What is a Rugosa Rose - How to Care for Rugosa Rose

Source

What is a Rugosa Rose?


The rugosa rose began in the emperors' gardens in Japan, China and Korea. Because the rugosa rose is a species that grows on the coast, it is hardy and tolerates sand and saltwater sprays.



A rose by any other name is still a rose …

It is also known as the Rosa rugosa (Latin name), the Ramanas Rose and the Japanese Rose.

The Japanese words that it is known by, hamanashi and hamanasu, means “shore pear” and “shore eggplant” respectively. The Korean people call this rose, haedanghwa, which means “flowers near seashore”.

Some of its more common names are Hedge Hog Rose, Rosa Rugosa Hedge, Beach Rose and Saltspray Rose. It is also known by its fruit and is also commonly called Beach Tomato and Sea Tomato.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
R. rugosa roses are usually "singles" having one row of five petals. This rugosa resembles a dogwood.Rugosa Rose Single Close-UpHybrid Rugosas are "doubles" having numerous, informally-formed petals. Rugosa Rose Bud
R. rugosa roses are usually "singles" having one row of five petals.
R. rugosa roses are usually "singles" having one row of five petals. | Source
This rugosa resembles a dogwood.
This rugosa resembles a dogwood. | Source
Rugosa Rose Single Close-Up
Rugosa Rose Single Close-Up | Source
Hybrid Rugosas are "doubles" having numerous, informally-formed petals.
Hybrid Rugosas are "doubles" having numerous, informally-formed petals. | Source
Rugosa Rose Bud
Rugosa Rose Bud | Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

Learn More About the Rugosa

What does a Rugosa Rose look like?

Since the rugosa rose is a shrub that readily suckers, it will produce dense thickets. It grows to an approximate height of 39”-60” inches (1-1.5 meters). The stems of the rugosa are densely covered with thorns. Because of its thick growth habit and profuse thorns, the rugosa is often used as a formal and informal barrier hedge. It has been known to reach a height of 6 feet (1.8 meters) and a width of 10 feet (3 meters).

The rugosa produces flowers March through October, but its heaviest bloom will occur with its initial bloom in the spring. Its flowers are pleasantly scented, about 2.4”-3.6” (6-9cm) across, with wrinkled petals that will be white, pink, red or lavender. Their flowers are often single (with a circle of petals around a center disk). Their flowers can also be semi-double or double.

The hips produced by the rugosa are large, approximately .8”-1.2” (2-3 cm) in diameter and profuse.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
The stem of the Rugosa rose is covered with thorns.The Rugosa Rose has more hips and more thorns than the typical garden rose.
The stem of the Rugosa rose is covered with thorns.
The stem of the Rugosa rose is covered with thorns. | Source
The Rugosa Rose has more hips and more thorns than the typical garden rose.
The Rugosa Rose has more hips and more thorns than the typical garden rose. | Source
Source

Uses of the Rugosa Rose

The rugosa rose, which has been introduced to Europe and North America, is used to beautify gardens as an ornamental plant.

The sweet clove scented flowers are used to make potpourri.


Cultivated Uses of the Rugosa Rose

The Rugosa has some distinct advantages over other roses:

  • Cold hardy
  • Pest resistant
  • Does not require grafting; grows on its own roots
  • Tolerates saltspray

Because the rugosa has significant resistance to rose rust and rose black spot, rose breeders value its characteristics and choose to use it to hybridize with other varieties of roses.

Rugosa roses are notoriously known to have stems that are profusely covered with vicious thorns. (See above) Because of this characteristic, rugosas should be planted where you will not need to be reaching into them, or accidentally backing into them.

Notice the thorns can even be profuse, although small, on the buds of the flowers. (See below)

On some cultivars, it is almost impossible to find any portion of the cane that is not completely covered with thorns.

Being native to sea shores it is tolerant of salt spray. This characteristic also makes it useful for planting along roads that require applications of salt for purposes of deicing. It is also fairly maintenance free.

The rugosa propogates fairly easy, both from hardwood and softwood cuttings. These “pencil” cuttings can be planted in the spring after danger of frost is past.


Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
It's easy to see why they are called Beach Tomatoes when looking at this picture.A Beautifully Colored HipThis picture was taken on a beach in Poland.
Source
Source
It's easy to see why they are called Beach Tomatoes when looking at this picture.
It's easy to see why they are called Beach Tomatoes when looking at this picture. | Source
A Beautifully Colored Hip
A Beautifully Colored Hip | Source
This picture was taken on a beach in Poland.
This picture was taken on a beach in Poland. | Source

What are the Planting Requirements of the Rugosa Rose?


The rugosa rose is more tolerant than the typical rose. Its growing requirements are:

  • grown in zones 3 through 9
  • prefers moist, but well-drained soil
  • prefers a slightly acidic (5.6 to 6.5 soil pH), rich organic soil
  • prefers full to partial sun



The rugosa rose is known for its extraordinarily large, bright red or orange-red fruits, known as hips. (See above) If you do not deadhead your rugosas, the hips will form and ripen in the fall and last through the winter. Related to and similar to crab apples, the hips are very high in vitamin C. They can be used to make jams, jellies and teas.

Birds relish the hips and if left on the bushes can provide them with food through the winter months. (See below)

Despite these preferences, it is very adaptable, and can be grown in poor soils composed of clay, sand, rocks and other inorganic elements. It also tolerates soils that range from acidic to alkaline. It will also tolerate drought and high humidity.

Rugosas do well with the typical rose fertilization and spraying programs. They adapt better if they are planted in the spring and are well watered during their first growing season.


Source
Rugosa Leaves and Bud
Rugosa Leaves and Bud | Source

Notice all the small buds surrounding the larger bud, above.

These two pictures clearly show the differences between the leaves of the rugosa (above) and the typical rose (below).

Rugosa in Latin means "wrinkled". This refers to the wrinkled or crinkled appearance of their leaves. The veining of the rugosa leaves is also more pronounced. The leaves are also more leathery.

Typical Rose Leaf
Typical Rose Leaf | Source

Enjoy the Health Benefits of Rose Hips with Rose Hip Tea

Problems to Look Out For

  • black spot
  • stem canker
  • borers
  • aphids
  • mites
  • Japanese beetles

Rugosas are notoriously disease resistant. rosemagazine.com reports, "Most specimens do not like to be sprayed with anything (except plain water)...do not recommend applying any pesticides or fungicide ... (or) phytotoxicity is quick to follow and the shrub will rapidly defoliate... "let Nature take its course" if pest beetles ... are a problem. To control pest beetles, applications of beneficial nematodes (Steinernema or Heterorhabditis sp.) ...."

Rugosa roses are easily naturalized and have the potential to become invasive. Therefore, caution should be used when adding it to your landscape.


Where to Plant and Not Plant Your Rugosa Rose

If you have a wide bed that you have plantings in, the Rugosa would do well along the back edge. It also makes a beautiful focal point. Planting in a smaller garden should probably be avoided altogether. A single plant can also be planted where it can lean against a building or fence. Because the canes are tall and arching, and will bend under the weight of their profuse flowers, caution should be used in planting them in areas where people will walk. Their thorns are quite profuse and very vicious.


How to Prune a Rugosa Rose

Before trimming or pruning your rugosa, you will need to decide how large you would like for it to become. If you choose to keep it small, you can cut it down practically to ground level once danger of frost has passed early in the season. If you want a large and more natural looking rugosa, you can do very little trimming removing only a small amount of old wood and suckers. To encourage newer fuller growth and to help the plant fill out, you will need to prune 3”-10” (7.6-25.4 cm) from the tops, or tips, of your bushes in the spring. Do not prune your rugosa rose bushes if expect a frost to occur within 6 weeks or the pruning.


Non-Hybrid Varieties to Consider:

  • 'F.J. Grootendorst' – filled with clusters of cranberry red flowers.
  • 'Hansa' - double, fragrant lavender to pink flowers followed by an abundance of orange hips. Recommended for first time growers.
  • 'Henry Hudson' - smaller growth habits with white flowers.
  • 'Sandy' - Created specifically for sand dune stabilization.
  • 'Terese Bugnet' – dependable heritage variety with deep red stems providing winter color.


