Because of its tolerance for salt and sand, this rose has been planted along ocean shores to help stabilize beaches/control beach erosion.
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Rosa rugosa is native to northern China, Korea and Japan. It is a bristly, prickly, sprawling, suckering shrub rose that typically grows in a rounded form to 4-6' tall and as wide. Unless restrained, it will over time spread by suckers to form dense thickets. Stems are covered with abundant sharp thorns, making this an excellent impenetrable hedge. Ability to thrive in sandy seashore habitats combined with tomato-shaped hips led to the additional common names of beach tomato and sea tomato for this shrub.
|Mature Height:||4 to 6 feet|
|Mature Width:||4 to 6 feet|
|Classification:||Broad Leaved deciduous shrub rose|
|Sunlight:||Full Sun for best blooms|
|Habit:||Upright, rounded, densely branched|
|Foliage:||Dark Green,red new growth|
|Flower Color:||Pink to Red|
|Pruning Season:||Prune in late winter|
|Soil Condition:||Any well drained soil|
|Water Requirements:||Water well until established.|
|Uses:||Extremely attractive when used as a focal point in the mixed border, mass planting, or a specimen planting.|
We suggest when planting your newly purchased Rugosa Rose plants that you dig a hole twice as wide as the root system but not deeper. Depending on the quality of your existing soil you may need to add a locally sourced compost or topsoil to the back-fill soil. We do not recommend using straight topsoil or compost as a back-fill soil because more times than not these products will retain entirely to much moisture and will cause the root system to rot. Adding compost or topsoil will help the young feeder roots of Rugosa Rose to spread through the loose, nutrient rich soil, much easier than if you used solely the existing soil which more times than not will be hard and compacted. The most common cause of plant death after transplanting is planting the new plant to deep. That is why we do not recommend planting in a hole any deeper than the soil line of the plant in the pot. A good rule is that you should still be able to see the soil the plant was grown in after back-filling the hole. Bio-tone starter fertilizer is a great starter fertilizer that provides plants with mycorrhizae fungus. It is a naturally occurring beneficial fungus that colonizes on the new growing roots of plants. It creates a barrier between the roots of the plant and fungus and pathogens that can cause root rot. We love this product and use it on all plants we install in our own gardens. Bio-tone is a gardeners best friend and can help guarantee your success.
How do I water Rugosa Rose?
After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the Rugosa Rose a good deep watering. This is not to be rushed. Most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5 a three gallon pot would be 15 and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks. You’ll want to water the bushes regularly after planting until they’ve been well established. We like to tell folks that when watering Roses its best not to water the foliage of the plant. Water at the base of the plant near the soil line only. Gator bag Jr. can be used to help aid in this process and also provide plants with a good soaking due to the slow release of the water into the root-zone of the plant. Soaker Hoses can also be used to water when planting a long hedge.
How do I fertilize Rugosa Rose?
