Plant ideas for dry stone walls

pinklarapinklara Posts: 21
I have loads of dry stone walls which I would love to sow some seeds into the crevices. We already have cute little ferns and little succulenty doodahs that have appeared by themselves. Any ideas for easy plants to try, the more colourful and flowery the better?
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  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 107
    Campanula?  They grow easily in cracks and the blue flowers are very pretty. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,947
    Hi @pinklara- is the wall in a sunny facing site or a shady one , or both?
    The biggest difficulty can be keeping things moist enough, and some seeds won't 'take' either.
    For a sunny position, you could try nasturtiums, as they enjoy poor conditions.
    Take the lead from the little plants you have - ferns which like the conditions will readily colonise and many of the little sedums will do the same, so try plants which like those same conditions. Ajuga will often thrive too, and so will things like Aubretia and Arabis etc. Some saxifrages too. Look at alpines generally.

    I found if you take small pieces of those plants and pushed them into holes with some soil, not compost, and then fixed a bit of chicken wire to hold them, that worked well. It's probably easier than seeds, but you'd need to have those plants to start with.
    Not so easy at this time unless you can find an online source who is till happy to deliver. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • pinklarapinklara Posts: 21
    Thank you for the ideas! Yes, some shady walls and some sunny ones, so I might just try out a range of the plants you suggest (depending on what I can get delivered!). I think I actually already have ajuga growing in them. I love the campanulas and aubretia, and nasturtiums are a good idea for the sunny walls. I’ll see what I can find! 
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 5,696
    I don't know if he still posts on this forum, but Philip Nulty (@nultyphilip224) had a nifty idea for establishing plants in dry stone walls.  He part filled an old sock with soil, and stuffed it into a gap in the wall - good for seeds, and also for little plants, as it holds the soil round the roots.  (A good use for odd socks, which seem to breed in our house...)
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,947
    I don't think he does @Liriodendron. Haven't seen him in a very long time.

    I grow wild rocket, and it grows almost anywhere - sun or shade, wet or dry soil. It'll drop down too, as it grows, so good in a wall. I have it in troughs on my back fence as part of a 'green wall' effect. That could be worth trying too.

    Note - it's the wild one , not the cultivated types  :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • pinklarapinklara Posts: 21
    Ah great sock idea! All my socks are odd, with holes in, so won’t have any trouble finding some for wall purposes. I’ll look up wild rocket too - I have never come across that.
  • Euphorbia is another type of plant that can do well growing in walls and the perennial wallflower erysimum with the Bowle's mauve variety being particularly nice. Lots of walls in my area also get colonised by red valerian (Centranthus ruber) and I have some common thyme and the Doon valley variegated type that has survived in a garden wall near the house for years now.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 510
    Oooh I’m envious! What I wouldn’t give for some dry stone walls 😊

    Sempervirums would work.

    Cymbalaria muralis (toadflax) is wonderful. Stick a tiny bit in a crack of the wall and within months it’ll have sent tiny runners everywhere. Not invasive, as very soft and easily pulled out if you want less. Gorgeous flower, last for ages.


    The other favourite of mine that would thrive in your wall, is Erigeron (fleabane) that will easily seed itself about, producing masses of tiny, daisy shaped flowers for months on end. Also thrives survives in poor soil that is well drained.

    🎼"I've been driving in my car, it don't look much but I've been far, I drive up to Muswell Hill, I've even been to Selsey Bill..."🎹
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 510
    I don't know if he still posts on this forum, but Philip Nulty (@nultyphilip224) had a nifty idea for establishing plants in dry stone walls.  He part filled an old sock with soil, and stuffed it into a gap in the wall - good for seeds, and also for little plants, as it holds the soil round the roots.  (A good use for odd socks, which seem to breed in our house...)
    Genius idea 💡 
    Wonder if it would with old, holey pop socks...?
    🎼"I've been driving in my car, it don't look much but I've been far, I drive up to Muswell Hill, I've even been to Selsey Bill..."🎹
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,947
    Not sure how you'd get an Erysimum to grow in a hole in a wall.

    What size are the holes in your wall @robairdmacraignil:D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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