Cistus Sunset (Rock Rose) has mounds of wavy-margined, evergreen leaves on woody stems, accompanied masses of magenta flowers, each with a prominent yellow eye in June to July. This wonderful, bushy rock rose is compact yet with a spreading habitat.
Very low maintenance, Cistus Sunset ground cover shrubs will look wonderful in a rockery. You could also try this rounded, sun-loving, evergreen rock rose towards the front of a sheltered, sunny, well-drained border, or in a container. Try planting with Lavender, Santolina, Artemesia Powys Castle or with grasses and Yucca. They are irresistible with their dry, woody, resinous fragrance, making you think of summer holidays in the Mediterranean. They will also keep bees and other pollinators happy with the daily supply of new flowers!
Happiest in full sun, Cistus Sunset prefers free-draining soil and will perform well in poor, stony ground. Avoid planting in heavy, wet or overly fertile soils or where they sit in frost pockets or strong winds, as these can damage these shallow-rooted plants. Perfect ground cover, it will tolerate chalky soil and salty air. Best planted in Spring when the warm soil helps the roots establish swiftly, however if planting in Summer, water regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Young plants respond well to pruning but do not like to be pruned once established so this should generally be limited to the removal of any dead or frost-damaged growth in Spring.
As a rough guide when planting Cistus Sunset as ground cover – 4 plants per square metre is adequate with a little patience, 6 will give better coverage, and 9-12 will make a weed supressing carpet very quickly.
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How to grow Cistus Sunset
Position: Sunny and sheltered
Foliage: Evergreen, leaves persist all year
Soil and site: Dry, stony or chalky, free-draining
Flowering time: Mid-Summer
Growth rate: Moderate
Ultimate height and spread: To 90cm, spread to 100cm
Hardiness: Fully hardy
Aftercare: Water well until established, avoiding soil becoming waterlogged. Minimal maintenance is required after they are well established and rooted beyond the removal of any dead branches. We recommend you pinch back young plants after flowering to encourage a bushy habit. Lightly trim or cut back any stems that spoil the symmetry of the plant.