Shrub roses such as Rugosa Rose grow best if they are fertilized once or twice in the summer. You should fertilize your roses monthly from springtime to fall. Roses like nutrient rich soil and ample fertilization. Try using some Epson salt as well. This will help boost the levels of magnesium in the soil which promotes increased flower production Apply an early spring fertilizer with a product such as Espoma Tree-tone or Plant-tone at the recommended rate this will give the plant a boost of nitrogen that will be needed for healthy abundant foliage. Follow this up with a early summer application of Espoma Rose-Tone, this will provide the necessary nutrients and raise the acid level in the soil which spirea favor. Espoma products are easy to use, just sprinkle around the base of the plant and water it in. Be careful with products such as miracle-grow as these products can burn newly planted plants when not used at the recommended rates. Slow-release fertilizer can help prevent rapid sucker growth that is vulnerable to diseases and insects. Either chemical fertilizers or organic matter can be used successfully. Since an organic method of applying manure and/or compost around the roots, produces excellent results and also improves the condition of the soil, this would be an excellent first line of attack. Organic additions to the soil can also be combined with a shot of chemical fertilizer for maximum effect. If chemical fertilizers are used on your Rugosa Rose, applying a slow-release, balanced fertilizer once a year is probably the simplest solution. There are many slow-release fertilizers on the market. If you can find a fertilizer formulated for shrubs and trees, this fertilizer would work well on Rugosa Rose. However, slow-release is certainly not the only way to fertilize roses such as Rugosa Rose although truth be told I feel its the best. A less expensive fast release fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 will work just as well if applied twice during the summer. If you are looking for a fertilizing routine tailored to your specific conditions, a soil sample should be taken and the fertilizer and trace elements matched to the needs of your soil. Don't fertilize Rugosa Rose after August. Fall is the time for roses to begin preparing for dormancy. Fertilizing at this time may stimulate new growth that will be too tender to withstand the winter. In the South, a late summer into September application would be about right. More northern areas may wish to stop fertilizing in late August. The amount of chemical fertilizer used per plant will vary with the size of the plant and it's root system. Over-fertilization can be much more detrimental than under-fertilization. "Fertilizer burn" can occur when too much fertilizer is applied, resulting in a drying out of the roots and damage or even death of the rose.It is much, much better to err on the side of too little fertilizer than too much. When roots are burned, the first sign is often scorched looking leaves. If over-fertilization is severe, the plant may just wilt and die. Rugosa Rose is very easy to grow however it may be helpful to know that a very small plant which is planted in the ground will take about 1/8 - 1/4 cup of espoma organic rose-tone fertilizer. When fertilizing roses in containers, be careful to apply a fertilizer that will not burn the roots (such as a slow release or a liquid fertilizer). A very large shrub rose in the ground will take 2 - 3 cups spread around the drip line of the branches (not next to the trunk). This is a very loose estimate, so please read the directions on the fertilizer before applying it. If a liquid fertilizer is used for Rugosa Rose, it should be applied every month for both plants in pots and in the ground. Never fertilize a plant with a chemical fertilizer if the plant looks sick or wilted. If a plant is struggling due to a disease or root problems, the fertilizer will only add stress to it's life. Try to cure the problem before adding fertilizer. For a totally organic approach, many gardeners use commercial manure on the soil around roses such as Rugosa Rose. Excellent results have been reported by visitors to this site after using composted manure. Commercial manure or compost can be applied yearly around the base of the rose. As with chemical fertilizers, do not apply it right next to the trunk or stems emerging from the ground. When looking at most fertilizers, they are described by three numbers on the bag. An example would be 10-10-10 or 12-4-8. The first of these three numbers refers to Nitrogen, which is the primary element necessary for good, balanced growth within the rose. Plants that are deficient in Nitrogen are usually not growing vigorously, and sometimes exhibit pale colored foliage. Not all Nitrogen deficiencies result in stunted growth. Sometimes, the growth is taller and longer with less than desirable branching when Nitrogen is deficient. The second number in the fertilizer equation is representative of Phosphorus. A deficiency of Phosphorus may affect the energy transfer in the plant, and result in stunted growth as well. Also, plants with insufficient amounts of Phosphorus may have poorer root systems. Potassium is the element represented by the third number on the fertilizer bag. Plants that are deficient in Potassium, are usually growing more slowly than normal, have fewer flowers and seed, and are more susceptible to disease than plants with adequate levels of Potassium. Although the three elements just mentioned are the major elements necessary for good plant performance, there some minor elements that are just as important in consideration of rose nutrition. Minor elements that are not included in the three numbers listing on the front of fertilizer bags are very important considerations when choosing your hydrangea fertilizer. Elements such as Magnesium, Sulfur, Calcium, Iron, Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Boron, and Molybdenum play very important roles in providing roses with adequate nutrition. Many times, less expensive fertilizers are sold that contain only the major elements needed, but not the minor elements. Always be sure to look on the fertilizer label on the back of the bag to see exactly what is included in the fertilizer. In choosing the basic type of fertilizer for your Rugosa Rose, it is important to determine what you need your roses to do. If your plants are well established, and you are not concerned about more growth, choose a fertilizer that has a smaller first number, and a larger second and third number. When you have selected your fertilizer and are ready to apply it, be sure to rake your mulch back to the drip line of each plant. Apply the fertilizer according to the label directions immediately on top of the soil, and be sure to water the plant thoroughly after the application. You can then rake the mulch back around the base of the roses. Although it is tempting to spend less time by not raking the mulch back during fertilization, the results will be less than desirable, if the fertilizer is applied on top of the mulch. Proper fertilization of your Rugosa Rose will lead to healthier and more disease resistant plants, as well as provide you with many more enjoyable blooms. Always, read the label on your fertilizer bag, and follow the instructions.
