Centifolia Rose

Centifolia (Cabbage) Rose

The Cabbage rose (Centifolias), also called ‘Provence’ rose, was first cultivated in the Middle Ages and is famous for its strong floral scent and large double petalled flowers. The flowers are always a rich pink colour with greyish green foliage on a long stem. Due to a wonderful strong frangrance the Cabbage rose is cultivated for its attar of roses, and used widely as an ingredient for perfume and scent oil.

Centifolia, or Cabbage rose
Centifolia, or Cabbage rose

It was first made popular by the Dutch who had a special fondness for this Old Garden rose, and it is actually sometimes called Dutch Rose as well as Cabbage and Provence. The Cabbage rose is a lovely plant once it has reached full size, but is perhaps a little high maintenance rose to grow. It is quite finicky about where it likes to be and is prone to quite a few diseases and pests. These can be controlled under the right circumstances, and with a little bit of love and care you will find that it is an amazing addition to any garden.

The Cabbage rose is likes to lean on things… floppy canes that do better with some support. It is suitable for growing in woodland areas and surrounded with other plants that it can use as support. If it’s grown on its own then it will need a cane or wall. It likes a fairly sunny position with some moist soil and neutral PH.

The Cabbage rose is often used in hedgerows, borders and along fences; it will grow very happily alongside a variety of shrubs and bushes as well as perennials that are known for blooming in the early summer months. Once it has flowered it will continue to bloom every spring/summer for a long time after. While I don’t know how long this will live, I have seen plants that are much older than I am (and I’m no spring chicken!).

The thick and lush foliage is lovely as a barrier or edging for a garden or house front, and you will need to perform some light pruning every year in the early spring in order to keep it tidy and healthy.

As well as being a stunning addition to the garden, the Cabbage rose can be cut and used as a beautiful fragrant flower in displays, bouquets or just in a vase in your living room. It gives off that famous old rose scent.

As long as you have the time and inclination to care, support and love this plant as it grows and blooms, you will find a unique and invaluable addition to your garden. One that will give you pleasure and beauty each and every summer.