Hybrid Varieties to Consider:

Hybrid Varieties are more disease resistant than the non-hybrid varieties; however, hybrids have less to no hips, and are less fragrant.

  • 'Blanc Double de Coubert' - semi-double to double white, fragrant flowers; 4 to 6 feet tall; blackspot and powdery mildew resistant; produces many suckers; lacks hips.
  • 'Albo-plena' - double white fragrant flowers; 4 feet tall; blackspot and powdery mildew resistant; does not produce hips.
  • 'Belle Poitevine' -- the plant has large semi-double mauve-pink flowers; very little fragrance; no hips; blackspot and powdery mildew resistant; 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall and wide.
  • Rugosa x calocarpa - large, single, purplish red flowers; 4 to 5 feet tall; produces orange-red hips with tiny spines; powdery mildew and blackspot resistant.
  • 'Frau Dagmar Hastrup' - fragrant light pink flowers; large red hips; both flowers and hips are present throughout the season; 2 to 4 feet tall; blackspot and powdery mildew resistant


The rugosa rose beginning to show its magnificent fall color.
The rugosa rose beginning to show its magnificent fall color. | Source

So, what is a Rugosa Rose?

A rugosa rose is a great addition to a garden provided there is enough room for its needs, and your safety. It is a very hardy and disease resistant rose making it ideal for the beginning gardener. The rugosa rose will add beauty to your garden year round through its flower, hips and foliage. The rugosa is a wonderful addition to a wildlife garden providing food to pollinators and birds, and habitat for many creatures.


© 2011 Cindy Murdoch

More by this Author


Comments: "What is a Rugosa Rose? Rugosa Rose Care" 35 comments

Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Nice comprehensive and informative hub with great photos illustrating the points you were making. I believe there are a lot of these roses at the Delaware shore. We've had a very mild fall and they seem to still be blooming quite profusely.

Voted up, useful and interesting.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Happyboomernurse - I am pleased that you enjoyed the hub. I don't know what growing zone you are in, but I bet it is quite possible that these are the roses that would be there. Not many roses would tolerate the saltspray. If you were to get close enough to them while they are in bloom, I bet the fragrance would be heavenly.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. And thanks for the votes.


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

Great hub HSB This is what I had in mind when I said Rock Rose... they are so beautiful and delicate. Voted up and shared.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

davenmidtown - These roses are really pretty. But it is hard to make them into a cutting flower because of the deadly thorns. Thanks for the votes and for sharing!


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

I would not think they would hold up much as a cutting flower... I wonder if they would float in a bowl?


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

I would imagine that they would. As big as they are, and as flat as they are, they would have a lot of surface area to hold themselves on the water. If the hip were too heavy, you could even cut the majority of it off before floating. But I think they will float. I have not planted them at this house yet, but we are planning to this next spring.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Wow! What a thorough hub you've created. I love the gorgeous photos. You've really done an exceptional job here!


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 5 years ago from USA

Wow, what an awesome amount of research must have gone into creating this hub! Excellent information and what beautiful and unusual roses. I'd love to hear more about your experiences with them as we have a rose bush we need to replace this year, but we haven't chosen a variety as yet. Voted up and shared via social networks.


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

These photos are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Denise - I am pleased that you enjoyed it! I love using pictures, just in case you hadn't noticed. LOL

Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave such a kind comment!


5 years ago

Excellent hub. Voted up.


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 5 years ago from New Hampshire

Here in NH we call it a sea rose, I find it growing along the coast in front of houses, like a hedge. It's a very aromatic flower and it has profuse blooms as you mentioned, I tried to grow it my back yard but there's not enough sun. I had planted it back near the woods because I didn't want it to take over my garden. lol. Great hub, lots of good information, voted up and interesting :)


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Hello, Donna! Good to see you again! We had them planted at our previous two homes, but have not done so at this home yet. I think we plan on doing that this next year.

They are really pretty, but they are very prickly. Where I planted them two houses ago, I had a particularly troublesome week that grew and spread from the roots. I eventually had to just work on keeping the week cut back lower than the roses, because there was no way to reach into them to week. They are very vicious. But they do put out a lot of hips. Rose hip tea is very healthy to drink and has lots of vitamin C.

