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Selecting Roses For Hedges: How To Grow Hedge Roses

Selecting Roses For Hedges: How To Grow Hedge Roses


By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Hedge roses form glorious borders filled with glossy leaves,brightly colored flowers and golden orange rose hips. They are quite easy tokeep pruned and shaped without sacrificing any blooms. Growing hedge rosesprovides just the right amount of screening with ease of care beauty. Some tips on how to grow hedge roses willhelp you enjoy this low maintenance, yet spectacular plant.

Hedge Rose Varieties

There are many types of plants that make beautiful hedges.Using roses for hedges adds that extra something to the landscape. All thehedge row varieties are nicely behaved to USDA zone 2. They have no major pestproblems and many are even unpalatable to deer. Giving them a good start atplanting will start these rosesoff to best advantage and minimize future hedge rose care.

Depending how tall you want your border, there are tall andshort roses for hedges.

‘Old Blush’ is a pink species that can get 10 feet tall (3m.). A climbing variety, ‘Lady Banks’ can be used against an existing fence asa screening hedge. Smaller forms like Polyantha and China rose species grow upto 4 feet tall (1 m.).

Other good roses for hedges are ‘La Marne’ and ‘Ballerina.’Wild roses, like Meadow rose and Woods rose make excellent borders with pinkflowers and reddish foliage. For purple foliage, choose Redleaf rose. Each ofthese varieties is an easily maintained, sturdy rose that will grow into anattractive hedge.

Plant most varieties 3 feet (.91 m.) apart for a well-spacedhedge.

How to Grow Hedge Roses

Site selection is the most important ingredient tosuccessful growing hedge roses. Most prefer full sun, but a partially sunnylocation is sufficient; however, not as many blooms will be produced.

Almost any type of soil, provided it is well draining andhas a pH of 5.5 to 8.0, is perfect for hedge roses.

If plants com bare root, soak them in a bucket of water for12 hours prior to planting. Balled and burlap roses should have twine andburlap removed carefully.

Dig a hole 2 to 3 times as deep and loosen soil 5 times widerthan the root base. Place the rose so that the base of the stem is just abovethe soil. Compact soil around the roots and finish filling the hole. Water theplant in well.

Hedge Rose Care

Hedge roses are less susceptible to pests and diseases than ourcultured roses. They are often on wild rootstock which is already adapted to ahost of conditions with numerous resistance levels. The root system is deep,fibrous and spreads widely, allowing the plant to gather moisture and nutrientsfrom well beyond its visual confines.

When watering, water deeply and only water again when thesoil is dry to the touch. Although these types of roses don’t need as much careand feeding as cultivated forms, they will appreciate some balanced fertilizerin early spring. A granular time release food is ideal and will feed the roseall season.

Water from under the leaves to prevent any fungal disease.Prune when plants are dormant to open the canopy and allow light and air topenetrate the rose, promoting even more beautiful blooms.

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Series 22 | Episode 17

Whether you like them clipped and formal or rambling and informal, rose hedges are a great way to add structure to your garden. They are easy to establish and can also be used to hide any unsightly areas of your property. With the right variety, you'll have a mass of beautiful flowers for most of the year and the thorny branches can make a safe home for little creatures as well as add a bit of security to your home too.

Roses are always available bare-rooted in winter when they're smaller and slightly cheaper, however Sophie used some of last season's stock, so they were a little bit bigger and will create a bit more of an instant hedge.

Sophie's existing hedge was planted with Rosa mutabilis. It has three coloured flowers in the one plant, a beautiful peachy apricot, a lovely dark pink and pale pink. The end effect is like a cloud of butterflies hovering over the hedge.

Sophie planted a new hedge with Rosa rugosa 'Blanc Double de Coubert', an old fashioned variety of Japanese descent that also comes in a dark pink. 'Blanc Double de Coubert' are beautiful with a double white bloom and a lovely perfume, followed in autumn by magnificent large rosehips.

Rugosa roses are very hardy and tough and not affected by the normal rose pests and diseases. 'Rugosa' means wrinkled, referring to their dark wrinkled foliage.

How to plant a rose hedge

When you plant anything, soil preparation is the key. Sophie's soil hadn't been gardened in before, so she dug a trench, forked it over and added some compost and some pelletised manure. By adding more organic matter through the trench, you are increasing the water-holding capacity of the soil and that means next summer, the roses are going to be able to cope with the heat a lot better.

