Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’

Family: Rosaceae

Countries: Asia, China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea

Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ is the white flowered form of Rosa rugosa.

I adore roses.  I grow Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ in my own garden.  My garden is very small, which limits the number of plants I can grow; accordingly, every plant in my garden really does have to earn their place and is constantly under review!  I’ve included Rosa rugosa ‘Alba in my personal little oasis because this is a tough and resilient, naturally healthy rose that produces gorgeous flowers with pollen that’s accessible to bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other insects.  I love Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ flowers with their exquisite ivory coloured, tissue papered petals, but I am also especially fond of this rose’s handsome leaves. This rose’s foliage is thick and textured; it’s a lovely dark green colour and is very disease resistant.

I often hear Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ described a very strongly perfumed rose; however in my experience, my Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ rose (and the various Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ plants I’ve encountered in other gardens) produces stunning flowers that are delightfully scented, but these roses could only be described as having a medium strength scent.  Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ flowers’ fragrance is deliciously rosy; it’s calming and comforting.

Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ is a repeat flowering rose that blooms intermittently from the end of May through until October, (late spring to mid autumn, in the UK).  Providing you leave the flowers to fade on the plant, they’ll develop into large swollen, bright-red hips that have rather a polished appearance and look exceedingly handsome throughout the autumn and winter months.  Rose hips are a food source for birds in winter time.

Plant Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ in a bright and sunny spot if you can.  My Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ rose is planted in the shade; it’s growing well enough but this plant would produce more flowers if it was grown in a lighter and brighter, more favourable position.

My garden soil is very sandy and free-draining.  To help my plants and improve my soil, I mulch around my roses using peat-free compost, twice a year.  Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ thrives in any moist but well-drained soil.  However, this rose is not a good choice if you’re looking for a container plant, please see my other rose information pages for container roses or container plants.

I’m growing Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ in a mixed border alongside bulbs and herbaceous perennials, but this rose also forms a nice bushy, spiny hedge, which would compliment informal gardens very nicely.

Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ grows up to around 150cm (5ft) tall; forming a spreading plant that reaches around 150cm (5ft) wide.

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