Rugosa Roses Exposed to Chlorine

by Peter
(Salem, MA)

We have had these roses growing as a border hedge near a tidal river for fifteen years. Recently, our neighbors pool waste water from back washing the filter has been draining into one area of the hedge. This section is turning brown and seems to be drying up.


We have stopped the source of the water but what can we do to repair the damage?

Thanks, Peter

Botanical Journeys Plant Guides

Hello Peter,

I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing with your Rugosa hedge.

If the water the roses were inadvertently exposed to was heavily chlorinated, there may not be anything you can do to save the affected plants.

Chlorine is poisonous to plants.

They can handle very dilute solutions of it like that found in most municipal drinking water supplies, but too high a concentration will usually kill them.

Your best bet is to flood the soil at their roots with clean tap water just once. Then, keep the plants moist but do not overwater them.

You're just trying to give them the best chance of recovery by preventing drought stress.

Also, do not feed them until they have completely recovered.

If these steps are taken quickly enough (this is assuming you found out about the water leak fairly soon after it started) your roses may survive.

Best wishes.

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