The Complete Guide for Pink Rugosa Rose (Rosa Rugosa) Care

The Pink Rugosa Rose, otherwise known as the Rosa Rugosa or Rugosa Rose, Japanese Rose, Ramanas Rose, Wild Roses, Shrub Roses, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its average maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, taking care of your Pink Rugosa Rose is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Pink Rugosa Rose Care Guide. Now let’s get started.

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Pink Rugosa Rose can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Pink Rugosa Rose needs water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil.
  • Light: Keep your Rosa Rugosa in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Pink Rugosa Rose in soil with moist but well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Pink Rugosa Rose is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Pink Rugosa Rose belongs to the Rosaceae family, the genus Rosa and the species Rugosa, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Rosa Rugosa (ROH-zuh rew-GOH-suh).

Other popular Rosaceae plants include species like Common Laurel, Ozark Premier Japanese Plum, Alpine Alyssum, Red Chokeberry ‘Brilliantissima’, Badja Peak Mint Bush, Cosmos Atrosanguineus, Berri-Magic® Japanese Skimmia, Yellow Raspberries, Aronia Arbutifolia ‘Brilliantissima’, Cecile Brunner Climbing Rose, Frosty® Potentilla, Strawberry ‘Berried Treasure Pink’, Prunus Serrulata ‘Kwanzan’, Malus X Domestica ‘Red Delicious’, Prunus X ‘Snofozam’, Yellow Banksian Rose, Breath of Spring Spirea, Callery Pear ‘Bradford’, Potentilla Fruticosa ‘Hachapp’, Malus ‘Yellow Delicious’, Lilla Smoke Bush, Malus ‘Braeburn’, Malus Domestica, Cercis Canadensis Var. Texensis ‘Oklahoma’, Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’, Potentilla Fruticosa ‘Gold Star’, Burbank Japanese Plum, Thundercloud Myrobalan plum, Prunus Persica Var. Nucipersica ‘Snow Queen’, Rhododendron Yakushimanum ‘Crete’, Rosa ‘Golden Showers’, Rosa X ‘Joseph’S Coat’, Large-Flowered Climber, Bridal Wreath Spirea ‘Pink Ice’, Alchemilla Mollis ‘Thriller’, Prunus Subhirtella ‘Pendula’, First Snow Spirea and Fuji Apple.

As with other Rosa’s, the Pink Rugosa Rose is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The Pink Rugosa Rose is a plant native to the Russian Far East, China and Japan.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Pink Rugosa Rose is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Rosa Rugosa will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 2a, 2b, 3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Pink Rugosa Rose is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, how big does the Pink Rugosa Rose actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Rosa Rugosa can grow up to 4′ – 6′ (120cm – 180cm) in 4′ – 6′ (120cm – 180cm) and 4′ – 6′ (120cm – 180cm) in 4′ – 6′ (120cm – 180cm). 

These dimensions make the Pink Rugosa Rose a relatively large shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful spreading shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 48″ – 72″ (120cm – 180cm) free so the Pink Rugosa Rose can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Pink Rugosa Rose is a fairly complicated plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Rosa Rugosa needs water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Pink Rugosa Rose in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, and moist properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Pink Rugosa Rose then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Pink Rugosa Rose needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Pink Rugosa Rose prefers to have soil with good drainage, and moist properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Pink Rugosa Rose requires soil with high organic matter, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Pink Rugosa Rose requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Rosa Rugosa in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being a deciduous plant, the Pink Rugosa Rose will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.


You can expect your Pink Rugosa Rose to flower around the spring and in the summer months from April to June (spring), and from July to September (summer).

In particular, this shrub is well known for its repeat flowering, flowers for cutting fragrant, and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Pink Rugosa Rose produces some beautiful pink, yellow and white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Pink Rugosa Rose have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a compound (pinnately, bipinnately, palmately) arrangement with a alternate organization in its leaves.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Pink Rugosa Rose is well known for being able to attract butterflies and birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for salt, clay soil and drought conditions, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Rosa Rugosa will be fine.


How should you then organize your garden to include your new Pink Rugosa Rose? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.

Most Rosa Rugosa owners agree that this shrub will look great in most cottage, contemporary and rustic gardens of all types. Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, coastal garden, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Pink Rugosa Rose’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, banks and slopes, and in hedges and screens, others use it for landscaping in a hedge, green roof, firescaping/fire wise, cutting garden, coastal exposure, border, barrier, or a mass planting.

Companion Plants

Pink Rugosa Rose’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Miscanthus, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Spiraea will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Pink Rugosa Rose in your garden or home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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