How do I mulch Rugosa Rose?
We highly recommend that you mulch your Rugosa Rose with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away which will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or trunk of the plant.
How do I prune Rugosa Rose?
Rugosa Rose is rose that should be pruned in the very late winter to encourage new fuller growth in the spring. In general gardening terms, pruning is probably the most misunderstood gardening chore, and certainly, the chore that is most likely neglected. When we specifically look at pruning with regards to roses, this misunderstanding and negligence can be magnified. Pruning has been described as a “combination of art and science.” I personally find pruning to be one of the most relaxing yet rewarding chores in the garden. Pruning a specific plant to look a specific way, involves art in creating a unique definition for a specific plant, and it involves science in understanding the physical growing habits of the plant to be pruned. The most important reason for pruning roses is to improve the overall health of the plant which in turn will reward you with a plethora of blooms. Many times, Roses that have not been pruned in a few years will develop dead or degenerative twigs. Removing the dead and dying limbs will minimize the possibility of diseases such as “dieback” and will also allow the plant to re-concentrate its energies and produce many more flowers. Another reason for pruning roses such as Rugosa Rose is to re-define the plant’s definition within the landscape. Many times, a plant may outgrow its intended size in the landscape, and must be pruned to re-define its purpose. Pruning should always be associated with re-invigorating a plant by allowing it to focus its energies on producing more vigorous branches, foliage, and flowers. Specific plant objectives require specific pruning techniques. If a rose is being trained as a hedge which Rugosa Roses can certainly be, it would need to be pruned differently than if it were being grown as a shrub form. Screenings and hedges of roses would need to be pruned for their specific purpose within the landscape.It is also important to understand the specific growing characteristic of a certain roses when pruning that particular plant. When pruning established roses where no labeling is present on a variety to identify it, you need to look at the general growth patterns of the plant to be pruned. These observations should give you a good idea of how the plant tends to grow, and also how and when you should prune the plant. When pruning large roses, pruning can be a general shaping or shearing of the plants or it can be a severe pruning that significantly reduces the size of the plant, this is an example of pruning roses to increase vigor and flower set. Many times, gardeners inherit a wealth of roses in their gardens when they purchase a previously owned residence. Although these roses may have been lovingly cared for by the previous owner, it may be necessary to severely prune these plants to restore vigor or to create a different definition in the landscape for the new owner of the property. If severe, pruning is necessary, it must be realized that the plant will shift its focus in the short-run from setting flower buds to growing vigorously, and it is very likely that the roses will have few if any bloom buds during the season following the major pruning. During the second season following the severe pruning, the rose should resume normal bud setting, and the plant should have healthier blooms because of the increased vigor in the plant. It is important to always use sharp tools when pruning roses or any plant for that matter. Knives, hand cutters, saws, and shears should be sharpened if necessary before pruning any roses. A sharp cut will heal quicker than a jagged cut, which will also minimize the likelihood of disease investing a cut during pruning. It is generally recommended to not use power equipment such as gas hedgers to prune roses or any plant in my opinion. Pruning large roses may be minor or major. Its general purpose is to maintain or restore vigor to the plant. Large roses that have been severely pruned have the advantage of a large root system that has excessive capacity, and its roots are capable of supplying all of its energies to a smaller number of branches and foliage. This enables the plant to increase its vigor, and become healthier. Pruning large roses that are well established will enable the plant to have continued vigor, and lead to many more years of supplying beauty to the landscape.