Whether in a single position in the middle of flower beds, in the context of a herb snail or as a stair-like arrangement on a slope – plant stones are a real eye-catcher in every green area. Various stones are available for the design of your own garden, which can be arranged individually. With a little preparation, decorative elements can easily be added to the garden, which every hobby gardener will enjoy for a long time.

Plant stones – variations and prices

Plant stones are offered in different shapes and colors. Variants with natural nuances, for example brown, ocher-colored or reddish stones, are particularly popular. Gray or sandstone-colored variants also have a decorative effect. Depending on the application, different shapes can also be used; round or semicircular variants or plant rings are often used, for example, for the construction of terraces; angular stones, on the other hand, are ideal for fastening slopes. In addition, unshaped, sometimes bizarre natural stones are available, which are particularly popular for planting within ponds. Hollowed out pebbles that are filled with plants are also a popular decorative element.

Depending on the size and shape, the prices of plant stones vary considerably. Rectangular variants that are both 30cm wide and thick and 50cm high cost between five and six euros each. Plant rings with the dimensions 30cmx20cmx20cm, on the other hand, are a bit cheaper at around three euros. Hollowed out pebbles cost between 15 and euros, depending on their size. The pricing of naturally shaped stones is particularly varied. Depending on their texture, size, color and shape, these plant stones can be had for as little as a few euros; however, particularly striking variants can quickly exceed the hundred euro limit. Plant stone sets that provide all the material for a specific structure, for example for a herb snail, are often particularly inexpensive. Such sets are already available from a price of less than one hundred euros. Overall, hobby gardeners can get by with little financial means if they want to beautify their garden with plant stones.

Preparations for inserting the stones

If planting stones are incorporated into the garden, certain considerations should be made when planning. Certain questions should be clarified in this context:

  • Which areas in the garden should be provided with plant stones?
  • How can the stones be integrated into the overall picture of the garden?
  • Which material and which shapes and colors are suitable?
  • Do the selected plants match the given locations?
  • What are the financial resources that are available?

Once the planning has been carried out on the basis of these criteria, the first step is to lay the foundations. This special floor construction prevents plant stones from sinking and slipping, which put a lot of weight on the floor. First of all, the selected areas in the garden that are to be planted with stones are staked out. The outlines are marked out with wooden pegs, around which a cord is stretched. The earth can then be excavated with a spade within this limit. For plant stones of medium height, a depth of around 60cm is sufficient, while walls that are supposed to reach a height of over one meter require an excavation of 90cm.

The soil that is to be used for setting the plant stones can then be prepared accordingly. The excavation is covered with wooden planks. In order to ensure a good drainage of water, a drainage layer is placed in the earth. The mixture also provides additional stability and optimal frost protection. This layer, which ideally consists of coarse gravel and gravel, is sunk into the earth at a depth of 20 to 30 cm. The drainage should be about 20cm thick. If the planting stones are processed on slopes, a flatter layer is sufficient, while flat areas should be equipped with a thicker layer of gravel. After pouring in the gravel mixture, the mass is tamped well. Then a decision has to be made about the type of substrate, that the plants that are in the immediate vicinity of the stones should be used. Most plants thrive in conventional, slightly acidic garden soil. However, particularly heavy soils should be prepared with compost or sand before planting takes place.

Concrete production and installation of the stones

Before the plant stones can be set, the concrete is first mixed. If larger areas are to be equipped with stones, it has proven useful to mix the concrete yourself. The following components are required for this:

  • cement
  • Surcharge (sand and gravel with an aggregate size between 16 and 32)
  • water

All dry components are mixed thoroughly for optimal preparation. For one part of cement, a total of 4 parts is estimated. Now the water can gradually be added. The moistening of the concrete should be done carefully and proportionately. The mixture is ready when a pasty mass has formed that is slightly earth-moist; ideally, the concrete has a slightly crumbly consistency.

Note: If smaller work is to be carried out and only small areas are to be provided with stones, precast concrete is best; this only needs to be mixed with a certain amount of water.

After the concrete has been mixed, the mass is poured over the layer of gravel. If the later construction is to reach a height of more than one meter, the concrete layer must be around 20cm. For stones that are placed at a height of less than one meter, a layer of 10cm is sufficient. The course of the first row is now determined with a wall cord. Then the first plant stone or ring can be placed in the concrete. The mixture must still be damp. It has therefore proven useful to position the stones within easy reach when the concrete is poured in. The stone is hammered into the concrete mix with a rubber mallet. You should then check whether the stone is straight. A spirit level is used for this purpose. The next plant stones are driven into the ground with a distance of 5mm. When the row is over, a third of it is filled with gravel. If further strings are to follow above the first row, these are placed slightly backwards on the stones in the first row. About a third of the stones are filled with gravel. Once the desired height has been reached, the plant stones, which are already a third filled with gravel, can be filled with potting soil.

