7 Stunning Cascading Plants for Retaining Walls

If you have a sloped garden, it is very likely that you will consider putting in some retaining walls. Make it beautiful with these stunning cascading plants for retaining walls!

Retaining walls can be a great way to level up the ground, as well as prevent soil erosion and water runoff.

But some of the best materials for retaining walls are not the prettiest!

The most common and strongest retaining walls are made with concrete blocks or bricks, which can be quite an eyesore. 

Outdoor Happens is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Click to learn more

Even if you’re lucky enough to have a beautiful stone terraced retaining wall, it will still benefit from some creative planting.

Lovely cascading plants for retaining walls will add color and contrast to your garden landscaping, as well as give you the opportunity to try out new gardening skills!

The best way to cover a retaining wall is with a display of cascading plants. And if you are looking for inspiration, we’ve got some beautiful suggestions for you with our list of the 7 best cascading plants for retaining walls.

Top 7 Cascading Plants for Retaining Walls

  1. Creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox)
  2. Trailing Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)
  3. Creeping Phlox (Phlox sp.)
  4. Climbing Strawberry (Fragaria sp.)
  5. Cascading Rock Cress (Aubretia sp.)
  6. Tumbling Losetto Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
  7. Wave Petunia (Petunia x hybrida)

1. Creeping Thyme

creeping thyme on retaining wall thymus praecox
This beautiful Creeping Thyme is the perfect cascading plant for your retaining walls!

Creeping Thyme is hugely popular as a cascading plant for retaining walls, with good reason!

This low-growing perennial will create a dense mat of tiny leaves, which spreads quickly over and down retaining walls. It is easy to grow and will thrive in most conditions.

There are many different varieties of creeping thyme available, so you can use a variety of leaf colors and textures to create a visual masterpiece.

And when they flower, you will be amazed at the stunning display of hundreds of tiny flowers!

Creeping Thyme Seeds
Seed Needs, Creeping Thyme Two Packs - 20,000 Seeds Each
$12.85 ($0.00 / Count)

These creeping thyme seeds quickly transform your yard into a deep sea of purple! They reach heights of only 12-inches max, so they're perfect groundcover. Each branch produces thick clusters of up to 30 beautiful flowers.

Get More Info
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/24/2022 12:29 am GMT

2. Trailing Lobelia

creeping lobelia purple flowering cascading plant on retaining wall
Trailing Lobelia plants will cover your retaining wall in gorgeous little flowers in no time!

Many gardening fans will already be familiar with lobelias, as they are popular all around the world! In fact, there are over 415 different types of lobelia, with options available to suit most growing zones.

Trailing lobelias will create a stunning visual display of tiny star-shaped flowers as they cascade down your retaining wall.

These plants love warmth, so situate them in full sun for best results. In some zones, they can be treated as a perennial, but in cooler climates, they are grown as annuals. 

Our Pick
Lobelia Cascade Blend [Twin Pack of 5,000 Seeds Each]

Lobelia Cascade Mixture will produce lovely blooms in shades of blue, lilac, purple, red & white. Lobelia is a popular trailing plant that is perfect for hanging baskets and is widely used as a bedding plant as well.

Get More Info
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/24/2022 09:24 am GMT

3. Creeping Phlox

creeping phlox stolonifera on top of retaining wall
If you’re in zones 3 to 9, Creeping Phlox is a gorgeous flowering cascading plant for you!

Creeping Phlox is a semi-evergreen perennial which will thrive in zones 3 to 9. This beautiful plant can be a stunning addition to your cascading floral display, as it flowers earlier than most of our other suggestions.

The joy of Creeping Phlox is that you can buy a range of different colors, from blue and purple through to pink, red, and even white.

The soft needle-like leaves are retained for the majority of the year, giving you the perfect cover for your retaining wall.

Our Pick
Phlox 'Emerald Blue' (Moss Phlox) Perennial, Blue Flowers
Get More Info
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

4. Climbing Strawberry

climbing strawberry fragaria on retaining wall
Cascading plants for your retaining walls can be edibles, too!

Who said that your retaining wall cover plants should just be ornamental?

These great climbing strawberry plants are a fun and easy way to create cover, as well as provide you with delicious and nutritious fruits from the garden.

If you choose a range of different varieties, you should be able to harvest strawberries for many months of the year.

Strawberry plants have shallow roots and thrive in most soil conditions. Plant a row along the top of a retaining wall, mulch them well, and you should see good results in no time.

Your strawberry plants will spread by sending out runners to propagate new plants – if you are lucky, these will take root in gaps in your wall and create a vertical fruit garden!

Our Pick
250+ Red Climbing Strawberry Seeds - Sweet and Delicious
$8.65 ($0.03 / Count)

Sow indoors in the winter. An earlier start may result in berries in the first year. Start any time between December and the beginning of February. Best in zones 5-9.

Get More Info
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/24/2022 12:23 am GMT

5. Cascading Rock Cress (Aubretia sp.)

Rock Cress, also known as Aubretia, is one of those plants that can be grown by anyone!

This herbaceous perennial thrives in tough conditions and will hug the surface of rocks and walls. Over the years, this low-maintenance plant will give you an enormous mat of greenery and flowers with a lovely scent!

6. Tumbling Losetto Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.)

losetto tomato plant cascading over wall
Succulent, sweet tomatoes grown on your very own retaining wall!

A tumbling tomato won’t give you year-round cover for your retaining wall, but they are worth growing just for the delicious fruits!

A row of cascading tomatoes planted along the top of your wall will give you a beautiful display of vibrant green leaves, delightful yellow flowers and, of course, succulent and sweet red tomatoes.

Top Seeds
Huge Selection of Tomato Seeds | Non-GMO, Hybrid, Heirloom, Organic

True Leaf Market is our favorite vegetable and flower seed supplier, with a huge range of organic and non-GMO seeds, microgreens kits, mushroom growing supplies, and much more!

Visit True Leaf Market
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

7. Wave Petunia

wave petunia flowering cascading plant
Petunias will cover your retaining wall in a carpet of stunningly beautiful flowers.

If you want to cover a retaining wall fast, then nothing can quite beat the speed of a petunia!

These colorful and low-maintenance annuals will spread up to 4 feet, providing a vibrant splash of color.

Petunias love a sunny spot with good drainage, so will be very happy at the top of a retaining wall. And best of all, they will carry on flowering without any need for tedious deadheading!

Our Pick
Petunia Easy Wave Series Seeds, Range of Colors

One of summer's most famous and exciting bedding, trailing, and hanging plants. Sharp contrasting blooms available in a variety of classic and contemporary seasonal colors. They trail 24 – 36" wide and are perfect to hang from porches, window sills, or retaining walls.

Get More Info
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Cascading Plants for Retaining Walls FAQ

What are your favorite cascading plants? Do you have photos to share? We’d love to see them – leave a comment below!

Notify of
Inline Feedback
View all comments
Scroll to Top