Space the roses 60 centimetres apart to make a nice dense hedge. They will eventually grow up to 2 metres high and form a great visual barrier. This rose tends to develop into a thicket and is used in parts of Europe along the highways.

Finally, mulch heavily - that will help to suppress the weeds until the roses get a chance to establish.

Rugosas are tough as boots. You can cut them back with hedge shears if you like, but they're often best just left alone.

Other varieties suitable for hedging

Rosa Rugosa cultivars such as 'Scabrosa', Iceberg and Rosa 'Viridiflora' or the Green Rose.

So there you have it. Rose hedges are easy to plant, simple to look after and they look great.


1. Proven Winners Store – Oso Easy Lemon Zest Landscape Yellow Rose

The bright and cheery canary yellow roses will add a sunshine vibe to any garden or landscape. Unlike other yellow rose varieties that fade into white over time, this one blooms the same throughout its lifetime. These varieties are also extremely hardy so can be grown in different types of soils. Besides, it is low maintenance and therefore no pruning is required due to its self-cleaning nature. Before shipping, the Oso Easy variety of roses are grown in Proven Winner greenhouses in the state of Michigan. At the time of shipping, plants are generally 6 months to a year old.


Oso Easy Lemon Zest Landscape Rose can be planted at different places, such as the driveway, along the fence, as a low flowering hedge, or pots. They have excellent glossy green foliage. The plant can climb a height of 2 to 3 feet and requires a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day to attain maturity. For successful blooming, grow them in hardiness zones 4 to 9. Being disease resistant, once you plant these fragrant roses, there will be little to no need to spray them with ins


Roses forum→Simplicity Hedge Rose or Floribunda?

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There are several roses with the name Simplicity. Do you mean the red hedge rose? That shrub rush also comes in several other colors. There is also a pink and a lavender floribunda as well as a white hybrid tea rose all named Simplicity.

Shrub roses as a rule tend to be bushier with a lot of small twiggy growth. They bloom a large flush in the spring and then a few blooms all over the rest of the season. Floribundas tend to be less full and bushy. They bloom in flushes with a break in between each flush of anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks depending on the variety. It depends on what affect you're looking for.

What direction does this foundation face? How much sun does it get? Is there a large overhang that would block rainfall? How wide is the bed? What is the soil like? How tall do you want them? As you can see there is a lot of information needed to give you the best rose with the best chance of success. Pictures of the area in question would be helpful.

If roses don't work, my backup plan is azalea, as we already have several and I know they grow well here. But I love roses, and I was really hoping to find something that would provide color all summer.

The only caution I have is ordering it from J and P. I have not had good success with their mail order for the past couple of orders I made a few years ago and won't order from them again. I go NO response from them regarding the half dead plant that they sent me. Too bad, as they used to be good. If you do order roses from them, say lots of prayers and keep your fingers and toes crossed that your plants arrive in good shape.

WNW means you should get ample sun for roses. They need at least 6, and preferably 8, hours of direct sun to bloom well. Otherwise they may grow but not bloom much.

No deep overhang means rain water will get to them which will help with watering. Roses need a good one inch of water per week. I have a spot where there is a recess in the wall so the overhang is very wide. That bed gets no rain and I've yet to find ANYTHING that will grow well there even though I water it like mad, lol.

3 to 4 feet wide should be fine for depth. With the slope it should give you good drainage depending on your soil.

Do some deep research about Russian sage. I understand it can be very invasive.

Also do some more research on Simplicity roses. You are in a black spot zone and my understanding is that Simplicity is very BS prone. I know there are several rose societies in the NYC area. I would recommend that you contact one near you and get advice on what does well locally. They will be very happy to help you. You can locate one near you by going to the American Rose Society web site, ARS.org. They have a page that lists all the societies by state.

J&P use to be the standard for mail order roses. However, they've been bought and sold a few times now and their quality has suffered greatly. I think you can find better sources for your roses. One I'd recommend highly would be Palatine because they are in Niagara, Ontario, fairly close to you, and grow roses that do well in the NE.

Two roses that I personally love are Julia Child, a yellow floribunda, and Home Run, a red shrub rose. They have both been very hardy, very healthy, and bloom a ton for me!

There is a data base here you can search for information and there is a great rose data base at Help Me Find (dot) com (backslash) roses. I just Google helpmefindroses and it usually comes right up. You can see pictures of the roses and learn more about them and see where they've been successfully grown and also find nurseries you can buy them at.