Planting of plant stones

When planting plant stones, different criteria must be taken into account. In principle, perennial plants should preferably be used so that the workload remains as low as possible. In addition, it is important to pay attention to the different flowering periods for the different varieties. The location of the plant stones should also be taken into account; if the wall faces south, rock garden plants should be used predominantly. To achieve a balanced and varied planting, a combination of different flowers, shrubs and grasses is suitable. The basic equipment includes the following types of plants:

  • Stone plants: blue pillows and houseleek, Sedum species
  • Herbs: lavender, thyme
  • Grasses and ferns
  • Low perennials: pasque flower, columbine, bluebells, cranesbills

Plant stones are often placed directly in front of a wall or a house wall. Then various climbing plants are suitable for planting, which can climb up the vertical surface. These include, for example, varieties such as wild wall wine and clematis. Most varieties such as climbing hydrangea, wild strawberry or ivy grow beyond the stone edge; under certain circumstances the entire stone material is covered by the growth. This development should be taken into account when planting. This phenomenon can also occur with creeping conifers and ground cover such as blue pillows or phlox. Plant stones are also often found as the property line. Then the stones are usually stacked in small towers and placed in a row. The plant stones are also in this arrangement, when smaller slopes are to be fastened; then usually the construction of a staircase-shaped structure is made. Used in this way, mostly insensitive and particularly easy-care ground covers are used. Cotoneaster and cotoneaster are particularly suitable for this type of planting. But ivy and buxus, cleverly combined, also offer a decorative picture.

If the stones are to be used to surround terraces, a combination of different flowers is suitable, which is best mixed in a colorful way. Tuberous plants, which should be as hardy as possible, are particularly suitable for use on the terrace. In addition to classic plants such as tulips, lilies or daffodils, phlox or daisies also make a very decorative picture.

The planting itself is easy. The lower third of the plant stone is filled with expanded clay or gravel. This basis effectively prevents the formation of waterlogging. The prepared potting soil is poured directly onto the gravel layer. This is filled to just below the edge. Depending on the type of plant, different substrates are used:

  • Stone plants: loose soil with a high proportion of sand
  • Perennials: well-drained, moderately dry to fresh, also low in nutrients (pasque flower) or rich in nutrients (cranesbill)
  • Herbs: well-drained, moderately dry and fresh; slightly acidic (thyme) or calcareous (lavender)

When planting, care should be taken to ensure that there is sufficient space between the individual plants within a ring. If the arrangement is too close, the plants hinder each other’s growth. In order to enable optimal growth, the plants can be thinned out accordingly in between.

Basically, sufficient watering of the plant rings must be ensured, as numerous varieties dry out quickly.

Create and plant the herb snail

The herb snails offer a particularly popular and widespread construction of the plant stones. This is a herb bed with a rounded floor plan, which is structured by natural stones arranged in a spiral without mortar connections. Towards the middle, the structure rises like a tower. In order to develop its optimal effect, the herb spiral should have a diameter of at least two meters. As a preparatory step, the selected area is excavated 20cm deep and filled with gravel as drainage. Then the stones are laid out in a spiral shape from the outside in, whereby the height is gradually increased a little by stacking up several layers. The spaces between the walls are filled with crushed stone or gravel up to about half the height. Potting soil is poured over this layer. Depending on,

  • Plants in the lower area: with compost
  • Plants in the middle area: with sand
  • Plants in the upper area: with gravel

The different heights result in different types of plant locations. Herbs, which need a lot of moisture and nutrients, are placed in the lower area. These include, for example, chives, peppermint and parsley. Tarragon or savory follow, while the layer in the uppermost area of ​​the herb spiral is ideally filled with thyme, lavender or oregano. These plants need plenty of sun and do best in dry conditions.


With the help of plant stones, decorative accents can be set in the home garden. Used correctly and planted in a variety of ways, the natural construction is one of the easy-care elements in the garden. Inexperienced gardeners should seek help when setting the stones; However, subsequent maintenance is easy and problem-free, so that all gardening enthusiasts can look forward to long-lasting garden decorations with little effort.

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