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Catalog: Rugosa Roses
For those who want roses that are
fragrant, vigorous, winter hardy, disease tolerant and bloom repeatedly
throughout the summer, Rugosas are a sure bet. We have lots more
to say about Rugosas, so please scroll down to read. Or, go directly
to the varieties available. Plants are shipped bareroot
(no soil or pot) and dormant (no foliage) from early April to mid
Roses need sun (at least 6 hours daily); well-drained, fertile
soil; and consistent and adequate soil moisture to thrive and produce
the most blossoms.
Learn more about growing roses:
More About Rugosas
In addition to their recurrent blooms, most Rugosas also set lots
of rose hips in late summer that remain on the plant until spring.
Rose hips are the fruit of the rose and are often very colorful
and large -- some the size of crabapples! They are high in Vitamin
C and can be made into jams and jellies. Check out our recipes
for rose hips.
Rugosa roses have incredibly healthy foliage, which can also show
fall colors in hues from yellow to burgundy. Rugosa roses are very
versatile in the landscape and can be grown alone as individual
plants, or placed in your perennial borders. They also make great
hedges and can be easily pruned to shape the hedge.
As a group, Hybrid Rugosas have a mixed parentage, which results
in a wide variety of flowering and growing characteristics.
Generally, Hybrid Rugosas can be distinguished from other roses
by their deeply veined, thick leaves. These leaves are very tolerant
of diseases, and generally are not affected by blackspot or powdery
mildew. If you do see these on Rugosas, be sure to note that they
do not like to be sprayed with harsh chemicals. Always check whether
or not your rose can handle the chemical by spraying just a few
leaves first before you spray the entire plant.
One of the most important thing to know about Rugosa roses is,
in our experience, they can't tolerate liquid chemical fertilizers.
Rugosas will often drop all their leaves (defoliate) if you spray
or feed them with liquid chemical fertilizers, like Miracle Gro.
We get lots of calls from people who tell us that their Rugosa's
leaves turned yellow and then fell off. Our first question always
is, "Did you give them a liquid chemical fertilizer?" The answer
so far has always been "yes." Then we tell them not to ever do that
again, and that their rose will recover. Even with organic liquid
fertilizers, Rugosas can be sensitive to a sudden dose of nitrogen,
especially when applied to dry soil. So, always, always make sure
you apply liquid fertilizers to wet soil, not dry soil. Water first,
then fertilize. This is a good thing to practice for all plants
-- water first, then fertilize.
Other than their sensitivity to chemical fertilizers, Rugosas
are really tough roses. They have the best winter hardiness, next
to species roses that are indigenous to cold climates. Most are
very winter hardy, suffering no cane dieback even to -40 below!
However, there are always a few exceptions. Some can handle -50
degrees, and others will have dieback at only -20 degrees.
Rugosa roses are very drought and salt tolerant. This is because
Rugosas evolved along ocean shorelines where they were exposed to
sandy, dry soil and salt spray. This tolerance is great for those
who want to place a hedge of roses next to a road that gets salted
in the winter.
Rugosas will generally send out suckers and slowly expand their
range. You can dig these up and replant them in your garden or give
them away to friends.
What's a "bareroot" plant?
is a term that describes how a plant is shipped to you. A bareroot
plant is not in a pot, and is usually dormant (not actively growing).
See the photo to the right that shows what a bareroot plant looks
like. The bareroot plants that we ship to you were harvested in
the fall and placed in cold storage over the winter to keep them
dormant. In the spring, we ship the bareroot plants to our customers,
from early April through mid May.
Bareroot plants are easy to grow. We include planting instructions
with your order. When you receive your plant, take it out of the
packing material and place it in a bucket of water so that the roots
are completely covered. Let the roots soak for 4 to 24 hours, then
plant it in your garden. Full planting instructions with photos
are available on our Planting