I actually saw a Julia Child rose recently at the New York Botanical Gardens—it was still blooming in November! So you're right, that one is probably a good option.

I will do some reading on Russian Sage. If it's just a matter of aggressive spreading it's probably ok, as the area is pretty contained by retaining walls and bedrock, and I want something that will fill in well. If the seeds will be spread by birds and cause ecological problems that's different and I will avoid. I've seen it elsewhere in the neighborhood and it seems to grow well.


Planting a Rose Hedge

There are a few things you need to do before you have a picturesque privacy hedge. Before trying to grow rose bushes, the first step is to consider what your requirements for the project are.

Think about what height you want your hedge roses to be, how much you’re willing to prune the shrubs, and the water and soil requirements. Planning ensures your landscaping project is successful and fits your lifestyle.

After planning, roughly space out the size of your hedge and how far apart the roses as hedges should be. Base your decisions on the width of your shrubs and how dense you’d like the fence. Spacing roses two to three feet apart is generally a safe distance.

Once your plans are mapped out, plant your roses. Digging a straight trench works well for bare root shrubs. Place each rose bush at the desired location, fill the trench back in, and water to gain a rose garden and rose hedge all in one.

Keep an eye on your roses after planting. Black spot is a common problem and learn about killing aphids on rose bushes to keep the bugs from destroying your flowers.

Roses with Coastal Vibes: Beach Rose (Rosa rugosa)

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You’ll often see a beach rose, or a rugosa rose, sprawling along the coasts of Rhode Island. These are a low-maintenance shrub rose with excellent cold and pest tolerance. Beach roses grow up to eight feet high and six feet wide.

Most of these trailing climbing roses are fragrant and thorny and hardy in USDA hardiness zones three through nine. Beach roses are excellent for hedges because of their ability to grow in unideal conditions like salt, shade, drought, humidity, and cold temperatures.

Place beach roses in a spot with lots of sunlight for an abundance of colorful flowers. They prefer well-draining soil and a pH of 5.6 to 6.5.

Knock Out Rose (Rosa radrazz)

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The only thing these roses are guilty of is knocking you out with beauty. These deciduous shrubs have an abundance of cherry red blossom clusters and dark green foliage and are amazing plants for your fence line or elsewhere. They are large-growing bushes that reach four to ten feet tall and wide.

Grow knock out roses in soil containing medium moisture, and that’s slightly acidic. They survive in full sun to part shade and enjoy good air circulation. Remove the spent flowers to encourage reblooming.

Dog Rose (Rosa canina)

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Dog roses are hardy and fast-growing. These shrubs have arching stems and curved thorns. Light pink flowers appear from late spring to midsummer, and they turn to glossy, red fruits that feed birds. It makes an impenetrable hedge with its prickly stems and thick foliage.

Dog roses grow up to 15 feet tall and wide, and they thrive in full sun and humus-rich soil. Apply fertilizer and mulch every year during the early spring. Keep an eye out for rose rust, powdery mildew, and aphids.

Burnet Rose (Rosa spinosissima) – Hardy Roses as Hedges

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Whether you call it the burnet rose or Scotch rose, these are the perfect roses as hedges. They have a mildly sweet scent with fern-like foliage and white flowers that transition to dark purple fruits. Burnet roses are salt, drought, and disease tolerant and work for a low hedge or groundcover plant.

Burnet roses grow four feet tall and wide. Place them in full sun or part shade to make them happy and supply them with humus-rich soil. Prune every late summer once the flowering finishes.

Redleaf Rose (Rosa glauca)

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Redleaf roses are exceptionally cold hardy and one of the most unique-looking shrubs on the list. This medium-sized shrub grows eight feet tall and seven feet wide.

They have bluish-grey foliage in the summer and burgundy and purple leaves in the fall. The stems of redleaf roses are red and are one of the nearly thornless varieties of roses. The flowers are a deep rosy-pink.

Redleaf roses grow best in full sun and fertile, well-draining soil. They tolerate light shade, which is better for foliage color, but it increases the chance of poor flowering and diseases.

Bonica 82 Rose (Rosa bonica)

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Bonica 82 roses provide visual interest with pink flowers and dark green foliage. They’re a go-to for rose gardeners. The plants are bushy, sturdy, and nearly disease-free.

The Royal Horticultural Society gave this rose the All-America Rose Award and was named the World’s Favorite Rose in 1997.

