Dune rose - plant, maintain and multiply


Dune roses are part of the coastal fortifications and are firmly established in the north, especially on the island of Sylt. But the dune rose can also be cultivated well in the garden.

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The dune rose (Rosa pimpinellifolia) is a typical beach plant and therefore maybe not immediately familiar in all regions of Germany. We all know their fruits, the rose hip, especially as a delicious tea or fruity spread. Dune roses are among the oldest types of roses and, despite their intensive culture, have retained their wild and original character. They not only supply the vitamin-rich rosehip, they are also an ornament in gardens and parks with their colorful blooms.

Plant Description

Dune roses grow like shrubs and reach heights of between half a meter and more than 1.5 meters. The branches are heavily branched and have a dark brown bark. The branches are covered with spines and bristles. The alternate leaves are not hairy and from matt green to dark green in color. The slightly unpleasant-smelling single flowers appear quite numerous.

So far, numerous different varieties have been bred. By crossing with garden roses, yellow, pink or white blooming dune roses with filled and unfilled flowers were created.


The dune rose is very common in Eurasia. The plants prefer to grow along the North Sea coast and on the North Sea islands. There the Bibernellrose mainly settles the ridges of gray dunes. The dune rose occurs quite rarely on inland grasslands in central and southern Germany. Occasional deposits can also be found in the northern Balkans or in the southern Alps. In the high mountains, the dune rose even grows to altitudes of 2,000 meters.

Some varieties of the dune rose presented in more detail

Dune roses have been at home in our latitudes since the 17th century. Since then, intensive work has been done on new varieties. Rose grower Wilhelm Kordes, who bred the particularly abundantly blooming shrub roses of the "spring series", was particularly outstanding. For example, the multi-award-winning variety “spring gold” comes from this rose breeding, which was created in the 1930s. With its delicate pastel-colored flowers, "spring scent" is also particularly popular. Other varieties of this breed are:

  • Spring morning (pink-yellow flowers)
  • Spring snow (snow-white, double flowers)
  • The beginning of spring (cream-white flowers)

Other popular types of dune roses are:

  • Red Nelly (red petals)
  • Stanwell Perpetual (light pink petals, old breed)
  • Double yellow (golden yellow petals)

Attention prickly!

Dune rose is not always easy to handle. The reason for this are the numerous spines that cover the trunk and branches. It is not for nothing that the dune rose has the nickname "the most prickly". When planting, as well as when cutting, you should therefore equip yourself with thick work gloves.

When does the dune rose bloom?

The flowers of the dune rose appear already in May and thus far before the dog rose. The flowers are white, yellowish or pink in color and appear close together. The spherical rose hips then emerge from the flowers, which are initially colored red and later appear purple to black.

Find the right location

If we look at the natural location of the plants, it becomes clear that the dune rose prefers a rather dry and sandy soil. Lots of light is particularly important for the Bibernellrose. A shady location does not get the Erdrosen at all, then they will only grow weakly and will probably not develop any flowers. On the other hand, in a warm and sunny location, they offer the plant ideal growing conditions. The dune rose should get about five hours of sun a day.

The dune rose forms quite large foothills. Therefore, you should keep a sufficient distance from other plants when planting.

The ideal location in brief:

  • bright
  • sunny
  • warm
  • sufficient planting distance

Choose the ideal substrate

Dune roses thrive on any garden floor. The floor should ideally be fresh and permeable, so that the irrigation water can drain off easily and there is no waterlogging. A stony-sandy loam floor optimally meets the needs of the dune plant. The plant also appreciates calcareous soils. That is why dune roses tolerate irrigation with tap water.

The right substrate in brief:

  • permeable
  • nutritious
  • calcareous
  • Clay-sand mixture
  • dry

Planting dune roses - step by step instructions

There are no restrictions for container plants. Planting can take place on all frost-free days throughout the year. Bare-rooted plants, on the other hand, are more sensitive and should be able to take root well before winter. Therefore, planting is preferred in spring. Autumn planting is also an alternative. Proceed as follows:

  1. Plunge the planting area at least two spades deep.
  2. Water the dune rose until no more air bubbles rise from the water.
  3. Dig out the planting hole at least twice the size of the root ball.
  4. To upgrade soil with compost or mineral fertilizer.
  5. Insert the plant, fill in the substrate and press the soil well.
  6. Water the plant thoroughly.

Mulch the soil generously, weeds have a hard time and you don't have to take on the spines of the Bibernellrose when weeding.

Plant dune rose as a hedge

The dune rose is very suitable for a low hedge. Since the plants usually do not grow much higher than a meter, higher protection zones cannot be realized with the Bibernellrose. However, the hedge grows particularly densely if you plant several plants on one meter. The dense bushes provide good privacy and the thorns keep intruders out. To ensure that the hedge grows compactly and densely, you should not neglect regular cutting measures.

