Our History

Growing More Colourful Since 1971

Ludwig’s Roses was established in March 1971.

Ludwig Taschner, after whom the business is named, was born in Germany during the Second World War. He trained as a nurseryman and subsequently escaped from East Germany in 1960. He gained invaluable experience by working in nurseries in West Germany, Switzerland and England, where he started specialising in rose growing.

He arrived in Pretoria in 1962 and worked for Buss Nurseries until he founded Ludwig’s Roses north of Pretoria. From small beginnings, the nursery has grown world renowned, as the premier rose nursery in South Africa.

We grow the largest selection of rose varieties available anywhere in the world.

Ludwig pioneered the propagation of roses in containers. Previously roses could only be purchased in winter as pruned, bare-rooted plants. The effect containerised rose plants had on South Africa was that gardeners could select roses by their flowers, fragrance and growth habit for most of the year. This obviously facilitated popularising roses in every South African garden even more.

Ludwig’s has developed strong relationships with over 25 breeders from all over the world and annually tests thousands of new varieties according to their performance in the South African climate From these, a selection of 10 to 20 novel cultivars are named and released annually. This selection process may take up to 8 years.  

We are proud to have released top garden roses since they first opened their doors to the public in 1971. Varieties like Just Joey, Burning Sky, Casanova, Esther Geldenhuys, Archbishop Tutu, Walter & Albertina Sisulu and South Africa are to name but a few of the “rose celebrities”.


Ludwig Taschner

Ludwig is the mastermind behind enthusing gardeners to get “hooked” on growing roses. He has been writing, giving talks and has travelled throughout South Africa and the world to convey his love of the rose.

He released his first colour catalogue in 1975 with only 180 varieties listed. Today the catalogue contains over 1 000 varieties in a myriad of colours, fragrances and growth habits. Over the years the catalogue has become “a must have” collector’s item and is posted free of charge to over 45 000 gardeners around the country.­

By sending out a free monthly “Talking Roses” e-mail newsletter to over 80 000 “rose lovers”, we stay in close contact with each and everyone who enjoys the beauty of the rose. The website shares ample information on the growing of roses plus descriptions and photographs of all the different varieties and diseases. To subscribe click here.

Visiting the farm, the mother nursery north of Pretoria is a sight to behold. A million rose bushes in full bloom appear like an ocean of colour with an overwhelming fragrance.

  • 1996 Ludwig took over a 4.5ha cut rose farm, Ludwig’s Pretoria East. 
  • 2004 Ludwig’s Roses Egoli was opened in Johannesburg.
  • 2006 Ludwig’s Roses Winelands near Stellenbosch.
  • 2008 Ludwig’s Star Roses in the Midlands.
  • 2014 Ludwig’s Roses Cape Town in Wynberg, opened its doors to the public.
  • 2016 a branch was built on the Outeniqua pass near George
  • 2017 Ludwig’s Roses Red Barn  in Irene.
  • 2019 Online sales and shipping of rose plants.

These branches all boast hundreds of varieties to admire. Walking through the aisles of named roses is an experience in itself.the 

His son, Halmar, who already as a 5 year old boy dreamed of working with roses, entered the nursery in 1999. Ludwig and Halmar have a profound understanding and that has been the main reason the company has been able to grow so much. Ludwig quickly but also easily gave over the management reigns to Halmar. This in turn enabled him to focus even more on the rose and so their healthy dynamic proved to translate into the nursery flourishing.

Currently 135 people work for the nursery. Of course it is the individuals who form part of our wonderful team that make all the rose growing possible. Many have been part of the company for over 40 years. We can but express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for the commitment.

Heike, Ludwig’s eldest daughter, is a renowned sculptor. Heike played a fundamental role in creating the restaurant, the venue and rose edibles.  Find her work here

Anja, Ludwig’s youngest daughter is a learned horticulturist and enjoys the cross-pollination and creating of novel roses. She is responsible for Ludwig’s marketing, and spreading the love of the rose and all its benefits to the world. Anja is based at Ludwig’s Roses Winelands – but is often traveling about.

The two daughters develop all kinds of products from roses, such as the rose and rose hip jams, vinegar, syrups, rose body and home fragrance products like linen mist, oil diffusers and creams.

In a family that lives and breathes the Rose, Heike, Ludwig’s eldest daughter, often represents this flower through art which can be seen throughout the rose farm. The large metal rose sculpture at the farm entrance; the rose fountain at the venue and the suspended sculpture installation for Prof. Thuli Madonsela. Changing space creatively and setting up large Rose exhibitions and shows always came naturally to her.

After more than a decade of cooking with roses and establishing the rose restaurant, venue, rose food and products, you can now see her work here: heike taschner jeske (@heiketaschnerjeske) • Instagram photos and videos

Ludwig and Pamela are rich in grandchildren!  Alexander and Xavier are the sons of Heike Taschner-Jeske and Doctor Christian Jeske,  Gabriel & Sophia are the children of Anja Taschner and Talhat Alhabal. Born to Halmar and Vanessa Taschner, Ludwig Paul, Otto Liam, Siegfried Dieter and Freyja Rose. 

All grandchildren are of course exposed to roses from an early age so that they can develop an affinity to rose growing. 

Ludwig’s deep love for working with roses has encouraged him to see no boundaries when it comes to promoting roses. This has led to him becoming a household name in South Africa. He is happiest whilst and is always found walking through his roses… and most important of all, his legacy continues with the next generation…


Ludwig Taschner with 'Oklahoma'