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Roses – Lilli Marlene

Also known as the princess of roses, the Rosa ‘Lilli Marlene’ was introduced in the 1950s. Named after the famous WW2 song sung by soldiers on both sides of the conflict. The rose quickly became a favourite among gardeners due to its bright colour, disease resistance and hardiness.

Quick Facts


This rose likes a sunny spot but will also grow in partial shade, it is a hardy variety of rose so cold won’t really be an issue.


Plant out in autumn and remember to prune in spring. Make sure you remember to mulch and feed in autumn and also repeat pruning (lightly!) once flowering is over.


This rose does not like its roots being consistently damp, crumbly well-draining soil is perfect. If your sand is particularly clay-heavy then add some compost and soil.





Colour and form

The buds of the Lilli Marlene are deep red and begin to open in June, You can get up to 15 velvety red flours on a single bush at any one time. Whilst not known for their fragrance they do give off a faint perfume which is very attractive. The rose can reach 50-70cm in height, its bushy nature does make it a great rose for flower beds. This rose works particularly well when planted with other varieties of rose.


Roses should be well pruned in spring. Step one is to remove all diseased and dead branches. Then it is advised to prune the remaining shoots until only a few buds remain on the plant. A good rule of thumb is to prune strong shoots lightly and weak shoots strongly. Done well and this rose will reward you with amazing strong blooms.

Top Tip

Roses thrive in a good, fertile, well-balanced soil mixture which is slightly acidic, pH between 6.5 and 7. Good garden soil including humus, sand and clay is preferred. You want a crumbly soil but also not one that is too light.