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Rock roses

Buy rock rose at the Lubera Garden Shop

If you buy a rock rose (cistus), you will get a robust flowering shrub from the Mediterranean area, which is conquering our gardens more and more.

   
 
Rock Rose 'Decumbens'

Cistus danseraui 'Decumbens', a Mediterranean beauty for area plantings

From £21.40 *

Rock Rose 'Paul Pècherat'

Cistus x verguinii 'Paul Pècherat', a Mediterranean flowering plant for dry and...

From £21.40 *

Rock Rose 'Sunset'

Cistus x pulverulentus 'Sunset' produces bright pink flowers from June to July

From £21.40 *

   
 

More information about the rock rose

 

The unique, bowl-shaped flowers, which always look a little wrinkled, resemble little wonder flowers. They shine in white, pink or purple, sometimes with decorative spots around the centre, and they are a symbol of transience: in the morning they unfold their full beauty, only to vanish again after a few hours. But the very next day new flowers appear in lavish abundance, which can be admired from June to August.

Take a look at our Lubera assortment and design your aromatic garden with these delicate plants! Their grey-green leaves on the hairy branches exude a spicy-tangy scent that stimulates the senses. The essential oil extracted from them is also highly valued in cosmetics and natural medicine.

 

 

Delicate flowers and a beguiling fragrance

 

Rock roses know how to hold their own on poor soils in dry, hot summers, as they grow naturally on stony, inhospitable bushland. In our latitudes, it is mainly cultivated forms or natural hybrids that are planted. These prove to be hardy in mild areas, but they still need winter protection as a precaution. The small shrubs harmonise wonderfully with other Mediterranean plants such as lavender or sage, which have similar site requirements. Here are our variety recommendations for your scented garden:

 

The cistus 'Decumbens', a cross between C. ladanifer and C. inflatus, shows beautiful, purple-red spots on snow-white petals and is perfect as a southern ground cover due to its growth form.

The variety 'Sunset', a cross between C. albidus and C. crispus, forms distinctive flowers in a rich magenta colour with a yellow centre. It also scores with a particularly long flowering period until the end of summer.

‘Paul Pècherat', a cross between C. ladanifer and C. salviifolius, shows beautiful, white flowers with purple basal spots already in late spring and it bewitches with its sweet fragrance.

 

Buy rock rose - special featuresBuy rock rose at the Lubera Garden Shop

 

A rock rose is not a rose plant, but belongs to the rock rose family (Cistaceae). Most cistus species are found in the western part of the Mediterranean, but in the east, there are also occurrences in the Caucasus, in Persia and around the Black Sea. Southern France and Northern Italy form the border to the north. These plants can cover large areas. They are character plants of the maquis, a bush forest that has developed through human overuse (grazing, logging). Rock roses grow bushy, remain evergreen in the subtropical climate and in our local gardens they usually grow to a height of about one metre. Sometimes they grow rather creeping like.

Already in ancient times, the plants were known as medicinal and useful plants. A resin, the labdanum, which is used for the production of perfume, among other things, adheres to some cistus species. This comes from the fine hair glands that cover the leaves and shoots. The resin helps the plant to survive, as goats and sheep tend to disdain it. The essential oil of rock rose was already mentioned in the Bible: in the past, rulers and clergymen were anointed with it. It is also attributed to medicinal effects, such as a wound-healing property. This is also popular as an incense plant and in use for cistus tea, which is said to strengthen the immune system. The reason for this is said to be polyphenols, which are mostly extracted from the leaves of the cistus.

 

Cistus was known in Central Europe as a container plant for a very long time. Some sources prove that they were already decorating orangeries in the 16th century.

 

The right location

 

When you buy a rock rose, you get a very easy to care for shrub, provided you choose an ideal place for it. Its natural habitat suggests that the plant prefers dry, nutrient-poor soil and full sun. A cistus plant should not have wet feet at any time of the year, otherwise, it will drop all its leaves.

 

In a climatically unfavourable location (temperatures around -18°C and below for longer periods of time), cistus plants should be grown in a planter, as it would not be able to withstand these adverse conditions.

 

Planting

 

For successful cultivation, you should orientate yourself on the soil composition in the area of origin. Normal garden soil should, therefore, contain admixtures of sand or fine grit (leca). The planting hole should be large (about 4 times as large as the root ball). The bottom of the hole should be covered with gravel to ensure that there is no waterlogging, especially in the winter.

For rock roses in a pot, you should choose a 15 - 25-litre pot. It is important to have a drainage layer with gravel or leca in the lower part of the pot. The potted plant soil should be mixed with 20 - 30 per cent split and sand.

 

The right care

 

In the garden, you should not fertilise or apply a layer of mulch. When growing a rock rose in a pot, you should give it 15 to 20 grams of slow-release fertiliser per 5 litres pot volume in the spring (in 2-3 depots in the pot). Alternatively, you can also use liquid fertiliser.

 

Cistus planted out in the open does not require additional water. You should water the pot very sparingly from time to time.

 

Pruning

 

We recommend cutting rock rose, which thrives in our latitudes, in the spring after the last days of frost. Cutting directly after flowering could be too late in our climate and thus reduce the winter hardiness. A light topiary is sufficient in any case, and dead shoots should also be removed. Always avoid cutting into old wood, as this would result in sparse budding.

 

Overwintering

 

Leaf loss in the winter can occur in our climate due to both a lack of water and an oversupply - but the plant can usually be expected to recover in the spring.

A cistus can usually withstand temperatures down to -12°C in the open air. If it gets colder for a longer period of time (below -12°C) you should protect the plant from sunlight with a fleece. Frozen soil can be a problem in our latitudes because the evergreen shoots are no longer supplied with water.

As winter protection, you should also cover the root area in milder regions with accumulated soil and a layer of leaves or straw (about 20 centimetres high).

 

If you buy a cistus and decide to keep it in a container, you can overwinter it in a bright place at 3 to 10°C. You should then water it very sparingly!  Alternatively - if the latter is not possible - the plant can be placed in a shady and protected place near the house. The plant pot should be wrapped with an insulating material. If the frost does not want to give way for a longer period of time, you should also wrap the evergreen shoots with fleece so that water loss is minimised. When it gets warmer again, you should immediately give your plant a light bath again.

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