Secure Landscaping Rocks: Tips to Keep Them in Place

how to keep landscaping rocks in place

Gravity isn’t always your friend when it comes to landscaping rocks. Whether you’re trying to prevent rocks from shifting on a slope or securing them in a garden, it’s essential to have effective rock retaining methods in place. Not only does this help with stabilizing rock features, but it also ensures the integrity of your landscape is protected. In this article, we will explore various methods for keeping rocks in position and provide valuable rock bed maintenance tips.

how to keep landscaping rocks in place

First and foremost, it’s crucial to clear the area where you plan to place the landscaping rocks. Removing any obstructions and weeds not only creates a clean surface but also helps prevent erosion in rocky areas. Additionally, putting landscaping fabric down provides a sturdy base for the rocks, preventing them from shifting. This fabric also acts as a barrier against weed growth, ensuring low-maintenance rock bed upkeep.

Another effective way to secure landscaping rocks is by incorporating low-maintenance plants between the decorative rocks. The strategic placement of these plants creates stability and adds aesthetic appeal to your landscape. Choose plants of varying sizes and shapes to maintain support and prevent shifting downward water flow.

In some cases, you might need extra support for heavier rocks. This is where concrete or sand can come in handy. These materials provide the necessary stability and ensure your landscaping rocks stay firmly in place.

To reduce stress on hilly surfaces and prevent significant movement, consider adding steps or a walkway to the area. By arranging decorative rocks along the sides, you can maintain the desired look while enhancing stability. Steps and walkways also offer easier access for maintenance, making rock bed upkeep more convenient.

Installing edging is another effective way of keeping landscaping rocks secure. By creating a root barrier and running the edging sideways for slopes, you can minimize erosion and reduce the risk of rocks sliding. This discreet support system ensures the longevity of your rock features.

Lastly, mixing up the size of decorative rocks and stones can contribute to both stability and aesthetics. Using smaller rocks for support and alternating the size of the rocks creates an attractive pattern while maintaining top-to-bottom stability.

Key Takeaways:

  • Clear the area and use landscaping fabric to provide a sturdy base for your decorative rocks.
  • Incorporate low-maintenance plants between rocks for added stability and aesthetic appeal.
  • Consider using concrete or sand for extra support, especially with heavier rocks.
  • Add steps or a walkway to reduce stress on hilly surfaces and prevent significant movement.
  • Install edging to create a root barrier, minimize erosion, and reduce the risk of rocks sliding.

Clear the Area & Put Fabric Down

To ensure your landscaping rocks stay in place, it’s important to start by clearing the area of any weeds or obstructions. This not only creates a clean base but also reduces the need for frequent maintenance to remove unwanted growth. Once the area is clear, the next step is to put down landscaping fabric.

Using landscaping fabric serves multiple purposes in keeping your rocks in place. Firstly, it helps maintain proper drainage, preventing water buildup that can displace the rocks. Additionally, the fabric acts as a barrier to deter weed growth, reducing the need for constant weeding. However, one of the most crucial benefits of the fabric is the friction it creates.

The friction generated by the landscaping fabric helps anchor the decorative rocks in place, especially when using smaller rocks that may be prone to shifting. The fabric provides a stable surface for the rocks to rest on, preventing excessive movement and maintaining the desired arrangement.

By clearing the area and using landscaping fabric, you can ensure better stability for your landscaping rocks, promoting a visually appealing and low-maintenance outdoor space.

Benefits of Clearing the Area & Putting Fabric Down:

  • Maintains proper drainage
  • Deters weed growth
  • Creates friction to keep rocks in place

Put Low-Maintenance Plants between the Decorative Rocks

If landscaping fabric doesn’t provide sufficient support, another way to keep your decorative rocks in place is to strategically insert plants between them. Opt for low-maintenance plants that require minimal watering and upkeep. These plants not only add stability to the rock bed but also enhance the aesthetic appeal of your landscape. Choose plants that grow throughout the year or ones that come back annually to avoid the need for frequent replacements. By selecting the right mix of plants, you can create stability while creating an attractive pattern that shifts downward water flow.

When placing the plants, consider their sizes and shapes to achieve the desired effect. Incorporate plants of varying heights and textures to add visual interest and help prevent slippage. The strategic placement of plants can create a natural pattern that aids in shifting the downward flow of water.

Benefits of Using Low-Maintenance Plants:

  • Requires minimal watering and upkeep
  • Provides stability to the decorative rocks
  • Enhances the aesthetic appeal of the landscape
  • Reduces the need for frequent plant replacements
  • Aids in shifting the downward flow of water

Examples of Low-Maintenance Plants:

Plant Name Sunlight Requirement Watering Frequency Height
Sedum Full sun to partial shade Drought-tolerant Varies
Creeping Thyme Full sun Low to moderate 1-3 inches
Blue Fescue Full sun Moderate 8-12 inches

Get Extra Support from Concrete or Sand

When it comes to securing your landscaping rocks, size doesn’t always matter. Smaller decorative rocks or stones can be easily placed and wedged into position, providing stability with the help of surrounding plants. However, if you prefer larger or heavier rocks to enhance your landscape design, you can rely on the support of concrete or sand.

