Landscaping Around Your Rock Waterfall

A landscaping waterfall

Adding landscaping around your rock waterfall is a fairly easy way of adding beauty, value, and style to your home's exterior. Whether your garden is small and budgeted or lavish and expansive, adding landscaping around your rock waterfall is sure to enhance a garden atmosphere. In this guide we’ll be going over specific plants that will work well with a rock waterfall, as well as some tips on maintaining the area.

Choosing a Landscaping Style

When landscaping the area around your rock waterfall it is of the utmost importance to choose an overall theme, even if it’s a broad one. The tranquility and peacefulness that a waterfall brings to your garden can make an Asian or tropical style very appropriate. Another great looking style is the desert oasis. If you’ve got the climate for it, a desert oasis theme could be especially serene and easy to create with some rocks and plants native to the desert.

Plants to Consider

A fern frond

Naturally, the specific plants you use depend heavily on your personal style, tastes, budget and climate. It also depends on things such as whether water will be splashing up and hitting the plants. Only certain plants can handle so much water. For a lush garden full of vibrancy and color, consider plants such as the Hawaiian Ti, Pussy Willows, and Red Osier Dogwood. These plants are full of color and will add beauty and majesty to your garden. Bamboo is great, too, since it’s a beautiful plant that is easy to maintain and will grow vertically, allowing for other foliage, should you choose to plant it.


  • Don’t think that just because plants are by a waterfall that you need to water them less. You should continue to water your plants as you normally would.
  • Keep on top of maintenance. Dead leaves could clog the inner workings of your waterfall, causing it to stop working. Regular maintenance and clean-up are the easiest ways of preventing this waterfall crippling problem.
  • Be mindful of the climate where you live. You don’t want to plant tropical plants in a climate where it snows half the year. Even if the suggested plants wouldn’t fare well in your climate there are always plenty of beautiful plants and flowers you can use that will.

Plants to Avoid

  • Avoid plants that need a very specific amount of water, as water from your waterfall may mist the plants regularly.
  • Try not to plant your foliage in places where the shade from the waterfall will cover the plants too much. Some shade is okay, but it’s generally important that plants get direct sunlight.

Waterfall Zones

Rock waterfall with plants by a pool

Your waterfall has four zones to accommodate landscaping. These include moist or dry patches on the rock's face, within the pond, and the border surrounding the pond.

Moist Areas - Several moss varieties thrive on the rock faces such as fern moss, Sphagnum mosses, and pillow moss. For moist crevices between the rocks, consider ferns such as bluebell, ostrich, cobra, and Netherlands.

Dry Areas - Spanish moss is attracted to the dry face of a rock. Keep Spanish moss away from direct water from the pond as the plant gets its moisture from the air. Succulents also thrive in dry areas between rocks or surrounding gravel. Do not place in proximity to splashing water as direct contact causes plant rot.

Waterfall Pond - The traditional pond plant is the water lily. Other aquatic flowering plants include the lotus flower, water poppies, and yellow hearts.

Waters's Edge - Consider plants that grow in the shade or partial sun and moist soil such as blue-eyed grass, primroses, impatiens, and canna lilies.