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5 Cascading Plants for Retaining Walls

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If considering a garden makeover with a retaining wall, then a few cascading plants are a must. Not only do they look great, but they will also give a sense of an established garden. While there are countless options available, the following five cascading plants are just a few we’ve found that are hardy and low maintenance — the perfect combination!

Cascading Plants - Casuarina Glauca – Cousin It

See the before and after photos

Dichondra Argentea – dichondra silver falls

Silver Falls is at the top of our list of cascading plants for its striking effect over retaining walls and large pots. A native of the USA, this hardy plant can take full sun to partial shade and even withstand cold climates. In addition, Sliver Falls only requires moderate watering. Although if in a pot in a hot location, your lovely cascading plant will need more regular watering.

Casuarina Glauca – Cousin It

Aptly nicknamed ‘Cousin it’ this Australian native is another fantastic addition to any retaining wall. The thin foliage creates a mop like mound perfect for walls and pots or ground cover. The dark green appearance also combines beautifully with the light shade of the Silver Falls, creating a contrast to your garden. Another hardy plant, Casuarina, can take full sun. Plus, it only needs moderate watering in winter and a little more in summer to ensure the soil stays moist. 

Cousin It - Outdoor Escape Landscaping

Image thanks to Outdoor Escape Landscaping

Ficus Pumila – creeping fig 

The Creeping Fig is typically a climber but makes a fantastic cascading plant overflowing a retaining wall, as seen on Outside In By Denise. The heart-shaped evergreen foliage will look great all year, and due to its fast-growing nature, you will need to prune it to keep it under control. Just like Silver Falls and Cousin It, the Creeping Fig can take full sun or part shade. Ensure the soil is well-drained, and you will have a thriving plant that only needs moderate watering. 

Ficus Pumila – Creeping Fig looks great over retaining walls

Rosmarinus Prostrate Rosemary – trailing rosemary 

Known as an evergreen perennial, Creeping or Trailing Rosemary grows low, making it an excellent ground cover or another impressive cascading plant option for your retaining wall. The best part about Creeping Rosemary is that you can add it to your cooking just like regular rosemary. The blue flowers will also add a lovely burst of colour to your garden. Another hardy plant that’s drought-tolerant, trailing rosemary, can handle full sun or part shade and needs well-drained soil.

Creeping Rosemary over retaining wall

Lysimachia Nummularia Aurea – golden creeping Jenny

You may know this vibrant ground cover as Creeping Jenny, Goldilocks or Gold Moneywort. This perennial is another low growing ground cover or even a lawn alternative in some instances. In addition, Creeping Jenny makes an attractive option for your retaining wall. The foliage ranges in colour from light green to yellow with the addition of yellow flowers in summer. The key to growing Creeping Jenny is to use moist, well-draining soil, and this cascading plant will tolerate full sun to part shade. 

Cascading Plants - Creeping Jenny

On the whole, you can’t go wrong with any or all of the cascading plants mentioned. Each has a distinct look and texture that will breathe life into your garden and create a feature of your retaining wall.

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