Fertilizer and Watering Needs

Do alpine and rock gardens have special fertilizer and watering needs?

Rock garden plants and alpines often require little fertilizer and those from sunny, dry climates need very little supplemental water. 

Many plants from Mediterrenean climates require little water or fertilizer.  Lavenders, thymes and other aromatic herbs originated in rocky, infertile hillsides of the Mediterrenean region where summer rainfall is minimal and they are quite drought tolerant.  These plants and other plants from similar climates are often used in a low water garden. 

High mountain plants often require low levels of fertilizer and some are low water, too.  These plants, known as alpines, are classic examples of rock garden plants that thrive in austere settings where the soils contain very few nutrients. In cultivation, these plants require little fertilizer.  Their water requirements vary depending on factors such as how deeply their roots system extends and whether they grow in a relatively dry environment such as on a mountain peak or in a wetter area such as in a meadow. 

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