Using concrete or sand as a foundation can provide the necessary strength and stability to keep your heavier rocks in place. By creating a solid base, you can ensure that your landscaping rocks stay securely on uneven terrain.

Smaller decorative rocks or stones are usually more manageable when it comes to placement. Their compact size allows for precise positioning, making it easier to achieve the desired aesthetic appeal. Additionally, these smaller rocks can be supported by surrounding plants, further enhancing the stability of your rock features.

Whether you choose to use smaller rocks or larger ones, the key is to provide the necessary support for your landscape design. Concrete or sand can act as a solid foundation, ensuring that your rocks stay securely in place regardless of their size.

Benefits of Using Concrete or Sand for Support
1. Provides stability for heavier rocks
2. Allows for precise placement of smaller rocks
3. Enhances the overall aesthetic appeal
4. Supports the integrity of your landscape design
5. Ensures long-lasting stability on uneven terrain

By utilizing concrete or sand for support, you can create a visually appealing landscape that withstands the test of time. Whether you choose smaller decorative rocks or larger ones, the key is to provide the necessary support to keep them in place.

Consider Adding Steps or a Walkway to the Area

When dealing with landscaping rocks on hilly surfaces, incorporating steps or a walkway can be a smart design choice. By placing steps or a walkway in the middle of the area, you can reduce stress on the uneven surface and prevent significant movement. This not only enhances the overall stability but also adds a visually appealing element to your landscape.

With steps or a walkway in place, you can still arrange decorative rocks along the sides to achieve the desired look. These rocks can be strategically positioned or supported with plants to further enhance stability and prevent any shifting.

By incorporating steps or a walkway and arranging decorative rocks along the sides, you can create a cohesive and functional landscape design that reduces stress on hilly surfaces and effectively prevents significant movement.

Benefits of Adding Steps or a Walkway:
Reduces stress on hilly surfaces
Prevents significant movement
Enhances stability and safety
Creates a visually appealing element
Allows for strategic arrangement of decorative rocks

Install Edging

When it comes to keeping landscaping rocks in place on slopes, installing edging is a smart choice. Edging not only adds visual appeal to your landscape design but also provides several practical benefits. Let’s explore how edging helps in creating a root barrier, offering discreet support, minimizing erosion, and reducing the risk of sliding.

Creating a Root Barrier

One of the primary functions of landscape edging is to create a strong root barrier. By running the edging sideways along the slope, you can effectively contain the root systems of plants and prevent them from destabilizing the rocks in the long term.

Sideways Installation for Slopes

Unlike traditional downward installation, sideways installation is more suitable for slopes. This horizontal approach allows the edging to better support and hold the landscaping rocks in place, even on uneven terrain. It provides stability and prevents unwanted rock movement due to gravity or external factors.

Discreet Support

Landscape edging offers discreet support to the rocks on your slope. You can choose from a variety of materials, such as metal, concrete, or plastic edging, to match the aesthetics of your landscape. The edging discreetly blends into the surroundings while providing essential support and structure to prevent rock displacement.

Minimizing Erosion

Another advantage of installing edging is that it helps minimize erosion. By creating a physical barrier, edging prevents the erosion caused by heavy rainfall or water runoff. This keeps the soil intact and ensures the stability of the rocks and the overall landscape integrity.

Reducing the Risk of Sliding

One of the main concerns when landscaping on slopes is the risk of sliding. With the installation of edging, you can significantly reduce this risk. The edging acts as a barrier that holds the landscaping rocks firmly in place, preventing them from shifting or sliding downhill.

To illustrate the benefits of installing edging for rock stabilization, here’s a helpful visual representation:

Benefits of Installing Edging
Creating a Root Barrier
Discreet Support
Minimizing Erosion
Reducing the Risk of Sliding

By installing edging, you can effectively stabilize your landscaping rocks on slopes, ensuring a beautiful and secure outdoor living space. The next section will explore the option of mixing decorative rock sizes to further enhance the stability and aesthetic appeal of your landscape.

Mix Things Up with Decorative Rock/Stone Size

When it comes to landscaping with rocks and stones, one creative option is to play with different sizes to achieve an eye-catching design. By using smaller rocks to provide support for larger ones, you not only enhance stability but also create an attractive pattern that adds visual interest to your outdoor space.

One idea is to incorporate smaller decorative rocks, such as gold or white pebbles, as a foundation for the larger stones. This arrangement not only adds structural support but also creates a visually appealing contrast.

Additionally, alternating rock sizes can create a captivating pattern that turns the area into a striking focal point. The combination of large and small rocks adds depth and texture to the landscape, making it more visually engaging.

