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Rosa rugosa in tough conditions.

PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

Roses don't like my garden: it is prone to waterlogging all winter, dry in summer and lies in a terrible Blackspot region. But the basic rosa rugosa roses do very well, flower for months, have fabulous scent and even lots of hips. They don't suffer from blackspot or rust, they tolerate the wet ground and I cut them down to the ground each year so early growth is not damaged by cold wind in Spring.

I notice that there are a number of attractive hybrids but I wonder if they are just as tough. Does anyone grow them or know how susceptible they are compared to their less refined relatives?


  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,644
    Yes they are all tough roses.. which ones did you have in mind?   I could recommend to you 'Roseraie de l'Hay' for its scent and bloom performance [no hips]… or  you might want to look at an English rose called 'Wild Edric', which is strongly scented, healthy, and repeats all summer... it has Canadian heritage so very hardy...

    Rugosa roses do not need spraying and they should never be sprayed as it causes an adverse reaction in them... 
    East Anglia, England
  • GartenerGartener Posts: 99
    Roses are tough plants but Rugosa is toughest of em all 🙂

    i got some cheapbare root rugosa roses from a hedge supplier last year and just stuck them in the soul (without any prep). I thought they probably wont survive but now in spring all are sprouting.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,021
    I took hips from a rosa rugosa hedge in a car park in Wavre, Belgium some years ago.  Sowed the seeds in a small window box which I left out all winter and got a very good crop of babies which I grew on to plant as a hedge between my veggie plot and the arable field behind.   

    The soil was deep, fertile, alkaline loam on a clay subsoil and in the first couple of years they grew and performed well but then they started dying off because of exposure to strong prevailing winds and, possibly, occasional chemicals form the farmer.  They also suckered like mad so I ended up ripping them all out and building a fence form posts recycled from my daughters climbing and swing frame with builders' rusty iron mesh between.   Grew blackberries and tayberries up the wire mesh and some pumpkins with black and redcurrants in the bed in front.  Much better and prettier and productive too., 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    My roses were all grown from seed picked up in the lane. When I first came here I spent a lot of money (for me ) on roses and they arrived vigorous, healthy and ready for a long life so it was pretty miserable watching them fail and die. There are no healthy roses in this area except rugosas and they thrive.

     I don't have a particular rose in mind, I was just window shopping on the David Austen site. You can't beat healthy roses for beauty - look at Malorena's garden - but I can't do that here. I'm hoping some of the hybrids might be an attractive substitute. 

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,339
    Agree Roseraie de l’Hay is a tough garden rose. I have 3 plants dotted around the garden. Left to their own devices they would be over 7’ tall (I prune them to about 5’), no disease, lots of blooms in June and then repeat more sparingly throughout the rest of the summer till late Sept. The colour is very much to my taste and contrasts well with mid blue plants. On a warm, still summer’s evening the air is full of their delicious scent.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    That does sound like a contender. What about some of the white ones such as Blanc Double de Coubert or Snowdon? There's a yellow - Agnes. Thanks for all the advice!
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    I have the rugosa here, never planted it so a present from the birds I expect.  It comes up everywhere, I cut it right down to the ground late winter and it comes up again in no time. 
    It grows on a bank of stones with a bit of subsoil, they seem to grow on nothing substantial. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,644
    @Posy … thank you, that's kind... I wonder why there's a problem with roses in your area, but here are some more rugosas that I can recommend if you want to seek them out... look for Rosa rugosa 'Rubra', this is a darker form of the usual type.. I grew this with the white 'Alba' and they look good together.. 
    'Scabrosa'.. if you can find this one, you will be rewarded with the largest hips from this group..
    'Rosemoor'... this does not look like a rugosa, but you can tell from its foliage which is of a rugose type... it's a David Austin hybrid rugosa, and has the advantage of being almost thornless, which is unusual for roses of this kind..

    I don't know 'Snowdon' I haven't grown it... I grew 'Blanc Double de Coubert' a long time ago and I remember it was highly scented.. but I preferred the plain rugosas at the time..

    'Rosemoor'... sometimes the blooms can be rather muddled, but it's cute...

    East Anglia, England
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Thank you, Marlorenor, that's lovely. Roses have a tough time here for lots of reasons: the soil is a wet, lifeless clay, slightly alkaline, which dries out in summer. In my garden, water flows from land above so in many parts the roots stand in water for months. They seem unable to take up nutrients, too. Leaves are small and scant. I found that adding sulphur round the base of the few I have made a real difference and helped with black spot. I have a William Lobb that does well but all the modern roses get severe blackspot and just seem overwhelmed by their troubles, poor things.
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,644
    Such a shame, I had no idea...  few roses would relish those conditions I'm afraid...  you're lucky to have William Lobb.. I always wanted that one... 
    East Anglia, England
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