Harvest time!

The rose hips can be harvested in autumn. The rose hip is ripe when it has its characteristic color but still feels firm. The small vitamin bombs have the highest content of active ingredients when removed from the bush on a dry and sunny day. Rose hips can also be harvested after the first frosts.

Wash the rose hips thoroughly before processing. After you have removed the stems and flower roots, cut the rosehip lengthways. Then remove the seeds. You can then use the rose hip to make tea, jam, juice, jelly or even wine and liqueur.

How to properly care for the dune rose

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To water:

Restraint is required when watering. The plants only need so much moisture so that the soil does not dry out completely. This should not lead to waterlogging. The plants prefer to be too dry rather than too wet. The complete drying out of the soil should also be avoided in winter. Low watering should also take place on frost-free days.

Lime doesn't harm the plant. So you can also pour with tap water.


The dune rose does not need to be fertilized regularly. The plants also grow on poor soils. Sufficient light is primarily important for flower formation. If you work compost or manure into the soil when planting, the plant is adequately supplied with fertilizer in the first year of standing. From the second year onwards, you can then use natural compost to provide long-term fertilizer in spring and autumn.

To cut:

Dune roses do not grow abundantly and expansively, but you should still use pruning shears regularly. A general distinction is made between planting cuts, spring cuts and maintenance cuts.

❍ Planting cut:
The planting cut, as the name suggests, already takes place when the dune rose is planted. All shoots are cut back radically. You just leave a few buds. You should no longer carry out a radical pruning for the next few years, unless the plant is sick or infected by pests, which can actually be excluded with the dune rose.

If the plant is about five years old, you can cut off the older branches close to the ground. In this way, the dune rose can be rejuvenated and encouraged to grow.

Schnitt Spring cut:
The spring pruning takes place after winter and serves to illuminate the plant. You should remove old, dead and inward growing shoots. You can cut back the shoots to three to five eyes. This is particularly important for the inward growing shoots, as they take away the necessary light from the other branches, which in turn affects growth and flowering and promotes fungal attack.

❍ Care cut:
The maintenance cut serves to preserve the plant. The compact growth can be maintained if you remove long and thin shoots. If a complete pruning is necessary for old and ailing plants, you must shorten all branches to about 30 centimeters in length. The plant will not bloom in the following year, but will sprout all the more.

Use high quality and sharp cutting tools so that the cuts can be made smoothly. Frayed cut edges or crushed plant parts are an entry point for bacteria and pests.


Dune roses are usually very hardy. Additional protection is therefore not necessary. However, some special varieties tolerate protection from leaves or brushwood and should be overwintered in a protected location. The best thing to do here is to contact a specialist directly.

If you cultivate the Bibernellrose in a tub, you should offer it a frost-free winter quarters, because the planter quickly freezes completely outdoors. The plant then no longer has the ability to supply itself with nutrients and dies.

Fight pests and diseases in the dune rose

Many roses are particularly susceptible to illness. Not so the dune rose. The plants are almost free from diseases and pests. The Bibernellrose is lime and salt compatible, particularly robust and also used to rain and rough winds. Care mistakes can also not affect the dune rose much.

This is how dune roses can be propagated

If you want to practice growing the dune rose, you have a choice of different options, because you can reproduce the dune rose with runners, sticks and seeds. All three variants are explained in more detail below.

❍ Propagation by foothills:

Here we are dealing with a particularly simple method that does not pose any problems for even inexperienced hobby gardeners. The plants form runners and therefore take up a lot of space. The runners can be separated from the mother plant with a late in spring or autumn. Then shorten the shoots a little. This stimulates branched growth. You can now transplant the foothills again.

❍ Propagation by means of sticks:

Sticks can be harvested in late autumn. The annual shoots are used for this. The cut must be made before the first frosts so that the plant is not damaged. Then store the sticks cold and frost-free. A high level of humidity is important. This can be achieved, for example, by packing the plywood in damp sand. The sticks should then be brought into the ground in early spring. A shoot should be about 20 centimeters long. Plant the sticks in the ground so far that only the upper eye looks out.

Durch Propagation by seeds:

Sowing the dune rose is a bit more complicated because the seeds first need a cold phase to germinate. This method is called stratification. Proceed as follows:

Harvest the rose hips in the fall and loosen the seeds from the fruit with a knife. Now mix the seeds with damp sand and store them in a bag or a glass for about a quarter of a year at room temperature. The seeds should appear swollen after this storage period.

After the seeds of the dune rose have spent another month in the refrigerator, you can start planting the seeds in the soil. Patience is still needed, because germination can take several months.

If the first shoots appear, you have to prick the plants off. Larger plants should be placed in individual plant pots. The ideal substrate consists of clayey earth. If the plants have formed several shoots, they can be moved outdoors.