Beautiful, Easy Blooms and Foliage
Helianthemum nummularium ‘Wisley Pink’ is a wonderful plant choice that will bring both bright blooms and attractive foliage to your garden. It can be categorized as either a shrub, sub-shrub, or a perennial. It is low growing, reaching only 8″ tall, but spreads up to 3-4′ wide, so can easily fall into the ground-cover category.
Helianthemums belong to the family Cistaceae, which is the rock rose family. Rock roses are in the genus Cistus. They grow into shrubs much larger than Helianthemums, but their flowers are very similar. They are wide open discs, usually with 5 petals – although sometimes 3. The petals are crumpled up in the buds and sometimes retain the crumpled-look when the flowers open. Their flower shape is reminiscent of old-fashioned wild or rambling roses, which is perhaps where Helianthemums get their common name of sunroses.
Another characteristic that many plants in the Cistaceae family share is the need for good drainage. It is wise to plant them high – on a berm, rock garden, or raised beds – to ensure that the roots never sit in water, as they’re susceptible to rot.
‘Wisley Pink’ is named after the Royal Horticultural Gardens in the town of Woking in the UK. However, it is a Mediterranean climate plant, and as such is well suited for Bay Area gardens. The soft pink flowers have bright yellow centers and measure an inch across. They emerge in late spring, covering the plant, and bloom through to mid-summer. The soft, silver-gray foliage has small, linear leaves and beautifully complements the flower color. They work well mixed in with other muted flower colors such as apricots and purples.
‘Wisley Pink’ is a fast grower. Plant sun roses in raised beds, rock gardens, sunny slopes, or above retaining walls, where they can cascade down. The also work well along pathways at the front of mixed borders or in containers. As long as they are in full sun with good drainage, they will be happy. Furthermore, the silver foliage makes them drought adapted, and they will tolerate hot areas that catch the heat of the day. Helianthemum ‘Wisley Pink’ is also attractive to butterflies, therefore works great in pollinator gardens. It is also deer and rabbit resistant.
USDA Zones: 4-8
Planting and Care for Helianthemum ‘Wisley Pink’
- Plant in full sun.
- Plant in sandy and well-drained soils.
- Amend clay soils with Firmulch and plant high to ensure good drainage. Or plant in raised beds/rock gardens.
- Water needs are low – drought tolerant once established.
- Water when soil dries out.
- Fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer.
- Mulch base with bark mulch to conserve soil moisture.