grow at the borders, under shade or sun, raised beds, pots, and troughs. If you are not aware of the alpine plants then you should know these plants grow in a high elevated climate in the mountains above the treeline.
They come in several varieties: bulbs, shrubs, perennial grasses, sedges, forbes, cushion plants, and many more. Most of the alpine plants are compact and slow-growing but have a cushioned look which makes them ideal for making flower beds in your garden.
Alpine plants are rich in vibrant colors that can instantly enhance the beauty of your garden. If you have a small garden then or a shaded garden then alpine plants for pots and alpine plants for shade are your new best friend.
In this article, you will learn why you should choose alpine plants and how to take care of them. We have also selected out 10 best alpine plants that you can grow in your garden without any hassle to make it more vibrant.
Why Choose Alpine Plants?
There are many reasons to choose alpine plants to grow in your garden. Here are a few of them:
1. Adaptability- Our environment is changing rapidly and it is the foremost concern of every gardener today. Climate change has made taking care of plants more hectic and many shy bushes and shrubs need more attention than others. Alpine plants grow in a high elevation environment, thus they are adaptable to dry summer and many of them can control water-level due to their drought-resistance feature.
2. Versatile- These plants look great in both large and small gardens but choosing plants for small gardens or balconies is quite difficult. Alpine plants are compact and vibrant. You can grow multiple alpine plants for pots and or alpine plants in the shade to add color and beauty to your small garden.
3. Low Maintenance- Alpine plants grow in a harsh environment, therefore they are quite easy to maintain. You don’t have to water them regularly. Also if you live in an area with a water supply issue but like to have a small garden then alpine plants are the one for you. You can create a rock garden or plant them in raised beds and crevices.
4. Aesthetics- Alpine plants flower freely after plantation. They bloom in rich vibrant and attractive colors that can complement your garden if you have too much green. They look beautiful both inside and out.
When and Where to Plant The Alpines?
Let’s talk about ‘When’ first. You plant and grow alpine plants in the UK at any time but March and April is the best time as soil is moist in this time of the year which allows the root to set in and you don’t have to water them regularly to set in the ground.Also, September and October is a good time if you are looking for alpine for pots.
Now, if you are concerned about the location then you have nothing to worry about. Alpine plants are highly versatile as they grow in highly elevated climates. Therefore, you can easily get alpine plants for shade or sun. You can either grow them in your large or small garden, plant them in raised beds or pots.
You can either build your small rock garden or make popular Hypertufa pots at home to grow alpine plants. Crevice gardens are also becoming popular as you cannot plant any other plant between the rockeries and expect such splendid results.
Top 10 Best Alpine Plant Names
Here are the top alpine plant names and some of them have received the RHS Award of the garden merit. This list includes both sun-loving and alpine plants for shade.
1. Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’
If you are looking for an evergreen perennial, creeper, alpine plant then choose Aurea. It has yellow leaves with slender stems that can grow easily on walls as for your garden boundaries and provide a splendid soft and shiny texture. It is a shade-loving alpine plant and excellent for dry summers.
2. Thymus ‘Silver Queen’
It is a bushy alpine plant with pale green leaves with silver edges. In summer it blooms tiny pink flowers. You can grow it in raised beds or deep troughs. It has a delightful lemon scent and can be used as a culinary herb due to its superb flavor.
3. Sempervivum ‘Othello’
Well, who doesn’t love succulents! They are easy to maintain and come in different colors and textures. Sempervivum Othello has deep purple foliage with a slightly smokey purple shade in the center. It looks beautiful in rock and gravel gardens. It is also one of the popular sun-loving alpine plants for pots and blooms starry ink flowers in summer.
4. Sedum Spathulifolium ‘Purpureum’
If you have a rock or gravel garden, plant this perennial succulent and it will become the attraction of your small garden. You can either plant them at the edges, patio, or containers. It is also known as purple spoon-leaved Stonecrop. They can spread 4 times their height (10cm) therefore, plant them in a well-drained sunny place only.
5. Maurice Dryden
It is a perennial alpine plant ideal for the UK as it can stand the long hard winters. This alpine plant can self-seed and naturalize faster than any other plant. It blooms around the edges white-silver flowers with deep purple marks at the base. It blooms in early spring and winter.
6. Auberita ‘Argenteovariegata’
It is quite a dull evergreen plant but popular for its spring pinkish-purple blooms. It has deep green foliage with silver edges throughout the year. It can grow up to 7cm. It is also the receiver of the AGM award from the RHS society in the UK.
7. Dianthus ‘Pop Star’
It is one of the sun-loving alpine plants and has pretty pink flowers that pop in compact mounds with deep pink eyes in summers. They have a subtle scent in summers but they can grow woody if not trimmed on time as they can grow up to 20 cm.
8. Lewisia longipetat ‘Little Plum’
If you have a damp area in your garden, plant this spectacular alpine plant also known as Little plum. It has a pink and apricot color star-shaped flower that blooms in early summer, it has evergreen foliage. Plant them at a 45-degree angle as raised beds to provide adequate drainage. They can grow up to 10cm only.
9. Saxifraga ‘Winfred Bevington’
Saxifraga or Winfred Bevington is an evergreen perennial alpine plant that blooms star-shaped white flowers edged with a tinge of deep pink/red color. It has mid-green leaves and stems. Its height is 20 cm and spread up to 25cm. It is one of the best alpine plants for shade.
10. Veronica Prostrata
It is a semi-evergreen alpine plant with semi-evergreen foliage and blooms blue flowers in early springs with white eyes. These flowers bloom in bunches. It is also known as a Prostrate speedwell or rock speedwell. It can grow up to 10-15 cm tall. It grows well in a damp area and loves shade.
Things To Consider While Planting The Alpine Plants
There are only a few things that you need to consider while planting the alpine plants in your garden or pots. No matter if you choose the sun-loving alpines or alpine for the shade they both will add color and texture to your garden and will require very low maintenance.
- Plant them in rocky soil or add grit on the top for raised beds and potted plants.
- If you are planting in sunny spots, water them thoroughly in the beginning until their roots are set, but if you are planting in winters or damp soil then you might not have to water again as too much moisture will rot their roots.
- Create a good drainage system both in pots and soil. They don’t require much water, you can also control the moisture by adding decorative grit in the upper layer.
- Use a weak potash solution as fertilizer. It will encourage the blooming process.
- Pick up the spent flowers and trim them if they are spreading too much.