Return to the Tips & Techniques Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

Posted by deejavu z7 NY (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 22, 06 at 8:37

Hi all,

I am new to this site and I have 2 Rosa rugosa bushes that have overgrown (yes, I neglected them because of an illness).

Anyway, now that I am feeling better, I started to prune these bushes, I can clip them, but I can't pick up what I have clipped off because they have too many thorns and I am already bleeding from trying to put them in a garbage bag.

One of these bushes have grown to 10 feet high!

How do professionals handle these bushes?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Denise


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

I always cut rugosas to the ground. They quickly grow new wood and flower as early as if the old wood was left on...only fuller.


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

Yes, just whack them back. Some people use power hedge trimmers.

You need leather, or at least leather-palmed, gloves to handle thorny stems. I feel your pain. Previous residents of our house planted the most Gawdawful prickly invasive boysenberries with needle-like thorns that break off in the flesh.

How come you're putting the canes in a garbage bag? Does your community have a yard waste or community composting program? Seems like a shame to put perfectly good organic material in the trash, especially since you probably have to pay to have your trash hauled off.

Kristin


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

  • Posted by lindac Iowa Z 5/4 (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 28, 06 at 14:49

Rugosas will bloom weeks earlier on old growth than on new....I sure don't cut mine to the ground.
I use long handled anvil action loppers....allows me to chop from a distance.....and I whack the long canes into 18 inch lengths to dispose of...
yep...it's a pain....but if you never let them get so overgrown again it won't be such a chore.
Ideally, you should cut out 1/3 of the canes every year....leaving some for early bloom and promoting new growth.
Linda C


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

Hi all,

Thanks so much for all your advice. Kristin, I ordered those Leather Gloves so I can handle the thorns.

No, my community doesn't have anything like that. The only way for me to dispose of the clippings is to bag them (clear bag)and put them outside in front of my house. I hope the people that pick up my bags of leaves as will as the rugosa clippings will use them as compost.

I had Lyme Disease for 10 years and I couldn't even get out of bed except to see doctors. Now that I am almost recovered, I will never let those rugosa bushes get out of hand again. I have 2 of them, one I trained in the beginning to stick to a trellis door, though that metal piece is not looking good now either.

I also should get those long handled anvil action loppers because those thorny branches stick to my clothes, my hair, you name it!!

Thanks again, so much appreciated!
Denise


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

We have about 30 rugosa varieties. We keep the canes for winter interest but at the beginning of April cut off all the above ground growth. Living or not. The new growth is easier to shape and produces more prolific blooms throughout the growing season. Instead of trying to bag up the cut canes, we burn them. We do keep a few canes to lay over emerging tender perennial so our pets won't lay on top.


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

Ha Ha! Alpiner that is such an easy (& free) solution to the pet smooshing tender plants. Thanks for the tip.

So deejavu, how do your rugosas look?

Another way to p/u prickly rose canes is to use 2 rakes. I had a couple of old rakes with broken handles and simply removed them (the handles). Works like two big 'ol hands!


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

We have himalayan "sp?" blackberries all along our lane in a rural area. We have to cut them back. I use my loppers which have a pretty good handle on them and to pick up the canes that are cut I just use a pitchfork. The thorniness makes them stick together and you can scoot the pitchfork along and pick up a huge amount in one trip. Great if you are going to burn. If I had to live in the city, I would use a chipper instead of bagging everything up. We have a goat so I just give him all of the green stuff I don't compost. Anyway..a pitchfork works great and you don't have to handle the canes that way.
All the best..
Theresa Zone 8 or 9..I'm right on the line it seems.


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

Hi all,

Thanks again for your advice! I managed to clip back most of the thorny canes, now I have to get them off the grass and over to my barbeque to burn them!

I love the idea of using 2 rakes so I don't get thorns in my hands and arms.

At least I know what to do next spring before they start growing. I would like to move one but will wait until next year when I cut cut it down to the ground and it will be manageable.

Thanks again, you guys are really great!
Denise


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

  • Posted by raskell north ontario c (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 20, 06 at 15:01

l use big kitchen tongs to pick thorny branches up from the garden, l also use them to hold the branches so that l can prune.


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

I'd get rid of Rosa rugosa all together, especially if you live in a coastal area. These plants are crowding out native coastal habitats (it is actually on the USDA list of noxious weeds), therefore, in my opinion, not worthy of my time or garden space. I prefer to grow species that will grow in harmony with surrounding species, which in turn means less manual care because they are naturally adapted to the site and not competing with surrounding species (including their caretaker!). As far as Rosa rugosa goes, there aren't many places I've seen it growing where it lends itself to being easily controlled, so why not spend your energy on less headstrong species that can actually enhance and grow with their neighbors rather than against them?