Thanks for stopping by and for sharing. I really appreciate it when someone shares with their social networks.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland

Stunning, as always! This sounds like my kind of rose since I can't grow/keep ANYTHING I plant :)


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Hello, brittanytodd! So good to see you! I will be visiting the forum in just a little bit to see how you are doing on your 30 in 30! I am so glad you have decided to do it with me!

I am glad that you enjoyed this hub! Thanks for visiting and I'll be seeing you around!


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 5 years ago from New Hampshire

In NH we call this a sea rose, I find it growing along the coast usually in the front of houses, like a hedge, it's very aromatic but very invasive if it's planted it the right spot, as you mentioned. I tried to plant some in one of my gardens, but I planted it to close to the woods and it didn't have enough sunlight to take off, it's just as well, I didn't want it to take over my garden, I just loved the smell of the rose. Great hub, information packed! voted up and interesting :)


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Hi, eddiecarrara! I approved both of your comments as they both say something a little different. I try to respond to comments in the order that I receive them, and I generally do not approve them if I do not have time to answer them sufficiently. When people take the time to leave such great comments as you have done, I want to make sure that I acknowledge them like they deserve to be acknowledged.

You are the 2nd person that has stated that they are going along the Atlantic coast. And since they are not native to the continent, that means that they have escaped. And in that manner, they can become invasive. Its stems are so thorny that most animals would avoid it, unless they were small enough to run through and between it.

I am pleased that you enjoyed this information. I hope to be able to provide other articles that you will enjoy as well.

Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. I do love those comments!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

f - I am happy that you enjoyed the hub! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read and to comment. I really appreciate that!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Ardie, hello! Maybe you can give this one a try and break that streak. It is a nice rose if you can avoid the stems.

I am pleased that you found it to be stunning!

Always glad to see you and thanks!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

What a lovely long flowering period for this rose, stunning pictures, this is one I shall have to look out for!

Many thanks for a great hub and voted up, best wishes MM


Beth Pipe profile image

Beth Pipe 5 years ago from Cumbria, UK

Stunning pics and really interesting info. What a lovely hub to read as I'm winding down for bed. Thank you.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Hello, Movie Master! So good to see you again! I don't know what zone you are in, but these are really pretty, and they smell wonderful.

Have a great week. Thanks for stopping by!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Beth Pipe - good to see you. I am glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for stopping by!


5 years ago

Sounds almost Italian in its name. I wonder what the origin of the name is: Italian? Latin? Japanese? Korean?


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

f - I believe it is Latin, since that is the genus species name.

Great question, and thanks for stopping by!


5 years ago

I see; ty. It does sound a little like Latin and Italian. But anyway, it does lend itself easily to a highly syllabic language such as Japanese also: Ru Go Sa. (Same comment could apply to Korean, too.)


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

f - thank you!I can see what you mean about the different languages, but I do believe it is probably Latin. Since many languages are derived from Latin, they would have some of the same characteristics.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing an excellent point!


5 years ago

YW. So many of the official genus names are Latin anyway. Blessings.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

f - yes, f, they are. Thanks! Blessings to you also.


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 4 years ago from Sacramento, California

This is still a great hub HSB: I think these roses are so fragile when they bloom that it is a joy to just stand and watch them. I can see why the Emperors loved them so.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

davenmidtown - Glad to see you back again to enjoy the roses. We are getting ready to order some. Just got our first gardening catalog in the mail. So ready for spring, and it really hasn't been winter yet. Our cold months are typically January and February.

Thanks so much for stopping by.


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 4 years ago from Sacramento, California

I like the bakercreek seed company catalog... its like the JC Penny catalog when I as six and Christmas was coming.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

davenmidtown - every seed catalog and book store is like that for me. Oh and let's not forget the candy store!

I haven't heard of that catalog. I will definitely check it out!


Nare Anthony profile image

Nare Anthony 4 years ago

This is just so awesome! I had never heard of this rose :)


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Nare Anthony - This is not a rose you would use as a cut rose, but it is great for wildlife. This is one of the reasons I really love this rose!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working