Rugosa rose bushes are easy care, fragrant wild rose bushes. In autumn, Rugosa shrub roses form large, colorful hips. I'll tell you where to plant Rosa rugosa and how to prune it.
The sweetly scented (mostly single) flowers of Rosa rugosa occur throughout the summer. Flower colors include red, pink, and white.
The large blooms are followed, in the fall, by very decorative hips.
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
Rugosa hips are larger and more intensely colored than those of most other types of roses.
If you want to make rose hip syrup, a nutritious drink and herbal remedy given to young children in olden times, these are good rose hips to use.
You can also grow new plants from the seeds inside the ripe hips.
Compact Rosa rugosa 'Wildberry Breeze' is a fragrant Rugosa hybrid. The single rose flowers of this tough hedge rose smell of cloves.
'Wildberry Breeze' makes a lovely repeat blooming hedge.
The rose 'Hansa' is a deep pink, double-flowered Rugosa hybrid. This is a strongly fragrant rose whose showy 4 inch flowers are followed by large red hips.
'Therese Bugnet' is a hybrid Rugosa bearing lilac pink 4 inch double flowers. The fragrant flowers appear continuously throughout the growing season on the 4-6 foot tall shrub.
'Blanc Double de Coubert'
'Blanc Double de Coubert' is a white-flowered antique Rugosa which has the unique distinction of being shade tolerant. Its heavily perfumed, semi-double blossoms make good cut flowers.
This tough rose is impervious to reflected heat and auto exhaust.
Photos by Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
Its resistance to salt spray has caused it to be called the Seaside rose.
Most cultivars are large shrubs. Keep in mind that the stems of these roses bear sharp thorns when deciding where to site them. They are best kept away from walkways and other paved areas where people may be passing too close to them.
Place them at the property line where their unwelcoming thorns will serve to discourage your neighbor's dog from tunneling through to your yard.
The crinkled foliage of Rugosa roses is very resistant to rose diseases. The leaves turn yellow in the fall in contrast to the red hips making the bush an attractive specimen in the right setting.
The Rugosa's tolerance of salt spray and wind make it a favorite seaside rose. The rose may not reach its full potential (size and beauty) under such adverse conditions but it can make up for this by providing a hedge of protection to more vulnerable plants. Its thick foliage will filter the wind and trap the salt allowing plants on its leeward side to flourish.
This is also one of the few plants you can safely place at the side of a road that is treated with salt in the winter.
One of the most cold hardy roses, Rugosa can be planted from USDA zone 3-9.
Pay attention to the ultimate size of the cultivar you are growing. If none is given, expect the mature plant to be approximately 6 feet tall and wide.
This is important because this wild rose bush does not like hard pruning. It probably won't die from being cut to the ground but will be slow to recover.
It is better to just trim it to shape or to deadhead the spent blooms. This is not necessary for the health of the plant but will encourage another flush of flowers.
Cut out very old canes at ground level once in a while to make room for new, more productive wood.
Rose - Hansa - Hybrid Rugosa
Rose - White Rugosa - Shrub
Rose - Sir Thomas Lipton - Shrub
Rose - Belle Poitevine - Rugosa
Rose - Rugosa - Shrub
Rose - Therese Bugnet - Shrub
Rose - White Rugosa - Shrub
Rose - F. J. Grootendorst - Hybrid Rugosa
Rose - William Baffin - Climbing