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Alpines elevate small place planting

Alpines might be small in stature, but they can certainly add a punch to your planting and really elevate even the smallest of spaces, providing a joyful display all year round.

We have big offers on these small place plants running in our Early Bird sale from 8th January . Pick & Mix from a host of varieties 

Alpines originate from high altitude mountainous regions, growing above the tree line or in lowlands in Arctic and Antarctic zones. So, to say that they are hardy and resilient seems an understatement!

A great starting point for beginner gardeners, alpines are easy to grow, with minimal maintenance needs and are happy in a range of different containers, including troughs and sinks, in rockery gardens, gravel gardens, raised beds, and even in crevices in stone walls and in between paving.

The choice of plants is huge, in fact there are over 200 varieties of alpines listed, with flowers in various vibrant colours, at differing times of the year. Think about combining different types of foliage too, for when the plants aren’t in flower and you can enjoy the wondrous displays these charming little gems of the garden give you all year round.

Where to plant

Having originated and evolved in a variety of mountainous environments across the globe, alpines are extremely versatile and can withstand harsh conditions. They love an open, sunny position in well-drained soil.

Even in the smallest of spaces and gardens, alpine plants can really come into their own, as a wide range of varieties can be grown together in a limited space.

How to plant

Aim to create a natural look and consider that some plants will spread. They like well-drained soil, so be sure to mix in plenty of grit with your compost as this will improve drainage.

To plant, dig a small hole in the rock garden or alpine trough, remove the plant from its pot and gently tease it out to prevent damaging the roots. Put the plant in the hole and back fill, then firm down in place. Finish by adding a layer of grit around the plant. If planting into a container, ensure it has drainage holes in the base.

If planting into a crevice or wall, make sure that there are no perennial weeds already lurking in the gaps. Remove them by hand or use a weedkiller if necessary. With a little compost, push your plant into the crevice and water lightly until established.

If planting into a pathway, alpines can beautifully soften the hard edges of your path, creating a colourful patchwork to walk over. Fork over the soil in the area, create a hole and add a little grit to each, plant in and then you can top with more grit, pebbles or smallish rocks to complete the look.

How to care for alpines

Alpines have adapted to growing in poor soil conditions, so there is no need to feed them and in fact, they need very little care. However, it is good to keep weeding around them and top up with a layer of coarse grit around the base of the stems as required.

They typically require less frequent watering at they are adapted to survive in dry conditions. But, water more regularly after planting them for their first year at least, this is especially so if you planted them outside of the spring months. This watering will help the plants establish. Be mindful to water them if there are periods of prolonged drought. Ensure the soil is moist, but not waterlogged.


See in-store and online for our full range of Alpines and Flowering Heathers and for inspirational pot and planter ideas too.