Rosa rugosa 'Rubra'

red Japanese rose (shrub)

4 5 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star (1 review) Write review
4 litre potted rose £19.99
available to order from autumn
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Rosa rugosa 'Rubra' red Japanese rose (shrub): Startling carmine flowers

This rose is deciduous so it will lose all its leaves in autumn, then fresh new foliage appears again each spring.

  • Position: full sun
  • Soil: fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: fast-growing
  • Flowering period: July to September
  • 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 be 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 plant's 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 manufacturer's 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 flower 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 plant's 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.

  • Humans/Pets: Fruit are ornamental - not to be eaten

Delivery options

  • Standard
Delivery information

Eventual height & spread

Eventual height and spread
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Share by email



Purchased last year for planting on the foreshore of a marina, plants flowered last year, survived their first winter and are now established shrubs. Ideallly for a difficult site





4.0 1


Estuary water (slightly salty, less than sea water) occasional floods my lower garden, which has sun for more than half of daylight.. I am told that Rosa rugosa is able to thrive in these conditions.... is this correct? I have lost other plants and would like to replace them with something big and showy. Hawthorne, The Pyracantha and Laurel all seem to do well.


Hello there Rosa rugosa are tough plants withstanding poor soil, exposed situations, coastal sites etc. so will usually tolerate a degree of salty water, but I guess it depends how long and to what extent they are flooded. If the pyracantha and laurels survive, then I would think this resilient rose would be too.

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. Thanks


Hello, These are fast-growing, deciduous plants, that will be much happier planted out in the ground.


Hello, 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?


Can I plant a rugosa up my pergola


Hello, It would be possible to tie in some of the lanky stems, but I would not try to use it as a climber.


Hello, 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.


Hello, 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.


Would a rosea rugosa do well in very dry sandy soil in a sunny west facing garden.


Hello, 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.


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?


Hello there 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 helps

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 thanks


Hello, 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.


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 .


Hi there 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 helps

We have a problem with clay about a foot under the soil, i thought roses would be ok for clay soil.


Hello, Roses are generally very happy in clay soil, provided it does not remain waterlogged for any length of time.


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? thanks


Hello there 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 helps

How to get more flowers

How to get more flowers

Many flowering plants can be encouraged to produce better and longer-lasting displays with the minimum of effort. A plant produces flowers in order to reproduce and ensure the survival of the species. Once a plant has flowered and fertilisation has taken

Read full article

How to create a wildlife-friendly garden

Wildlife-friendly gardens are not only more interesting as you can watch all the comings and goings, but they are often more productive as many creatures will help increase pollination. Garden ponds act as a magnet to dragonflies and damsel flies, along w

Read full article

Cottage garden

The traditional cottage garden was an intensive, yet carefree mixture of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers all crowded into a tiny space. Today, this informal charm can be recreated using modern varieties that largely take care of themselves around an

Read full article

Pruning roses

Early spring is a good time to start pruning roses The exact time will depend on where in the country you are and how cold it is. Pruning time is between mid-March through to early April, watch for when the buds start to swell, but before any leaves appe

Read full article

Top drawer roses for scent

Hybrid Musks mingle well with English honeysuckle and they are amongst the most fragrant and healthy. They perform from July onwards, after the main flush of most roses, so they are useful to the gardener. Hybrid Musks are still in the top drawer, despite

Read full article

Roses for the cutting garden

At some stage in June, your garden will be a glorious affair full of scent and soft flower. Placing a posy from the garden, close to a family hub like the kitchen table, unites your home and garden as effectively as having a huge picture window. You don’t

Read full article

Planting roses

The rose has been the nation’s favourite flower for centuries, prized for their fragrant blooms that make June the dreamiest month of the year. However late-autumn and winter, when these sleeping beauties are having their long rest, is the best time to p

Read full article

Once and only or repeat-flowering?

Modern roses are generally bred to be repeat-flowering with a main flush in June, followed by further flowers throughout the season. These roses ration their flowers with five to six weeks between flushes, finishing with a late flourish in October, or e

Read full article

Shrubby and healthy

Lots of roses escape black spot (Diplocarpon rosae) and they include Rugosa roses bred from a shrubby Japanese species found naturally on poor, sandy soil. These thrive in most gardens, although lime-rich soil will produce yellow, chlorotic foliage. One

Read full article

Touches of red for the autumn garden

As the days shorten, the autumn sun sinks a little lower every day and begins to backlight the borders, picking up detail and silhouette. There’s plenty to enjoy and rosehips can provide the cherry on the cake, although they vary from red, to soft-orange

Read full article

Planting roses during late autumn and winter

Roses get away extremely well when planted in their dormant season, between November and early March. Although they will be delivered potted up (to help keep the roots moist), the compost will fall away from the roots as you remove the rose from the pot a

Read full article

General pruning advice for roses

Mature roses are generally pruned in early February, after the worst of the winter is over, using good secateurs like Felco no 2's or 6's. Pruning, just like planting, must only be done in good weather. Generally floribundas are cut back to 45cm.

Read full article

Preventing rose disease

Tidy up any fallen rose leaves now, especially if they look spotty because this is almost certainly a result of a fungal disease called black spot (Diplocarpon rosae). This debilitating disease leads to poor flowering and defoliation, but not all roses ar

Read full article

Planting companions for roses

Early flowering roses tend to come in shades of white, pink or purple-pink and most forms of the biennial foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, have toning flowers in similar colours. These appear in rose time, but carry on after the first rose flush has finished

Read full article

Plants birds love in the winter garden

As frost descends and the leaves gather on the lawn, the most important colour is red because it glows against the backdrop of fading stems in muddy shades of khaki, grey and brown. Red’s the colour that fixes the rest of the palette and luckily red berri

Read full article

Roses for poorer soil

Knowing your roses will help enormously when choosing what to plant because not only are there different habits - from large and branching to neat and compact, from ground cover to upright or climbing, some roses are more tolerant of poor soil whilst othe

Read full article

Easy pickings

on’t tell anyone I told you this, but if you really can’t be bothered with all that seed-sowing and weeding and tying in and composting you don’t have to do much gardening to get a free supply of food.Let the brambles grow and you’ll get blackberries

Read full article

Download our free gardening app to help you grow

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play