Good Roses for Hedging

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Many varieties and species of roses (Rosa spp.) are effective in hedging, providing flowers, foliage and fruits, or hips, for three seasons of interest. Choosing the right kind of rose for a hedge depends on the site and type of hedge required. The majority of rose shrubs need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, though some types can thrive in very light shade. Roses with very thorny stems, or canes, work well for boundary or privacy hedges while options with few or no thorns are better choices for heavily trafficked garden areas.

Low Hedges

  • Many antique and new rose varieties can be used as low hedges. Among them are the antique "Marie Pavie" (Rosa "Marie Pavie"), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4b through 10a. It is reblooming polyantha or cluster-flowered shrub with white blossoms. Thriving in full sun but tolerant of very light shade, "Marie Pavie" grows up to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Another cultivar suitable for a low hedge is "Harlow Carr" (Rosa "Harlow Carr"), hardy in USDA zones 6b through 9b. It is a sun-loving hedge rose with double pink flowers. Reblooming in flushes throughout the growing season, it reaches a height of about 4 feet.

Taller Hedges

  • Larger rose varieties are useful for taller, broader hedges. Those varieties include the golden-flowered "Graham Thomas" (Rosa "Graham Thomas"), hardy in USDA zones 5b through 10b. A sun-loving rebloomer with fragrant flowers, "Graham Thomas" is 5 to 10 feet tall and 4 to 8 feet wide at maturity. Options for a large, informal hedge include the moyesii species rose (Rosa moyesii), hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9. Its red, single blooms appear in early summer and are followed by distinctive, scarlet, flask-shaped hips. This rose for a full-sun site grows 10 feet tall and up to 6 feet wide.

Security Hedges

  • Among the prickly roses for privacy and boundary hedges are varieties and hybrids of Japanese rose (Rosa rugosa), hardy in USDA zones 2b through 9b. These sun-loving rebloomers feature spice-scented blooms, a mature height of up to 8 feet and a 6-foot spread. Rugosas also bear large, globular hips in fall and has invasive tendencies in some locations. Options include the hybrid rugosa "Blanc Double de Coubert" (Rosa rugosa "Blanc Double de Coubert), hardy in USDA zones 3b through 9b; it has strongly scented, semi-double flowers. Another option is "Frau Dagmar Hastrup" (Rosa rugosa "Frau Dagmar Hastrup"), hardy in USDA zones 3b through 9b; it bears single, pink flowers.

Light-Shade Hedges

  • Hybrid musk roses have a reputation for light-shade tolerance and suitability for hedge use. Among them are the pink-flowered "Penelope" (Rosa "Penelope"), hardy in USDA zones 5b through 10b. It has sweetly scented blooms and grows up to 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide. The shrub is also somewhat drought-tolerant. Another hybrid musk rose suitable for hedging in light shade is the cluster-flowered "Buff Beauty" (Rosa "Buff Beauty"), hardy in USDA zones 5b through 10b. It bears scented, yellow flowers that fade to a cream color, and it reblooms throughout the growing season. "Buff Beauty" grows 4 to 10 feet tall and nearly that wide.

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