How to Take Care of Wild Rose Bushes


Wild rose, known botanically as Rosa woodsii, is a late spring and summer flowering shrub native to prairies, woods and riparian lands in cool regions of the United States, according to Utah State University. As a wild shrub, it adapts to a fairly wide range of conditions and can regenerate itself each year from its large underground rhizomes when killed off by winter frosts. Wild rose is a relatively low-maintenance plant in the garden and does not require the consistent attention that cultivated roses do.

Step 1

Provide a full-sun to partial-shade exposure and fertile soil that drains easily. Boost soil fertility by natural means with annual top dressings of compost and aged livestock manure if the planting soil is of poor quality.

Step 2

Water wild rose bushes to keep the soil evenly moist but not soaking wet, when rainfall is not plentiful.

Step 3

Control the shape and sprawl of the shrub by pruning in the early spring to reduce the number and length of branching canes and to remove dead wood. Late summer or fall pruning is acceptable if you do not care to provide area birds and wildlife with sustenance from the rose hips that form in the late summer and early fall and remain in place through the winter months.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Aged manure
  • Water
  • Garden gloves
  • Pruning shears


  • Utah State Univerosity: Wild Rose - Rosa woodsii
Keywords: wild rose shrubs, wild rose care, pruning wild rose

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An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.