White Rugosa Rose

Product Code: rwhit

Rosa rugosa
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The White Rugosa rose is a super hardy rose and are about as tough as a rose gets. They tolerate salt and urban conditions and can be safely planted in parking lot islands as well as the home landscape. The white flowers have a nice spicy fragrance and give rise to large orange-red hips. Fall color is a mix of yellows, orange and scarlet. Prune back in spring to keep smaller. Mature size is around 2-4' tall and wide. NOTE: Size #1 1/2 bare root is around 6" tall and wide.

Plants shipped with great care!

How we ship bare root plants

Planting & Care for Shrub Roses 


  • Roses may be mass-planted in beds and borders or planted alone in the garden.
  • The hardiness of roses is variable. 
  • Many tolerate extreme cold while others can be singled by frost.
  • To form stocky shots and flower bounteously, roses need full sun all day.
  • Good air circulation is important, but shelter from strong wind to avoid flower damage.
  • Rose shrubs prefer heavy but well-drained, humus-rich loamy soils.
  • You can improve light, sandy, gravelly, or chalky soils by adding large amounts of well-rotted manure or decomposed garden compost several weeks before planting.
  • Add garden lime to highly acidic soils. 

Opening Plant Material

  • Bare Root - Cut open the bundle (top and roots are tied) and separate all the plants. Soak roots in buckets of water until planted. Each plant type will be labeled separately for identification. Do not expose the roots to sun. They should never dry out. Keep roots covered. All bare-root plants must be trimmed when planted. 
  • Containers - Completely saturate all container plants by putting in a larger container of water until stops bubbling, then remove the plant from the container. 

Planting Bare Root

  • Plant Bare root in spring or fall. A good indicator if you can still plant is if the ground is still workable you’re good to go. If a hard frost is expected be sure to hold off on planting.
  • Dig a hole at least 6" wider and the same depth as the root mass. The crown or graft of the plant should be slightly higher than ground level where it was grown at the nursery.
  • Trim off the broken roots and branches.
  • Place fertilizer packets in hole (if purchased). Do not place other fertilizers in the planting hole. *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Spread the roots and fill halfway with soil, then water until soil settles completely saturating the soil and planting pit.
  • Re-adjust plant and fill the hole with the rest of the soil.
  • Back fill the balance of the soil and water well. 
  • See our link below “Handling & Planting Guidelines” for illustrations on planting.

Planting containers

  • Shrub roses can be planted March-November.
  • Dig a hole no deeper than the depth of the container and 6" or more wider on the sides.
  • Slide plant from pot by tapping on the bottom of the pot.
  • With shovel or knife trim bottom 2" off of the root ball for plants in plastic containers.
  • Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move plants by the tops.
  • Place the root ball in the hole.
  • Adjust the plant height so the root crown is slightly higher than the ground.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer
  • Back-fill the hole with soil, making sure the top of the root ball is visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Firm the soil around the plant. Water well to settle soil around the root ball.
  • Water frequently when newly planted. 

Pruning - After Planting

  • Bare Root - Prune ALL bare root plants to reduce transplant shock and ensure success. Pruning should occur either before or as soon after planting as possible. All pruning should be done with a sharp pruning shears.
  • Thin ⅓ to ½ shrub by removing large branches. Top back some branches to improve general shape. Cut the shrub back to at least ½ its original size to promote new growth from the base. See illustrations in our link below “Handling & Planting Guidelines” to help with this process.
  • Containers - Although it is not essential for container plants to be pruned after planting, a light pruning to remove any broken branches during shipment and improve shape will help the looks of your new planting.

Pruning - Through-out the Season

  • Tackle pruning in early spring before buds burst. Typically this is around March-April.
  • In fall, shorten extra-long stems on bush roses to avoid them catching the wind and loosening the stem.
  • Always cut to just above a bud.
  • Deadhead all roses weekly to channel energy into new shoots and more flowers.

Watering - After Planting

  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as oft en as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the 6 week establishment period, water once per week, unless rains occur.

Watering - Through-out the Season

  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it is dry, give it a good soaking with the hose end (no nozzle) watering the soil only, not the leaves.


Go to our "Plant Features & Video Tab" for more information on container plants and how to plant them. 

Handling & Planting Guidelines

Special Features & Videos for Rugosa Shrub Rose

Special Plant Features & Tips

  • It is very hardy, a vigorous grower and is pest free.
  • It has thick, leathery, wrinkled leaves.
  • The fragrant, pinkish-red, single flowers are borne in June and July then are followed by scarlet hips which are very colorful in the fall.
  • This rose gets to be about 2.5' if pruned back each spring.
  • Tackle pruning in early spring before buds burst. Typically this is around March-April.
  • In fall, shorten extra-long stems on bush roses to avoid them catching the wind and loosening the stem.
  • Always cut to just above a bud.
  • Deadhead all roses weekly to channel energy into new shoots and more flowers.
  • Shrub roses can be planted March-November.