Bonica rose blooms last from late spring until the first fall frost. These gorgeous prickly bushes grow four feet tall and five feet wide, making them perfect for hedging. Grow them in full sun or part shade and fertile, moist soil.

Regularly Blooming Roses: Chinese Rose (Rosa chinensis)

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Chinese roses are a little different than your average rose. These shrubs flower periodically throughout the growing season but have smaller blooms.

The bushes are twiggy with daintier foliage compared to most varieties of roses. These work well as climbing roses but can be roses for hedges as well.

Chinese roses like having lots of sunshine and water. Mulch around the roots twice a year to fertilize the soil and keep out other competition. Pay attention to the bark to check for black spots or aphids.

Damask Rose (Rosa × damascena)

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Damask roses are powerfully fragrant and beautiful. They are used to make rose water, flavor food, and in essential oils. This rose variety traveled from the Middle East to Europe and became increasingly popular. They grow seven feet tall and have grey-green foliage.

Grow damask roses in any soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. Adding a small amount of fertilizer in the spring encourages healthy growth. Prune the roses after they finish blooming.

Musk Rose (Rosa moschata)

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The hybrid musk rose is the winner of an award of garden merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. These bushy shrubs have aromatic, creamy-pink flowers with prominent yellow stamens.

These beautiful roses for scent and utility bloom from summer to fall, have a musky smell, and work perfectly as a flowering hedge or in containers. Musk roses do well in part shade to full sun.

They love soil that is fertile, moist, and well-draining. Add a balanced fertilizer every late winter and early summer. They don’t like heavy pruning, so have a light hand when doing so.

Sweet-Briar Rose (Rosa rubiginosa) – Roses with a Surprise Scent

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Sweet-briar roses make some of the best roses as hedges. These are roses native to Europe and often naturalize themselves along roadsides and in pastures. It has lush, dark green leaves and a scent similar to apples after rainstorms.

They have long, arching, and heavily thorned stems. The best flowering and resistance to pests happen when planted in full sun and rich, moist soil.

Remove diseased leaves from sweet-briar roses as you notice them and discard dead leaves from the ground as they fall. Prune as necessary in the late winter of each year.

Apricot Drift Rose (Rosa meimirrote)

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Drift roses bloom with all their might from spring to autumn. They have soft, cup-shaped flowers the color of apricots that pop against the dark green background. These are compact bushes used explicitly for low hedges or along the edge of a bed full of taller shrubs.

Drift roses prefer to be in full sun and average soil with good drainage. Fertilize them every spring with a slow-release fertilizer and much around the plants to reduce weeds.

Floribunda Rose (Rosa floribunda)

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Floribunda roses were created when someone crossed hybrid tea roses with polyantha roses. They generate a mass of color with their large flower clusters. They are great for mixed borders, or large hedges, and are more disease-resistant than most rose shrubs.

Like many rose types, floribunda roses like the sunshine and fertile soil that is well-draining. Mulch around the plants and add fertilizer at the beginning of every growing season. Prune them as often as you see fit.

Plants for Any Support System – Prairie Climbing Rose (Rosa setigera)

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Prairie climbing roses reach heights of 15 feet tall with the right support. The flowers are pink in the middle and fade to white, and they bloom from midsummer to autumn. These climbers are also hardy in USDA zones four through eight.

Plant prairie climbing roses in full sun. They like soil with a pH range from 5.5 to 7.5 and some sand or clay. Keep the moisture level at around one inch of water per week for these easy care climbing roses.

Fairy Rose (Rosa polyantha)

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Fairy roses are one of our favorite roses as hedges. The small, double flowers bloom from June until the first frost of autumn and look like they came straight out of a mystical world. This variety is particularly suitable for low hedges, as they only reach three feet high and wide.

Grow fairy roses in fertile and moist soil. They tolerate full sun or part shade. Give them plenty of air circulation by not overcrowding them. Prevent diseases by removing fallen leaves and prune once the blooms fade.

Using roses as hedges is a creative technique that gives your property privacy and well-defined borders. It’s not as challenging to do this landscaping trick as you may think.

An individual rose bush makes a statement on its own, but a line of blooming roses transforms your property and your flowering privacy hedge into a real work of art.

Your dedication and time commitment make a strong statement for both you and how you want your home represented in the community.

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If this list of roses as hedges inspired you to plant your own privacy fence, feel free to share these flowering border plants on Facebook and Pinterest.


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