Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rock roses add easy drought tolerant color

This is certainly the season for rock roses. All over San Diego, they are cheerfully blooming away in that happy, drought tolerant way that they do. Rock roses are one of the most floriferous of the low water use plants, and they come in a wonderful variety of sizes and colors, so there is almost certainly a spot for one in your garden somewhere. Just keep in mind that they love warm full sun.

The ones I have here are:
Cistus 'Victor Reiter' (above) to 3' height and width
Cistus skanbegii is covered in smaller pale pink blossoms, 2' tall and wide
Cistus purpureus, deep pink blooms with red centers, 3' tall and wide
Cistus 'Sunset' is low growing like a tall groundcover, to 12" tall and 24" wide with silver foliage
Cistus landifer, to 3' tall and wide with white flowers that have deep red spots
Cistus salvifolius: low spreading to 18" tall and 24" wide with white blooms and golden centers

I think rock roses are just one reason why a drought tolerant landscape design does not have to be wild looking or colorless! Have other low water use plants that you depend on in your garden? Leave a comment- we'd love to hear your favorites! (You can do it by clicking on the 1 Comment in blue below).

Want to save water but still have a garden that is overflowing with blossoms? Go to the contact us page at and ask us to help you make over your outdoor space!


  1. I love rock roses. In Carmel Valley they are blooming on the hillsides right now along Carmel Mountain rd.

  2. Hi Kate, You do beautiful work. Thanks so much for the link to my blog. I'm enjoying splitting time between the truly wild that needs no landscaping (WY), and helping others bring that into their backyards in Northern CA.

    Ck. out some of the new Rock Roses from England. Cal Flora up here in No.CA. is bringing them in. Here's their website link. They have beautiful fragrant yellow ones as well.

    Keep up the great work. Leslie

  3. Thanks Leslie! I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for the tip! I love the idea of a yellow rockrose (and it looks like a lovely soft yellow). I hope they make it down to Southern California! I'll keep an eye out.

  4. There are some gorgeous flowers like that at! It's definitely worth a look!