Magenta Sunrose

"The fire & rose are one."

-T.S. Eliot


Helianthemum nummularium 'Dazzler' is a particularly deep magenta-red sunrose. It's in brightest bloom May through July. If sheered soon after it is finished blooming, there is almost always a major rebloom for August & September.

SunroseWe have two clumps of 'Dazzler,' one each in two roadside xeriscape gardens devoted in large part to sundry little sunrose & larger rockrose cultivars.

It is a creeping evergreen perennial semi-woody subshrub with year-round presence for its matt green leaves. It humps to eight inches tall, with a three foot spread or greater.

Sunroses are rarely afflicted by any plant disease & are extremely low-maintenance. Apart from needing an occasional sheering to keep them from getting leggy or to induce rebloom, they can be completely ignored. Their only enemy is wetness or poorly draining soil.

After a few years the plant may cease to perform as splendidly. At that time a hard pruning & division might revitalize it, or just a hard pruning in earliest spring so that it has a chance to start over.

But it is sometimes frankly better to just replace aged & worn-out sunroses at long intervals, either started from seeds in cold frames, or started in advance of replacement from cuttings taken from the aging parents, or even just with fresh small plants started by a nursery.

They need to be replaced less often if grown in poor sandy soil. Humusy soil will induce a thicker & more rapid leaf growth, aging the shrublet prematurely, but without increasing the intense summer floweriness.

So too sunroses shouldn't be fertilized which merely increases leaf & limb growth without flower improvement, shortening its lifespan.


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