Cistus ladanifer (sticky rockrose): care guide

One of the most striking things in a garden is a nice flowering bush that produces an intoxicating scent in spring and summer.

Precisely under this description we have the sticky rockrose plant ( Cistus ladanifer ), a Mediterranean shrub that reproduces and grows with some ease and whose medicinal properties were used until recently .

In this article we want to tell you the main characteristics of this plant, the means for its care and how to arrange it in our garden. Do you dare to plant it?

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF STICKY ROCKROSE ( CISTUS LADANIFER )

It is commonly known as sticky rockrose ( Cistus ladanifer ) and is considered a large shrub that can reach a height of more than 2 meters.

It is known as sticky rockrose because its leaves produce an essential oil that is sticky to the touch. This substance is also very odorous and is known as labdanum .

Sheets

Its leaves are thin and elongated, and can reach up to 10 cm in length. They are dark green with grayish hues.

Flores

Visually, Cistus ladanifer can be  ornamentally attractive. This is because its flowers are large (up to 10 cm) and white.

To get an idea of ​​the importance of sticky rockrose in the Mediterranean environment, its large population presence and the quality of its flowers mean that most of the honey obtained in the country contains a part of sticky rockrose pollen.

NATURAL LOCATION AND GEOGRAPHY

It is common to naturally observe sticky rockrose growing in mountain areas, dry, sunny soils and in Mediterranean areas.

It grows more frequently in loose soils, with little fertility and without much limestone content.

The greatest presence of Cistus ladanifer is found in the entire Mediterranean slope of Spain and Portugal, although it also grows spontaneously in Algeria and Morocco.

CISTUS LADANIFER TAXONOMIC GUIDE

  • Order:  Malvales
  • Familia: Cistaceae
  • Genus:  Cistus
  • Species: Cistus ladanifer

Common names:  sticky rockrose, white steppe, horn rockrose, white rockrose.

Subspecies analyzed

  • Cistus ladanifer subsp. ladanifer
  • Cistus ladanifer subsp. africanus
  • Cistus ladanifer subsp. sulcatus
Labdanum essential oil

Formerly, the essential oil of Cistus ladanifer was used for its medicinal properties. This sticky substance is used as a cough remedy  and as an antiseptic .

Today, it can be found as an ingredient present in some perfumes (it is very fragrant) and also in cough remedies, although its use is very limited today.

Read more: list of medicinal plants

CISTUS LADANIFER (STICKY ROCKROSE) CARE GUIDE

CLIMATOLOGY

Temperature, humidity and alternation of seasons typical of the Mediterranean climate. Hot areas, low rainfall, high temperatures in summer and little cold in winter.

Jara sticky is considered a rustic species of easy adaptation, fast growth and good conditions to tolerate long periods of drought.

LAYOUT IN THE GARDEN

In the garden, we can transplant Cistus ladanifer practically anywhere , preferably in areas with sun and good lighting.

It accepts the transplant well as long as we do not do it with bare roots, and it does not need large contributions of organic matter or fertilizers.

SOIL TYPE

Loamy soils, not excessively fertile, with little water input, some sand content and alkaline pH.

It prefers soils with acid pH and low limestone content, but can adapt well to those with other conditions.

IRRIGATION AND SUBSCRIBER

Sticky rockrose does not require high levels of humidity and is used to dry environments.

The easiest way to arrange it in our garden is by connecting a drip irrigation system, with a 4 L / h dripper.

  • In summer, we will water 3 to 4 times a week for approximately 60 minutes.
  • In winter , we will reduce the irrigation contribution to 1 or 2 irrigations of 30 minutes, adjusting the frequency according to the rainfall.
It is important not to overdo it, since its root system does not allow flooded soils. Therefore, soils with a high clay content should also be avoided.

As for the subscriber , we can provide liquid or granulated fertilizers at the beginning of the budding period, at the beginning of spring.

In this way, we recover the nutrient values ​​in the plant to achieve a full and aromatic flowering .

PRUNING AND MAINTENANCE

Cistus ladanifer usually produces a high density of branches and a fairly large foliage. However, we will limit ourselves to eliminating those branches that are crossed or with visible damage.

To improve the flowering of the following year , we can cut out young and thin branches.

However, with very thickened branches, we will avoid cutting them or simply trim them to shape the bush.

HOW TO MULTIPLY STICKY ROCKROSE

The easiest way to multiply this plant is through woody cuttings . For this, we select young shoots and not very lignified, up to 10 cm long and 1 or 2 cm thick, chosen from among the best during the summer.

They are rooted in pots with peat or coconut fiber substrate , using propagating gels based on hormones.

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Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

Ryan Heagle

Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

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