Seven Sisters Roses

I received a start of this rose several years ago fromHeirloom Seven Sisters Roses - a friend in another state. I brought it home, rooted it and potted it up. And it did nothing for two years. It didn’t grow. It didn’t bloom. Nothing.

I had set up this simple arch a couple of years ago, and transplanted a couple of Clematis to grow over it. They didn’t like their new placement and were pretty disappointing. So, last year I planted my little rose plants on either side of the arch and really didn’t think too much more about it. They didn’t bloom very much last year, but the greenery was sure pretty.

A couple of weeks ago, Hubby noticed a few buds. Then there were more buds. And a few days later even more. Next thing we knew, that baby was covered in buds!

I was so excited!

A dear friend had mentioned that she has wanted one of these for 50 years. (This22233 beautiful lady doesn’t even look 50!) I just so happened to have a couple of branches that had rooted where they touch the soil, so I offered to share.

I was told the name of this rose when I received it, but I thought it was just another pretty rose. It wasn’t until I started researching to make sure it was in fact the rose my friend wanted, that I discovered the history.

The rest of this post is an article I wrote for a quarterly gardening newsletter.


Seven Sisters Rose

Seven Sisters Rose is a multiflora Heirloom rose that once established, can last for many years to come. It can often be seen rambling along fence rows in the countryside. In Zone 7 and above, this is a very vigorous climber, growing anywhere from 12 to 20 feet tall. In Zone 6, this rose grows more as a bush. It is not hardy below Zone 6.

Heirloom Seven Sisters Roses -

Native to China, it was first introduced in Britain by Charles Greville in 1817. It became very popular, not only because it blooms profusely, it’s also easy to propagate, will grow in poor soil and in full sun. It is believed that after crossing the ocean, early American settlers carried pieces westward, planting along the way as they trekked across the continent.

The small blooms are only 1”- 2” across. Because of how the flowers grow in clusters, it always has blooms in different stages and various colors all at the same time. The buds open pink and change colors as they age: going through many shades of pink and almost turning red. The blooms will then fade to a creamy off-white color at the end of the bloom life.

The flower trusses (cluster of smaller stems) of the Seven Sisters can bear up to seven blooms. The cluster of blooms grows together in different sizes and colors, resembling seven sisters, hence the name.

As beautiful as they are, they typically only bloom once a year in the late spring. If the faded spring blooms are removed, there may be an additional bloom later in the summer.

Heirloom Seven Sisters Roses Arbor-

Rose Pruning

  • Do not prune climbing roses the first three years after planting, as it will prevent future blooms.
  • Following the third summer, prune in late winter. Remove dead and diseased canes. To prevent the spread of insects and disease, clean up plant debris and weeds under the plant.
  • After blooming the fourth year and each year thereafter, cut all of the canes back by one third, and remove the dead and diseased canes.
  • Seven Sisters Roses bloom on canes from the previous year. Don’t prune green growth before blooming, or you will lose flower buds for the current year.
  • Use sharp pruners to prevent crushing the stems, which will affect growth. Cut at a 45° angle.
  • Be sure the pruners are clean to prevent transferring disease from one plant to another.

Once established, the Seven Sister Rose will give you many years of enjoyment!

Heirloom Seven Sisters Roses -

Take time to smell the roses,


PS: I’m running late with the next Container Garden Week 6 Update. You’ll be impressed! It’s coming soon!

22 thoughts on “Seven Sisters Roses

  1. I have been looking for a sever sisters rose for a few years now. I grew up with these beautiful lady’s all my life. My grandmother and got clippings from her mother in laws bush and started one back when her and my grad dad got married. She then started several others just off of hers and as long as I can remember she had them all down her sidewalk and down her house. She had gave clippings to my aunts and my mother and sisters and I. I moved away and sold my home a few years ago and I decided to go back one day to see if I could get a few to start at our new home but the people that bought my house and my grandmother’s had cut and dug up the roses. I was heartbroke. I lose myself watching at people’s house just to see if I see a seven sisters anywhere. I even ask and they just look at me like they’ve never heard of it. I’m desperate to find one. If you can help please do. Thanks so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My Seven Sisters rose is in full bloom now. I have several runners/rooted plants that I will be digging and giving away. I also plan on pruning after blooming ceases. I’m in South Georgia, if she is close, I’ll be delighted to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have several plants that I have dug up and will be happy to share. These are from a bush my mother planted in the sixties. I’m In SW Georgia and my youngest son lives in Waxhaw, NC.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just found your wonderful post google searching for the elusive Seven Sisters Rose to buy after dedicating what seems like hours of research for the perfect climbing rose for my front entry. Much like everyone else here that has commented, I too, would love to purchase 4 cuttings and pay you for shipping. They are nowhere to be found but your post convinced me this is THE rose to flank my entryway and make it ‘cottagey’ and I am completely stalker obsessed 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Bless you Terri for the kind words!

      I’ve checked on postage and it would probably be $8 – $14 to mail in the US from Kentucky, if I cut the vine back to 6-8″. Some of them are 18-24″ now. I’ve been dragging my feet about sharing the info because it’s way to hot to mail them now. I sold several 1 gallon pots with a couple of vines for $15 each earlier this year. To mail them, I would need to send them with very little soil.

      Find Haphazardhomemaker on Facebook and send me a private message with your name and address. I’ll count how many I have left and let you know the cost based on your location.

      FYI…They would look gorgeous in a cottage garden, unfortunately they only bloom a couple of weeks each year.


      1. Hi, I am so glad I found you. I just drove 1 hour to Michigan State University today, to look at their botanical and horticultural gardens because they are just lovely!

        They do have a Seven Sisters rose on a pergola and it looks amazing. I would love to have one too. I did not know they are not hardy below zone 6? Theirs looks like it’s been there for years. I wonder if there is a secret to it. Anyway my zip code is 49512, please let me know if you have 1 or 2 to spare and what the cost would be with shipping.

        Thank you.


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