Butterflies, birds and pollinators love the wonderful heirloom and Rugosa roses that produce rose hips for winter. These beautiful plants require no special care, but add so much to a naturalistic garden landscape.
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 rose or sea tomato, salts spray rose, and sea rose.
Rugosa rose shrubs are widely used in landscaping because they are tough and trouble-free. Beach roses are salt-tolerant so they are good to use alongside roads where deicing is regularly used. These sea roses have great cold tolerance and are virtually pest-free.
Numerous rugosa cultivars are available with many flower colors - including pink, red, purple, and yellow sea roses - and also single and double flowering cultivars. Many of these plants have flowers that are fragrant and they produce very colorful "rose hips." These can be used in heritage cooking to make Vitamin C-rich jellies, jams and more.
Rugosa roses prefer rich, well-drained soil with a pH level 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 beach roses 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. They make incredible living fences, as well.