Rosa rugosa is native from Japan to coastal Siberia, but they’ve been cultivated and naturalized in many parts of the world. The rugosa and its hybrids have received renewed attention in recent years, particularly among folks who’ve hoped this disease-resistant rose might be the alternative to spraying bushes with fungicides.
There are good reasons why people love them:
– Unparalleled hardiness
– Rich, green foliage
– Disease resistance
– Amazing perfume
– Growth in limited light
Given all that, why isn’t everyone, everywhere, growing rugosas all the time? Because for all their virtues, rugosas have limitations:
– Smallish, often simple flowers
– Short stems
– A limited color palette
– Limited repeat
– Big bushes, lots of thorns
– Weedy growth habit
Rugosas like pretty much what all roses like: well-drained soil, a good nutrient and pH balance, and plenty of sun. But they’ll survive and even do quite well with less, which is why the rugosa is as good a rose for the chemical-free, organics-only garden as you’re going to find.
Excerpted with permission from American Rose Society.
|Rosa Rugosa Alba