It is important to be mindful of the shape and weight distribution when selecting rocks. By choosing rocks that fit together well and maintaining stability from top to bottom, you can ensure that your rock arrangement not only looks stunning but also stays securely in place.

Consider the following benefits of mixing up decorative rock and stone sizes:

  • Enhanced stability: Using smaller rocks as a foundation provides support for larger stones, preventing shifting or displacement.
  • Attractive pattern: Alternating rock sizes creates a visually appealing design that adds interest and focal points to your landscape.
  • Added dimension: Varying rock sizes add depth and texture to your outdoor space, making it more visually engaging.
  • Strengthened structure: Choosing rocks that fit together well and maintaining stability ensures the long-lasting integrity of your rock arrangement.

To demonstrate the impact of mixing up decorative rock and stone sizes, take a look at the example below:

Comparison of Rock Sizes

Large Rocks Small Rocks Overall Effect
Stable foundation and focal points Structural support and visual interest Anchors the design and adds depth
Creates defined areas and pathways Filler material between larger rocks Provides a cohesive and balanced look
Heavy and prominent features Lightweight and versatile elements Combination adds visual contrast

By mixing up decorative rock and stone sizes, you can create a visually stunning and structurally sound landscape. Whether you’re working with large boulders or small pebbles, this technique allows you to achieve an appealing aesthetic while maintaining stability from top to bottom.


To maintain the appearance and stability of your landscape, it’s essential to employ effective techniques for securing landscaping rocks. By following a few simple steps, you can prevent shifting and ensure that your rocks stay in place.

Start by clearing the area and laying down landscaping fabric. This will not only deter weed growth but also provide friction to keep the rocks in place. Additionally, consider strategically placing low-maintenance plants between the rocks to enhance stability and aesthetic appeal.

For extra support, you can utilize concrete or sand to anchor larger rocks. Steps or a walkway can also be incorporated to reduce stress on hilly surfaces and minimize the risk of significant movement. Installing edging helps create a root barrier, preventing erosion and reducing the likelihood of sliding.

Finally, mix things up by alternating rock sizes. Using smaller rocks for support and creating an attractive pattern with different-sized stones will enhance the overall appearance of your landscape.

With these rock bed maintenance tips and low-maintenance design options, you can enjoy a beautiful, secure landscape that will stand the test of time.


How can I keep landscaping rocks in place?

There are several ways you can keep landscaping rocks in place. One method is to clear the area and put fabric down to provide friction and deter weed growth. Another option is to strategically place low-maintenance plants between the rocks for added support and aesthetic appeal. You can also use concrete or sand for extra support, consider adding steps or a walkway, install edging for root barrier, or mix up the size of decorative rocks for stability.

Why is clearing the area and putting fabric down important?

Clearing the area and putting fabric down serves multiple purposes. It helps maintain sufficient drainage, deters weed growth, and creates friction that keeps the landscaping rocks in place. Additionally, clearing the area reduces the need for regular maintenance and makes it easier to keep the rocks stable on an uneven surface.

What are some low-maintenance plants that work well with landscaping rocks?

When choosing plants to place between landscaping rocks, opt for low-maintenance options that don’t require excessive watering or upkeep. Plants that grow throughout the year or come back annually can also be a great choice to avoid replacing them every year. Some examples of low-maintenance plants include sedums, ornamental grasses, creeping phlox, and creeping thyme.

How can concrete or sand provide extra support for landscaping rocks?

If your landscaping rocks are larger or heavier, you can use concrete or sand to provide additional support. By placing the rocks on a bed of concrete or compacted sand, they are less likely to shift or move. This method is especially useful for creating stability on a slope or uneven terrain.

What are the benefits of adding steps or a walkway to an area with landscaping rocks?

Incorporating steps or a walkway in an area with landscaping rocks reduces stress on the hilly surface, preventing significant movement. By creating a designated path, it also makes it easier to navigate the area and reduces the risk of rocks shifting. You can still arrange decorative rocks along the sides of the steps or walkway to maintain your desired aesthetic.

How does edging help keep landscaping rocks in place?

Installing edging acts as a root barrier and provides extra support for landscaping rocks. When dealing with a slope, running the edging sideways helps maintain stability. Properly installed edging also minimizes erosion and reduces the risk of rocks sliding down the slope, ensuring that the rocks stay in position.

Why is mixing up decorative rock/stone size important?

Mixing up the size of decorative rocks or stones can help create an attractive pattern while maintaining stability. Using smaller rocks or stones for support, such as gold or white pebbles, helps hold larger rocks in place. This approach ensures stability from top to bottom and enhances the overall appearance of the landscape.

How can I enhance the overall appearance of my landscape while keeping landscaping rocks in place?

By implementing the aforementioned methods like using low-maintenance plants, adding steps or a walkway, installing edging, and mixing up the size of decorative rocks, you not only keep the rocks in position but also enhance the visual appeal of your landscape. These design options provide stability while creating a beautiful and well-maintained outdoor space.

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