Rugosa Rose was introduced to the United States long ago from the Orient, where it is native to Japan, Korea, and China. It has long since escaped from cultivation, although new hybrid roses with Rugosa Rose as a parent continue to be developed.
Rugosa Rose has three tremendous advantages over other roses: it is very cold hardy, it grows on its own roots, and it is very tolerant of salt spray. Its flowers may be single or double, and occur in various shades of white, pink, rose, lavender, and purple.
Its fruits called "hips" are large and showy, and are sometimes not deadheaded when in cultivation, but rather left on the shrub for added ornamental appeal from late summer through early winter. The arching, suckering growth habit is often vigorous, and this rose may be used as a formal (sheared) or informal (unpruned) barrier hedge.
Mature individual specimens may reach 6 feet high and 10 feet wide, although it is often planted as a group, row, or mass planting. As a member of the Rose Family, it is related to a number of fruit trees, brambles, and ornamentals, in addition to the multitude of Roses that exist.
Planting Requirements - Rugosa Rose prefers moist, well-drained, organic soils of slightly acidic pH, but is extremely adaptable to poor soils composed of sand, clay, rocks, and other non-organic components, of acidic, neutral, or alkaline pH. It does not like wet soils, and it thrives under salt spray and other polluted conditions. It can grow in zones 2 to 7, in full sun to partial sun.
Potential Problems - Like all Roses, Rugosa Rose can suffer from a number of diseases including black spot, stem canker, and viruses and pests including borers, aphids, mites, and especially Japanese Beetle. Regular fertilization and spraying programs for other roses will suffice for Rugosa Rose as well.