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

I tried to locate the Rosa Rugosa on the UDSA list of noxious weeds, but was unable to find it. The most current list I saw was 2006. Does "miverbena" or anyone else have a more current website reference for a list that includes the Rosa Rugosa? I've enjoyed growing them for years and have not encountered difficulty with their adaptation with other plants, but would be interested in reading the USDA's reasons for including it on the list, if it is in fact listed. Thanks!


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

I don't believe miverbena knows what she is talking about...
She's likely confusing multiflora rose with rugosa.
Linda C


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

What time of year can pruning be done to the rosa rugosas? I have them in front of my house (I love the smell coming in my windows all summer long!) however, they seem to be very "leggy". Can I prune them now?
Thanks to all in advance!


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

You can prune a rugosa any time you want!
But I wouldn't cut them back after...say August 1st because you don't want to promote new growth that won't have time to harden off before winter. Won't kill the rose...but it's better to cut it back earlier or much later after it's dormant.
Linda C


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

Thanks so much for the reply--something for me to do today!


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

This is my second summer with my rugosas and I have not pruned them at all. This summer I only had a few blooms but a ton of rosehips. Any suggestions as to if I should prune them yet this fall or wait till spring. Thanx!


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

Does this look like Rosa rugosa to you? I found this in my back yard and it looks like some type of shrubby rose to me.

Not sure how invasive Rosa rugosa is, but it has been listed as "potentially invasive" in Connecticut at the USDA website below.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Rosa rugosa Plants profile


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

That is definitely Rosa Rugosa. I love mine, but I need to look into it's invasive nature - Thanks for the link.


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

A wonderful info site to check out Rosa Rugosa: www.paghat.com Also, my community has a terrible winter road salt problem. Everyone's front lawns are dead 1-3 feet deep! My first gardens failed in that area... So I finally put in the salt tolerant Rosa Rugosa and now my border gardens thrive!


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

Where is the best place to get Rosa Rugosa Roses? Is Burpees or Burgess a good place? I am wanting to get about 100 to do my yard with.


 o
Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

I have read all the postings for the pruning question and find from whack -to- the- ground to not- at- all!! I have about 30-40 bushes planted on the shoreline on the EAst side of my house. They get morning sun. They do not seem to be happy. There are a lot of large Oak trees nearby so there are oak leaves in the rose bed. Is the soil too acid?? Several of them (7 years old) have died. WHAT DO THEY WANT???


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

I've always read that Rugosas should be pruned as little as possible. That's how I treat mine.

Oak-leaf garden mulch may be acidic when fresh, but it becomes more and more alkaline as it decomposes. It really doesn't affect pH much at all.


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

Rugosa Roses need mostly sunshine in the day. They require little else except good drainage. They don't need to be sprayed (in fact don't like to be) and you can prune them back anytime. Our Rose Society does not recommend pruning this type of rose back to the ground, but you can if you need to it won't kill the bush. They mostly grown between 4-10 ft high. Some can be used as climbers. They can have invasive offshoots if they are not taken out.
They are not like the multiflora that are very invasive and sprout up everywhere.
Rugosa can be a very good rose for people who want shrubs that bloom all the time with no extra work.Keep them in the sun and they should be fine. There are several varieties that stay about 4-5 ft tall.
I have about 15 Rugosa bushes and they make a great hedge for me. They smell is wonderful as I walk down my driveway.


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

To discourage the deer,we planted about 60 Rosa Rugosa around the outside of our secret garden. The suckers are really starting to invade the inner garden so I am pulling and cutting back in order to control the unwanted canes. I use the rake technique also in order to pack them up and transport them to the stick compost area.
I have wondered what one could do with the huge rose hips the plants produce.


 o
RE: infected rosa rugosa plants

Something is turning the leaves on my plants yellow, then brown. They have brown spots on the yellow leaves. It's early June here in Idaho and the healthy part of the plants look beautiful, but the damage is spreading quite fast. Can anyone tell me if they have had this experience and what to spray them with ?


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

Do you have to prune at a 5 leaf junction as you do for hybrids?


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

I've recently bought a house with a large rugosa blob at the bottom of the back yard just in front of forest. It doesn't bloom, so I'm told, and I want to get rid of it entirely. Can you dig those things up once you get rid of the canes? Will branch nippers take care of the bigger ones after I attack it with hedge trimmers? Do people use chain wenches to pull stuff like this out of the ground? Please help a newbie! Thanks!


 o
RE: Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses, help!

aerides-
Dig it up with a pickaxe. Just be aware that rugosas can regenerate from small pieces left in the ground, so get as much out as you can, and prepare to do so again next year if there are fragments trying to put up new canes.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Tips & Techniques Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here