Rock Rose Plant (Cistus) : Full Care Guide

First and before talking about how to take care of them, what are rock rose plants? And what are they used for?

Rock rose plant (scientifically called Cistus) is medium sized shrub that you can easily take care of, which is why it’s usually used as a ground cover.

Plant a rock rose anytime from May to September. Choose a planting site that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine during the day and is well-drained soil with relatively low fertility.

Rock Rose Plant (Cistus) : Full Care Guide 1

We can find them in various colors such as pink, purple, white… and they usually blossom in spring as well as summer.

People tend to plant them because they grow in no time, defying dry weathers and poor soils and tolerating cold winds and salt spray. And of course, for the pretty roses they give!

But to make that happen, they need to be healthy and well fed; and this is why we are going to show you how to take care of your rock rose plants in five easy steps:

For this, you will need:

  • A sharp knife
  • A slow release fertilizer
  • A hand cultivator
  • Pruning shears

Take Care of Rock Rose Plant in Easy Steps

Step 1:

Rock Rose Plant

Rock rose plants need full sun exposure to grow, which is why you should avoid sites in shade and look for one with good drainage

Start by removing the plants from the container, and use your knife to cut their circling roots; this keeps the roots out of the planting hole. 

And finally, plant your rock rose plants.

Step 2:

To reinforce the root system of your rock rose plants, you should water them once a week at least for a year after planting them. After one year, you can just water them once every three weeks, but make sure to water them well and pour enough water to get to the roots.

Rock Rose Plant care guide

Step 3:

Once a year, you have to feed your rock rose plant using a slow release fertilizer.

After putting your fertilizer, make sure that it reaches all the way down to the roots by using a hand cultivator and scratching the top of the soil. 

care Rock Rose Plant

Do not forget to water your plants so that your fertilizer starts doing its job!

Step 4:

After your first rock roses start to appear, push back the stem tips into the soil and get rid of a couple of leaves on top to encourage the plants to give new roses.

Step 5:

Rock Rose Plant care

Wait until spring to use your pruning shears and prune the damaged steams. This will make you able to cut the rock rose. But do it gently, because if damaged, your rock rose plant might stop producing more roses.

Additional Tip:

If the plant stops making flowers after some time, it does not mean you are not taking care of it correctly; it just means it is getting old and that it is time to replace it with a new young one.

BONUS: Caring For Rock Rose Plant In Winter and Spring

From mid-summer to late autumn, rock rose plants are kept at normal room temperature, and in summer they are taken out into the garden or on the balcony. The optimum spring-summer temperature is 14-20 ° C.

Since rock rose plants are plants with an obligatory dormant period, it is better to ensure that they overwinter correctly (from October to February). 

Rock Rose Plant (Cistus) : Full Care Guide 2

This requires a low temperature, therefore, from mid-autumn, when the rock rose plant has already faded and began to shed their leaves, it is placed in a cooler room, where the optimum temperature is 5-8 ° C.

If you do not have such a room where you can keep rock rose plant in the winter at the right temperature, then you can leave the plants on the windowsill in the apartment. 

But, in order to isolate rock rose plant from a warm room and heat from batteries, in order to maximize bring their temperature to the required temperature (5-8 ° C), you can put a glass screen.

As you know, there are two frames on the windows. You thoroughly insulate and glue the first (outer) frame and do not glue the second (inner) frame, but at the edge of the window sill you fix a sheet of glass with dimensions equal to the length of the window sill and about 50-60 cm high.

Rock Rose Plant (Cistus) : Full Care Guide 3

If the temperature on the window sill is not low enough, you can open the inner window frame and adjust the temperature. Even if you only have one pot of rock rose plant, you can put other plants on this “wintering” window sill that require a cool temperature in winter. 

If you are not sure that the temperature will not drop too low at night, then do not leave the inner frame open overnight. 

Be sure to have a thermometer on the winter windowsill, so that you can always find out the temperature. It will also be better if you put pots of rock rose plants on sheets or coasters of polystyrene foam.

You can also make a shelf of wooden slats (similar to the one used in the bathroom). This is necessary in order to protect the pots of roses from the cold windowsill.