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Rugosa Rose Care Guide: Growing A Rugosa Rose: Bush

Rugosa Rose Care Guide: Growing A Rugosa Rose: Bush


By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

Roses are easily among the most familiar landscape plants. Ranging greatly in variety, these thorny shrubs are prized for their unique colors and alluring fragrance. While hybrid roses are quite stunning, their lineage can often be traced to another beautiful type of rose, the Rosa rugosa.

What is a Rugosa Rose?

Also known as Japanese rose, rugosa rose bushes are beloved for their adaptability and floriferous habit. Quickly forming dense thickets of growth, these bushes are especially attractive to pollinators. Flowers, usually ranging in shades of white, pink, and red, bloom profusely early in the summer season and continue until the fall.

Beyond flowering, these rose bushes create large quantities of brightly colored rose hips. These hips add considerable ornamental value from fall into winter. Maturing at roughly 6 feet (2 m.) in height, growing a rugosa rose is a popular choice for privacy as well as for the creation of valuable habitat for backyard wildlife.

Growing a Rugosa Rose

Rugosa rose bushes are among the easiest roses to grow. In fact, they may even become invasive in some locations. Before planting, check with your local agriculture extension regarding this rose.

Most gardeners will find that growing a rugosa rose is relatively simple, as they are seldom affected by issues related to pests and/or disease. Even so, frequent monitoring for aphids, symptoms of black spot, and other common rose problems can help to keep bushes lush and healthy.

Rugosa rose bushes can be grown in a variety of ways, including from seed. Those attempting to grow roses from seed should note that they will require a period of chilling in order for germination to occur. Propagation by cuttings from these plants are among the most common ways in which they are obtained. Rose transplants will adapt and thrive in a wide range of soils, including those which are sandy and have relatively low fertility.

Beyond planting, rugosa rose care is minimal. Unlike hybrid roses, they will not need regular fertilization or pruning. Deadheading should also be avoided, as it will interfere with the production of rose hips. Since rugosa rose bushes can produce a considerable number of suckers, those wishing to control the size of plants may need to frequently remove new growth from the base of plants.

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Rosa rugosa

Rosa rugosa (rugosa rose, beach rose, Japanese rose, Ramanas rose, or letchberry) is a species of rose native to eastern Asia, in northeastern China, Japan, Korea and southeastern Siberia, where it grows on beach coasts, often on sand dunes. [1] It should not be confused with Rosa multiflora, which is also known as "Japanese rose". The Latin word "rugosa" means "wrinkled", referring to the wrinkled leaves. [2] [3]


Common Questions

Should I prune Rosa rugosa?

Yes, as a rose plant it is best to prune it to keep it tidy and to remove any decaying or diseased tissues. As it produces attractive eddible hips it is probably best to prune towards the end of winter or at the start of spring.

How do you care for Rosa rugosa?

This is a medium maintenance plant, it requires regular deep watering, twice yearly fertilizer, pest control, mulching, and light pruning. See the Growing and care section below for further information.

How do you propagate Rosa rugosa?

Chip Budding (summer) Hardwood cuttings (Autumn). As a suckering shrub this rose also produces new plants from its roots.

When should I prune my Beach roses

Dependent upon if you want hips or not. Normally you would prune them in late winter or early spring upon the appearance of new growth returning.


The Rugosa Rose Bush Hedge

The rugosa rose can be used as an edible hedge barrier. It may even deer proof your property over time, since it can grow to 6’x6′ tall and wide, and the deer won’t bother it because of the thorns. However, remember, it will grow by leaps and bounds each year through resilient underground root systems, and it may be virtually impossible to kill, so growers beware.


How to Transplant Rosa Rugosa

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Rosa rugosa, commonly called purple pavement, features large purple or reddish-colored fragrant blooms that come alive during the summer months. Hardy throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, purple pavement will consistently produce elegant blossoms in the summer that transform into vibrant hips in the fall. This shrub can reach heights of 6 feet, but don’t let it stop you from transplanting your established purple pavement bush. With the right tools and preparation, it’s possible to successfully reestablish even the tallest, lushest purple pavement bush.

Find a new suitable site in your yard before beginning the transplantation process. Purple pavement roses thrive in an area that features well-drained fertile soil, good air circulation and exposure to full sunlight.

Slip on a pair of sturdy work gloves and a long-sleeved shirt before cutting back the purple pavement’s top growth with pruning shears. Find the four hardiest, strongest canes and cut them to 12 to 18 inches in length. The gloves and sleeves will protect you from the bush’s thorns, while cutting back the plant will make it easier to lift, carry and replant.

Dig a hole around the pruned purple pavement to access the root ball with greater ease. Starting at a point approximately 9 inches past the bush’s drip line, begin digging the hole until you reach a depth of 15 inches, or until you can easily slide your shovel under the exposed root ball. As you uncover any shoots, cut through them with the end of the shovel or a pair of sharp shears.

Slip a shovel or spade under the root ball and slowly lift it from the hole. If the purple pavement’s root ball is large, it may require the assistance of a helper. Slowly lift the ball from the soil and gently shake it to remove any excess soil. Inspect the ball for broken shoots, and cut them away with pruning shears.

Dig a hole in the new site that is deep and wide enough to accommodate the root ball. Fine Plant the purple pavement at the same height as the original site. Backfill the hole halfway with a mixture of compost and the surrounding soil before filling the hole with water.

Allow the water to drain before completely filling the hole with the original soil. Gently tamp the soil with your boot before providing the transplanted purple pavement another dose of water.


Wait until after a frost to harvest the hips. They will be softer and sweeter. The frost softens the flesh and makes them easier to work with, too. When you harvest the hips be sure to wear stout gloves. The stems are covered in fine thorns that will severely scratch your arms as you harvest if you aren’t protected. But these thorns are the reason that Rosa Rugosa makes such a fine hedge. Remove the stem and blossom end and slice each hip in half. Scoop out the seeds with your thumb. Only use the fleshy part of the rosehip. The hairy seeds are an irritant.

But you can save all the seeds and plant them out again in you garden to make more Rugosa Roses. Or dry them and grind them into a fine powder. Rosehip seeds are the origin of “itching powder”. (You didn’t hear it from me.)

But seriously, rose seeds are used as a diuretic and for relief of urinary tract disorders.


Watch the video: Downeast Discoveries-The rugosa rose