Rosa rugosa 'Rubra'
- Position: full sun
- Soil: fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: July to September
- Flower colour: purplish-red
- Other features: excellent cut-flowers
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Masses of fragrant, single, yellow-centred, purplish-red flowers from July to September, followed by attractive, tomato-shaped, red or orange-red rose-hips. This vigorous, repeat-flowering species rose is ideal for wilder areas of the garden. An excellent, informal, flowering hedge for an open, sunny site, the leathery, dark-green leaves turn butter-gold in autumn.
To find out more about how to plant a hedge, click here
All our roses are grown in an open field and then dug up when the weather conditions are right in October or November. Some suppliers send out their roses as 'bare root' plants (ie without pots or compost), but we pot ours up as it helps to keep the roots hydrated and in good condition. As they are dormant throughout the winter, they will not produce any new roots until spring, so don't be surprised if the compost falls away from the roots when you take them out of their pots. The roses can be kept in their pots throughout the winter provided they are kept well fed and watered, however ideally they should planted out as soon as possible. They will already have been cut back so no further pruning will be required, apart from snipping off any tips that have died back. Routine pruning can begin in late winter the year after planting.
- Garden care: If planting in winter, choose a frost-free spell when the soil is not frozen. Roses are quite deep-rooted plants so dig a deep hole roughly twice as wide as the plants roots and mix in a generous amount of composted organic matter. A top-dressing of a general purpose fertiliser can be worked into the surrounding soil and we also recommend using Rose Rootgrow at this stage to encourage better root development. This is particularly important when planting into a bed where roses have previously been grown as Rose Rootgrow is said to combat rose sickness (aka. replant disease).
Remove the plants from their pots and gently spread out the roots before placing them in the centre of the hole. Try to ensure that the 'bud union' (the point where the cultivated rose has been grafted onto the rootstock, and from where the shoots emerge) is at soil level. You can judge this quite easily by laying something flat, like a spade handle or bamboo cane, across the top of the hole. When they are at the right height, back-fill the hole, firming the soil down gently before watering the plant well.
Water generously until well established, and apply a specialist rose fertiliser (following the manufacturers instructions) each spring. They will also benefit from a generous mulch of composted farmyard manure in spring, but make sure this is kept away from the stems.
As most shrub roses tend to flowers best on older stems, they only need a little light formative pruning. Hard pruning should be avoided unless absolutely necessary as it can often ruin the plants shape. The best time to prune is in late summer after they have finished flowering. While wearing tough gloves, remove dead, damaged, diseased or congested branches completely. If the centre of the shrub is becoming congested, remove one or two of the older stems to their base. If they have become too leggy, then you can often encourage new growth to form by cutting one or two stems back to within 10 - 15cm above ground level.
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Q:Will Rosa Rugosa be ok in containers if they are large enough? Also is it evergreen? I know it will survive sea air which is a big plus! Will it grow fairly quickly I am looking for privacy.
ThanksAsked on 19/8/2015 by wellieboot from Co Mayo
These are fast-growing, deciduous plants, that will be much happier planted out in the ground.Answered on 24/8/2015 by Helen from crocus
These are fast growing, but they will be much happier planted out in the ground rather than kept in a pot . Could you lift a paving slab for it?Answered on 24/8/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:Can I plant a rugosa up my pergolaAsked on 17/8/2015 by poppy from Grimsby
It would be possible to tie in some of the lanky stems, but I would not try to use it as a climber.Answered on 24/8/2015 by Helen from crocus
I have a short section of hedging which I want to replant. It is just 2.5m wide and I fancy having Rosa rugosa 'Rubra'. Your package of 25 bare root plants would be too many so I was thinking of buying them in 4 litre pots. Your web page says the plant grows to 1.5m wide so I should only need two but will this be enough to quickly fill the space? I want the hedge quite thick but I don't want to crowd them out.Asked on 21/7/2015 by GardenReg from Cheshire
Each plant will eventually get to 1.5m wide, however for hedges, you should always plant much more densely than you would normally. With this in mind, I would recommend a planting distance of 45cm - and if you want the hedge nice and thick, you can plant a staggered second row behind it.Answered on 23/7/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:Would a rosea rugosa do well in very dry sandy soil in a sunny west facing garden.Asked on 28/6/2015 by Sallybird from Weston super mare
Being a species rose these are pretty tough, however no rose will thrive in very dry conditions, so if you do want to plant them here, then I would recommend digging in lots of composted organic matter and then making sure they are kept well fed and watered.Answered on 1/7/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:We live in a very exposed area in Southern Scotland. I would like to plant a hedge with possibly year round interest (I know I'm asking a lot) and I'm hoping rosa rugosa would fit the bill. Being in such an exposed area would I be wise to plant now or should I wait until spring / summer?Asked on 5/10/2014 by Rhodala from South lanarkshire
Rosa rugosa is a good choice for a hedge as these plants will tolerate exposed windy situations.
We don't have any stock at the moment, but I would wait until the bare root hedging range becomes available from approx November. Then you can plant them during the winter, as long as the ground isn't frozen, when the plants are dormant.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 7/10/2014 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:I'm looking to supplement my fencing by incorporating 3 feet long planters (3-4 of). I'd like to incorporate med to fast growing hedging of 2 or 3 varieties (to mix the view up) within the planters that do not have spiky stems (that could possibly scratch the car) but offer interest in colour / berries / flowers. They only need to be pruned to 2-3 feet tall. Aspect is south facing but they will be sheltered by the 3 foot high fence line when planted. Many thanksAsked on 29/4/2014 by Scott from Wells, Somerset
Most of the flowering plants traditionally used for hedging have thorns (like this rose), so if you do not need a formal-looking hedge perhaps a better option would be one of the lavenders, which naturally have a fairly compact habit.Answered on 30/4/2014 by helen from crocus
Q:Hi thinking about buying a couple of rosa rugosa, will the birds eat the rose hips as I would like this if not could you recommend something wildlife friendly along the same lines thankyou littleun .Asked on 31/12/2013 by littleun from peterborough
Yes some birds like blackbirds and fieldfares will eat the large rose hips from this rose. Otherwise Rosa canina, which has the smaller hips is even more popular.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 2/1/2014 by Anonymous from Crocus
Q:We have a problem with clay about a foot under the soil, i thought roses would be ok for clay soil.Asked on 13/11/2013 by Peter from United Kingdom
Roses are generally very happy in clay soil, provided it does not remain waterlogged for any length of time.Answered on 14/11/2013 by Helen from Crocus
Q:You have put a video about deadheading these roses but I thought they only flowered once and deadheading would lose the hips -would you clarify?
thanksAsked on 1/11/2013 by Hannah from Manchester
This is a repeat flowering species rose, so by deadheading the spent blooms it will encourage further flowers, but, as you say if you want the hips then don't deadhead.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 4/11/2013 by Anonymous from Crocus
Q:Does this rose have a good scent ?Asked on 10/4/2013 by Springfield from Lancaster
Scent is quite personal, but these roses are known for having a good perfume.Answered on 11/4/2013 by Helen from Crocus
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