What is a bare root plant and how do I plant it?


How to plant containers


How to winterize your shrub roses



Since we grow all of our nursery stock our availability changes every year.The sizes listed below are not available for every product we offer and may differ depending on time year shipped. For example, perennials will usually only be offered in a #1 container size. Since we are a northern grown nursery our product may differ in size to other plants in your area depending on time of year it ships. Our larger nursery stock like evergreens and shade trees will usually come in large B&B (balled & burlap) sizes only. 
Popular Sizes
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
#1 Container  10 8" 10" FedEx
#3 Container/Grow Bag (sizes listed are average for deciduous shrubs, perennials can be much smaller) 25 10" 15" FedEx
2' - 5' Bare Root 5 - 35 5 - 15" 2 - 5' FedEx
Containers/Grow Bags
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
#1 Container  10 8" 10" FedEx
#2 Container 15 12" 12" FedEx
#3 Container/Grow Bag 25 10" 15" FedEx
#5 Container/Grow Bag 40 14" 15-20" McKay Delivery*
#7 Container/Grow Bag 35 - 50 14 - 16" 1 - 2' McKay Delivery*
#10 Container/Grow Bag 55 - 70 18" 1 - 3' McKay Delivery*
#15 Container/Grow Bag 65 - 80 22" 2 - 3' McKay Delivery*
#20 Container/Grow Bag 100 - 160 24" 7 McKay Delivery*
#25 Container/Grow Bag 130 - 200 24 - 30" 8' McKay Delivery*
Bare Root
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
#1 & #1 1/2 Bare Root 5 5 - 8" (no soil on roots) 5 - 10" FedEx
12" Bare Root 5 - 10 5" (no soil on roots) 10 - 12" FedEx
15" Bare Root 8 - 10 10 - 12" (no soil on roots) 12 - 15" FedEx
18" Bare Root 10 - 15 10 - 15" (no soil on roots) 15 - 18" FedEx
2' Bare Root 15 12" (no soil on roots) 2' FedEx
3' Bare Root 20 15" (no soil on roots) 3' FedEx
4' Bare Root 25 18" (no soil on roots) 4' FedEx
5' Bare Root 30 20" (no soil on roots) 5' FedEx
6' Bare Root 35 22" (no soil on roots) 6' McKay Delivery*
8' Bare Root 40 22 - 24" (no soil on roots) 8' McKay Delivery*
9' Bare Root 45 24 - 30" (no soil on roots) 9' McKay Delivery*
1 3/4" caliper Bare Root 50 30" (no soil on roots) 5 - 6' McKay Delivery*
1 1/4" caliper Bare Root 55 32" (no soil on roots) 8 - 11' McKay Delivery*
1 1/2" caliper Bare Root 60 32" (no soil on roots) 10 - 12' McKay Delivery*
2 1/2" caliper Bare Root 65 32 - 35" (no soil on roots) 10 - 16' McKay Delivery*
Balled & Burlap (B&B)
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
2' tall B&B 50 12 - 16" 2'  McKay Delivery*
3' tall B&B 60 - 250 22 - 24" 4' McKay Delivery*
4' tall B&B 250 22 - 24"  5' McKay Delivery*
5' tall B&B 325 16 - 24" 5' McKay Delivery*
6' tall B&B 150 - 325 24 - 30"  6' McKay Delivery*
7' tall B&B 500 - 700 30"  7' McKay Delivery*
8' tall B&B 600 - 700 30 - 32" 8' McKay Delivery*
9' tall B&B 700 30 - 35" 9' McKay Delivery*
1 1/4" caliper B&B 250 - 700 22" - 28" 8 - 11' McKay Delivery*
1 1/2" caliper B&B 350 - 600 24" - 30"  10 - 12' McKay Delivery*
2" caliper B&B 600 - 700 28" - 32"  10 - 14' McKay Delivery*
2 1/2" caliper B&B 700 - 1,000 30" - 36" 10 - 16' McKay Delivery*
3" caliper B&B 850 - 1,200 34" - 38" 12 - 18' McKay Delivery*
3 1/2" caliper B&B 1,000 - 1,200 36"  3' McKay Delivery*

*McKay Delivery - This shipping method can only be used when your delivery address is within 60 miles of Waterloo, Wisconsin. McKay will hand delivery your nursery stock. We can delivey any size, but typically this shipping method is used for oversize items that FedEx cannot ship.

Growing Zones: 2-7

Bloom Time: June
Color: Green, White
Plant Size: 2-4' tall x 2-4' wide
Flower Color: White
Sunlight: Full Sun
Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic, Dry
Low Maintenance: Yes
Deer Resistant: No
Attracts Butterflies: Yes
Attracts Bees: Yes
Attracts Birds: Yes
Edible: Yes
Native: Yes

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