Texas Agrilife Extension Service
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

January-February, 2010


'Cecile Brunner', "The Sweetheart Rose"


by Dr. William C. Welch

‘Cecile Brunner’ is one of the most beloved and recognizable roses ever created. It was introduced in France by Joseph Pernet-Ducher in 1881. The original plant is a compact shrub 3-4’ tall but the climbing form which was introduced in 1891 is even more vigorous and found more frequently on old cemeteries and homesites. The exquisitely formed soft, silvery formed pink buds make perfect boutonnieres and have a pleasantly sweet fragrance. They resemble perfectly formed miniature hybrid tea flowers. ‘Cecile Brunner’ is affectionately known as “The Sweetheart Rose” and is a great gift for Valentine’s Day.

Rose 'Cecile Brunner'
Rose 'Cecile Brunner'
The climbing form is vigorous and naturally forms an umbrella shape ten or more feet tall and wide. It blooms profusely in the spring and fall but just sporadically in the summer months. The bush form blooms more consistently and is a good container specimen as well as hedge plant.

Like most of the other popular old roses ‘Cecile Brunner’ can be grown on its own roots and is easily propagated from cuttings (for further information, readers may refer to my article on this subject in The Southern Garden section of the aggie-horticulture website on rooting roses). It is also widely available in containers at this time of year.

Roses thrive in sunny areas with well-drained soils. Established bush forms should be pruned in mid-February but it is best to wait till after the spring bloom to shape and prune the climbing selection. Roses grow well in sandy or clay soils but do especially well when it is amended with organic material such as composted pine bark or your own compost. Although able to survive with little additional fertilizer roses produce better when materials such as cotton seed or alfalfa meal, slow release commercial fertilizer or rotted manures are applied. Roses are relatively water efficient plants but bloom and perform better with occasional deep watering during extended dry spells.

For more information on 'Cecile Brunner' and other well-researched Earth-Kind Roses, visit the website Earth-Kind Roses, http://earthkindroses.tamu.edu


Earth-Kind uses research-proven techniques to provide maximum gardening and landscape performance while preserving and protecting the environment. For more information on EarthKind Landscape Management Practices see our website at http://earthkind.tamu.edu