Category Landscape Rock
River rocks can be a great addition to most landscaping. However, if you’re used to mulching with wood chips, the idea of putting stones around your plants can seem counterintuitive. River rock doesn’t necessarily kill plants, but it does change how you’ll need to care for your garden. Here are some important things to know about maintaining healthy plants while using river rock.

River Rocks Add Heat to Plants

The first and most important effect of river rocks is heat. Rocks store a little more heat than materials like soil or wood mulch. If you have a lot of rocks piled around your plants, this can mean far more heat radiates toward your plants. Depending on your climate and the type of plants you have, this may be a good or bad thing. In warm climates, adding river rocks to fragile heat-sensitive plants is a bad idea. However, in chillier regions, decorative rocks, such as polished black river rock, can help your plants flower, produce fruit, or keep their leaves long after other plants start to wither in cold temperatures.

River Rocks Won’t Alter Soil Composition

Another interesting impact of river rocks is that they don’t change the composition of your soil. Most types of mulch gradually leach acidic chemicals into the soil. Some are even treated with anti-weed chemicals that can further impact your soil’s quality. River rocks are entirely neutral. If you were relying on wood chips to decompose into the soil and change the nutrient and acidity levels, river rocks can reduce plant growth. However, if you prefer to fine-tune your landscaping and give your plants a carefully balanced fertilizer, river rocks are helpful. Their neutrality means you never have to worry about your soil composition changing without your knowledge. 

River Rocks Can Influence Weed Growth

A nice thing about river rocks is that they do kill undesirable plants. River rocks provide excellent ground cover, since they won’t blow away or wash away like mulched leaves or wood will. River rocks typically do a good job of keeping weeds out of areas. Just keep in mind that soil can eventually build up and create pockets for weed growth. You’ll need to tumble and wash your river rock beds occasionally to help them keep weeds out.

River Rocks Add Weight that Can Affect Some Plants

Finally, keep in mind that river rocks are heavy. If a big pile ends up pushed against delicate new shoots, the rocks can damage them. River rocks usually aren’t a problem for established trees and shrubs. However, if you want to use them with smaller, more fragile plants, make sure there’s a small gap between the river rocks and the base of the plants. This ensures the rocks don’t end up weighing down the plants and impacting their growth.

No matter what types of plants you have in your landscape, rocks, stones, and pebbles can give them a unique touch of beauty, depth, and character. If you’re looking for the greatest assortment of high-quality stones, from pure gold river rock to white pebbles, call on the experienced professionals at RS&P Rock Stones & Pebbles, a premier landscape rock and supply superstore. Contact one of our friendly team members today at (866) 380-0580 to learn how we can help you create the landscape of your dreams.

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