The rugosa rose originated in eastern Asia, China, Japan, and Korea and are widely used as an ornamental plant. Common names that have been used to identify the rugosa rose are beach or sea tomato, salts spray rose, and beach rose.
Rugosa rose shrubs are widely used in landscaping because they are tough and trouble free. This plant is salt tolerant so it is useful alongside roads where deicing is regularly used. These roses have great cold tolerance and virtually pest free.
Numerous cultivars are available with many flower colors and also single and double flowering cultivars. Many of these plants flowers are fragrant and they produce very colorful “rose hips.” Most are heavily laden with thorns. Rugosa roses prefer rich, well-drained soil with a pH levels around 5.6 to 6.5. But, these roses are very forgiving and can tolerate poor soil, heavy clays and take lots of abuse!
Rugosa roses can be pruned based on how large you want the shrubs to be. You can prune to almost ground level in the spring if you wish to keep them small. If you want them large, just prune off old wood and the suckers. To keep a natural, full shrub, prune 3 to 10 inches off of the branch tips in the spring.
The heavily thorned branches give this rose species some fairly good deer tolerance.