How To Grow And Care Sunrose: Best Tips And Advice

Discover the best tips and advice to grow Sunrose plants. From choosing the right varieties to caring for them, learn how to grow Sunrose successfully.

Choosing the Right Sunrose Varieties for Your Garden

To grow sunrose successfully, choosing the right varieties adapted to your climate and growing conditions is essential. Several key factors determine the best sunroses for your garden, including Helianthemum color, size, and hardiness zone.

For colorful specimens, ‘High Brilliants’, with yellow, red, and orange flowers, and ‘Little Gem’, producing bright red blooms on compact plants, are excellent options. For gardens with limited space, varieties like ‘Coral Bells’ and ‘Low Scape’ reach only 6 to 12 inches tall.

In hardiness zones 5 through 8, consider ‘Woods Yellow’, ‘Chicago Fire’, and ‘Ruby Glow’. These Helianthemum cultivars thrive in part to full sun and tolerate drought conditions once established.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

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Preparing the Soil for Optimal Sunrose Growth

To successfully grow sunrose, preparing the soil prior to planting is essential. The key steps include:

  • Adding organic matter: Work in 2 to 3 inches of organic matter such as compost, leaf mould, or aged manure to improve the soil structure and provide nutrients as the sunroses establish.

  • Adjusting the pH: Test the soil pH and aim for 6.0 to 6.8, adding elemental sulfur or sulphur to lower pH while lime raises it.

  • Removing weeds and debris: Remove perennial weeds like roots and rhizomes that could re-emerge. Also remove rocks and debris.

  • Loosening the soil: Till or spade the top 8 to 12 inches of soil to loosen compacted soil and improve aeration and drainage. Break up any large soil clumps.

In addition to these basic soil amendments, consider adding:

  • Sand: Work in 1 to 2 inches of coarse sand to improve drainage for clay soils.

  • Grit: Add 1 to 2 inches of grit like perlite or vermiculite to improve drainage and aeration for heavy soils.

After incorporating amendments, rake the soil smooth and level to create a uniform surface for planting sunrose seedlings or roots.

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Caring for Sunrose Plants: Watering and Fertilizing

To maintain healthy growth and abundant blooms, properly water and fertilizing your sunroses is essential.


  • Water deeply but infrequently during the active growing season from spring to fall.

  • Water newly planted specimens frequently, every 3 to 5 days, tapering to once or twice per week as plants become established.

  • During hot, dry periods, established plants may need watering twice per week. Reduce watering in winter.

  • Check the soil moisture by digging 1 to 2 inches deep; water thoroughly when the topsoil becomes crumbly or dry.

  • Water in the morning to allow foliage time to dry before nightfall to reduce risk of disease.

  • Avoid getting water on flowers to reduce risk of rot; target roots instead.


  • Apply a slow-release fertilizer in early spring just before new growth emerges.

  • Use a balanced, all purpose fertilizer labelled 15-15-15 or a fertilizer designated for flowers and shrubs.

  • Apply light applications of liquid, water-soluble fertilizer monthly during the growing season.

  • Additional fertilizer may be needed in mid-summer and early fall. Avoid fertilizing newly planted sunroses for at least 6 weeks.

  • Avoid applying nitrogen-rich fertilizers late in the season as this can promote soft, succulent growth prone to cold damage.

Table: Fertilizer application schedule

MonthRecommended Fertilizer
March/AprilSlow-release granular or liquid 15-15-15
May – JulyLiquid 15-15-15
AugustLiquid 15-15-15 or high phosphorus feeder
September – OctoberNone
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Pruning and Propagating Sunrose: Essential Techniques

Pruning and propagating sunroses helps maintain plants in optimal shape while also creating new specimens.Following these techniques can help ensure success:


  • Prune immediately after flowering in late spring or early summer for aesthetics and to rejuvenate older plants.

  • Use sharp, sterilized pruners and cut just above an outward-facing bud or stem node.

  • Remove any damaged, diseased or crossing stems from the base.

  • Remove up to one third of the oldest, largest stems to encourage new growth from basal shoots.

  • Cut larger stems back to outer buds, creating a mound-shaped plant.

  • Prune evergreen varieties less severely in early spring before new growth begins.

Propagating from Cuttings

  • Take 4 to 6 inchStem cuttings from current season’s growth in late spring to mid summer.

  • Remove leaves from bottom 1/3 of stem and dip bottom in rooting hormone.

  • Plant cuttings 1 to 2 inches deep in moist, well-drained soil mix.

  • Keep soil lightly moist and place under medium to high light. Warmth aids rooting

  • Cuttings should root within 3 to 5 weeks. Once rooted, plant or transplant into the garden.

  • Place a plastic bag or cloche over cuttings to maintain humidity and temperature.

Table: Propagating sunroses from cuttings

1Trim stems to length and remove basal leaves
2Dip stems in rooting hormone
3Plant in soil and water thoroughly
4Cover cuttings and place under warm, bright light
5Mist cuttings regularly and check soil moisture
6Move rooted cuttings to individual pots
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Photo by Jonathan Kemper / Unsplash

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