How to Prune a Rosa Rugosa


Rosa rugosa also goes by the names saltspray rose, beach tornado and rugosa rose. It's a woody shrub that grows up to 6 feet high and 6 feet wide. Unlike other rose varieties, this one requires little maintenance and will grow in less-than-ideal conditions. It does fine in shade, full sun, salty conditions and poor soil--as long as it has good drainage. The flowers open in June and range from purple, to white, pink and yellow. They are followed by tomato-like hips. While rosa rugosa tends to be a rambling-type plant, pruning it will improve its shape and health.

Step 1

Remove spent blooms periodically. Pull them off with gloved fingers or cut them with hand pruners.

Step 2

Cut off damaged, diseased or dead branches as soon as you find them or annually. Place the cut where they meet healthy branches or canes. This should be done in late winter or early spring.

Step 3

Prune old cane to encourage new flowering branches or to keep the rosa rugosa under control. Cut the cane at its base.

Step 4

Keep the rose plant smaller by pruning it every year as if it were any other bush. Cut down many of the longer, wider branches, placing the cuts in the inside of the bush's bulk.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Hand pruners


  • Rose Gardening Made Easy
Keywords: prune rosa rugosa, rosa rugosa, shrubs

About this Author

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.