Selecting Roses For Hedges: How To Grow Hedge Roses

Rose Hedges
rose hedge
(Image credit: Ellita)

Hedge roses form glorious borders filled with glossy leaves, brightly colored flowers, and golden orange rose hips. They are quite easy to keep pruned and shaped without sacrificing any blooms. Growing hedge roses provides just the right amount of screening with ease of care beauty. Some tips on how to grow hedge roses will help 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 the hedge row varieties are nicely behaved to USDA zone 2. They have no major pest problems and many are even unpalatable to deer. Giving them a good start at planting will start these roses off to best advantage and minimize future hedge rose care.

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

‘Old Blush’ is a pink species that can get 10 feet tall (3 m.). A climbing variety, ‘Lady Banks’ can be used against an existing fence as a screening hedge. Smaller forms like Polyantha and China rose species grow up to 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 pink flowers and reddish foliage. For purple foliage, choose Redleaf rose. Each of these varieties is an easily maintained, sturdy rose that will grow into an attractive hedge.

Plant most varieties 3 feet (1 m.) apart for a well-spaced hedge.

How to Grow Hedge Roses

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

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

If plants come bare root, soak them in a bucket of water for 12 hours prior to planting. Balled and burlap roses should have twine and burlap removed carefully.

Dig a hole two to three times as deep and loosen soil five times wider than the root base. Place the rose so that the base of the stem is just above the soil. Compact soil around the roots and finish filling the hole. Water the plant in well.

Hedge Rose Care

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

When watering, water deeply and only water again when the soil is dry to the touch. Although these types of roses don't need as much care and feeding as cultivated forms, they will appreciate some balanced fertilizer in early spring. A granular time release food is ideal and will feed the rose all 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 to penetrate the rose, promoting even more beautiful blooms.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.