Rugosa Roses – An Easy Going, Easy Growing Hedge

Rugosa Rose, Japanese Rose, Sea Tomato, Hedge Hog Rose or Rosa Rugosa Hedge. No matter what name it goes by, the Rugosa rose is an all time garden favorite.

Gardeners from all over are singing the praises of this exquisite, yet rugged, rose bush. It is a flowering plant that has all the qualities that will appease even the pickiest of rose enthusiasts. The rugosa rose is a hearty species with a beautiful, fragrant blossom, that will spread nicely while maintaining an attractive uniformity. The Rugosa rose’s assortment options and tenacity are appealing traits that support its position as an all time gardening favorite.

Profile of the Rugosa Rose

Upon initial introduction of the rugosa rose hedge most flower lovers are entranced by its big, brightly colored and fragrant blooms. The rugosa rose’s very nature of breathtaking beauty and ease of care speaks for its mass appeal.

Getting to know the Rugosa Rose:

Common Name – Rugosa rose, hedgehog rose, Ramanas rose, sea tomato, Japanese rose and salt spray rose.
Botanical Gens – Rosa Rugosa.
Blooms – March to October.
Flower description – Flowers come in white, red and pink colors.

They appear on the plant in single, double or cluster blooms. They have a wonderful fragrance and produce an orange colored, round rose hip.

Height – 3 to 8 feet.
Width – 8 feet plus.
Light – Tolerates full sun.
Soil preference – Slightly acidic, moist, well draining soil, and the rugosa rose will also tolerate a variety of sandier type soils when fertilizer and rose nourishment is provided.
Planting conditions – Best to plant small, bare-root roses in spring. Contained plants may be added to the garden at any time during their preferred growing season.

Rugosa Rose History and Care

The rugosa rose originated in China, Japan and Korea where it flourished in the gardens of empires. The flower of this blooming beauty has smaller pedals than a traditional rose and the plants will grow into dense hedges, hosting an abundance of blooms.

The rugosa rose is an extremely hearty plant that grows and prospers in almost any of the gardening zones, making it easier to maintain than its finickier cousin. They are disease and pest resistant making them almost care-free. They do appreciate some mulch placed around the base to cool the root system and small amounts of fertilizer once the new growth appears. Most gardeners choose to prune these plants solely for the purpose of garden uniformity.

When planting the rugosa rose dig a hole twice the circumference of the pot and a few inches deeper. Set the plant into the hole and then cut the container away. This helps protect the more delicate roots and keeps them free from unnecessary exposure. It is not necessary to deadhead these flowers as the spent blooms will turn into bright red or vivid orange rose hips that will attract an abundance of birds and butterflies.

Gardening Choices of the Rugosa Rose

The rugosa rose produces blooms that are about three inches across set against a background of leaves that are dark green in color and slightly wrinkled in appearance. The Rosa rugosa alba displays bright white flowers that emerge from soft pink bulbs. Rosa rugosa rosea has pretty pink flowers, and the blooms of the Rosa rugosa rubra are a unique purplish red.

Rugosa rose growers can expect to see their first blooms around Mother’s Day and the plant’s flowers will begin to fade towards the end of summer. Growers boast that the hedge is especially beautiful when the flowers and vivid orange hips both stand out against the backdrop of the lustrous, dark green foliage.

The fall display of this gardening favorite is nearly as spectacular when the leaves turn yellow and the hips shine bright as orange flares. Then, in winter, the withered rose hips provide a much sought after feast for birds, bringing a flurry of excitement and activity to a normally sedate backyard garden.

Feel free to share the splendor as rugosa roses will propagate fairly easy from hardwood or softwood cuttings. Fellow rose enthusiasts can plant these “pencil” cuttings with the promise of their very own rugosa rose hedge in a few, short gardening seasons.

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