Growing Helianthemum Rock Roses

Rock Rose

This alpine species are hardy, colourful and trouble-free. Growing in rock crevices or alpine meadows Helianthemum have been given a common name of Rock Rose but they will grow in many garden situations.

They are part of the Cistacea family which contains over 100 species see Growing Cistus.


  • Plants from seeds can produce some very interesting forms due to cross pollination but germination rates tend to be low .
  • The majority of Helianthemum’s are propagated from cuttings as this is the quickest, easiest and method.
  • In summer take your 2-3″ cutting from young growth just below a leaf for optimum rooting.
  • Cuttings may take 6 months before being ready to pot on or plant out


  • Prune straight after flowering to keep in shape and possibly get a second flush of flowers.
  • Helianthemum normal growing conditions are on chalk land so add a small amount of lime to the soil mixture.
  • Water young potted plants regularly in dry weather for optimal growth.
  • Rock roses are neat little plants with upright foliage and are easy to grow on banks, rockeries, the edge of borders and containers.

Selection from 200 Cultivars of Helianthemum nummularium

  • Henfield Brilliant deep red
  • Ben Fhada yellow with an orange eye
  • Ben Mohr orange
  • Ppink Angel speaks for itself
  • Fireball double red
  • The white ‘Bride’
  • Wisley Primrose

Rock Rose

The collection of Andrew Roberts is available to view on pdf


  • Rock roses grow in full sun, in rocky, well drained, neutral or alkaline soils.
  • They are perennials that grow 12″ high -18″ spread and are particularly well adapted to grow in dry gardens.
  • I have some admittedly straggly specimens growing in a wall. A bit of watering in summer would probably improve them.
  • Buy as seeds from Thompson Morgan This is their description of Helianthemeum ‘Showy dwarf evergreen shrubs which spread quickly over rocks and slopes and make ideal ground cover. The attractive foliage is smothered from late spring with masses of 2.5cm (1 inch) flowers resembling wild roses in pink, lemon, copper, red, purple and white. They love the sun and stand hot, dry conditions very well. ‘


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