Cistus creticus Cistus x cyprius Cistus white rock rose


How to grow Cistus also knowns as the Rock Rose

Cistus common name is Rock or Sun Rose and the ideal conditions for this shrub are clearly hinted in the name.  Cistus are native to Mediterranean regions and they like dry and sunny  conditions. In addition, Cistus are only ** hardy but well worth growing for their lovely blooms in whites and pinks. Cistus are a smaller shrub which makes them useful for the front of a border. Illustrated  C. x Creticus left image, which grows up to 1m (**), and re C. x cyprius up to 1.5 m (**) and a view of the shrub overall in the right image. All are not fully hardy and need dry warm sunny conditions to thrive. In milder parts of the country and during a less severe winter, Cistus may survive from one season to the next. 

Despite their hardy rating, Cistus can survive in lower temperatures provided it is not too wet or too severe a winter. Cistus are short lived shrubs and if they do get badly scorched by a severe frost they are best replaced. C. x corbariensis is noted to be the hardiest and has white flowers. Cistus are evergreen, or semi evergreen and do flower well throughout the summer and put good colour into the border. They are maintenance free and in fact do not like to be pruned, being woody Cistus do not respond or recover well from being pruned into the old wood. 

  In the right place Cistus are entirely trouble free and will bloom freely. If the garden conditions are not good, Cistus x Dansereaui 'Decumbens' is well suited to growing in a tub provided it has good drainage. Mixing grit with the compost will help, and shelter from harsh frost and chilling winds. Rated amber wheelbarrow as  although needing little attention once established it is a case of "right plant right place" and there can be problems finding the right place, ideally a sheltered spot .

Another reason to colour code amber amber-wheelbarrow-on-background-30-x-30is because when there are very cold winters Cistus are susceptible and so do not always come back in the spring, or can look a bit of a mess with brown scorched leaves. Cistus are easily propagated by cuttings and as a precaution can be rooted in the summer and kept under glass for the winter to replace any plants killed over the winter.

Cistus are suitable for gardens by the sea side, there are many more ideas on the Pinterest page and at gardening by the sea side.


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