Cherokee Rose Rosa laevigata (Ra)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
Cherokee rose


Rosa laevigata, commonly known as the Cherokee rose, is a climbing or trailing shrub with formidable thorns and glossy, deep green leaves. Its distinctive foliage consists of leaflets usually numbering from three to five per grouping. The leaves exhibit a pleasing oval shape with pointed tips and have a smooth texture. The Cherokee rose is revered for its exquisite flowers, which bloom profusely in spring and sporadically throughout the growing season. These flowers are pure white with a velvety texture and typically feature a prominent center filled with golden yellow stamens, creating a striking contrast against the white petals. The blossoms emanate a gentle yet captivating fragrance that lures in both humans and pollinators alike. The plant bears fruits known as hips, which are rounded and can possess a reddish to orange hue when they mature. These hips are not only a source of interest for their visual appeal but also serve as a food source for wildlife. Elegant in its appearance, the Cherokee rose is often associated with the southern regions where it has naturalized and become part of local lore. Its presence in a garden adds a touch of romanticism with its sprawling habit and show-stopping flowers.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Cherokee Rose, Camellia Rose, Snow-White Rose, Chinese Climbing Rose.

    • Common names

      Rosa sinica, Rosa giraldii.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Rosa laevigata, more commonly known as Cherokee rose, is not considered toxic to humans. As with most plants, some individuals might experience mild allergic reactions or stomach upset if they ingest parts of the plant, but it does not contain significant toxins known to cause serious harm or poisoning in humans when handled or ingested in typical amounts.

    • To pets

      The Cherokee rose is not considered toxic to pets. It is unlikely to cause serious harm if pets chew on or ingest the leaves or flowers. However, it is always wise to monitor pets and prevent them from ingesting large quantities of any non-food plants, as they could potentially cause mild gastrointestinal upset.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      10 feet (3 meters)

    • Spread

      10 feet (3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Rosa laevigata, commonly known as Cherokee rose, is often cultivated for its large, attractive white flowers that add beauty to gardens and landscapes.
    • Habitat Support: The plant provides shelter and habitat for various species of wildlife, including birds and beneficial insects.
    • Erosion Control: With its vigorous growth habit and dense thicket-forming tendencies, Cherokee rose can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes or disturbed areas.
    • Fragrance: The flowers emit a pleasant scent which can enhance the olfactory ambiance of a garden or outdoor space.
    • Hedging: Due to its dense growth, Cherokee rose can be used to create living fences or hedges for privacy and boundary demarcation.
    • Cultural Significance: Cherokee rose holds cultural importance in some regions, particularly within the Cherokee Nation, thus contributing to the cultural heritage of an area.
    • Conservation: Rosa laevigata is sometimes used in conservation efforts to maintain native plant species and support local ecosystems.
    • Nectar Source: Its flowers provide a source of nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, thus supporting overall pollinator health and biodiversity.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Rosa laevigata has been used in traditional medicine for its potential anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce swelling and pain.
    • Antioxidant: The plant contains antioxidants that may help protect the body from oxidative stress and free radical damage.
    • Hepatoprotective: It is believed to have liver-protective effects, potentially aiding in the treatment of liver disorders.
    • Improving skin health: The extracts from the plant have been used to promote skin health and treat various skin conditions due to its potential astringent and toning properties.
    • Anti-diabetic: Compounds found in Rosa laevigata might have a role in managing blood sugar levels, suggesting potential anti-diabetic effects.
    • Cardiovascular benefits: Traditional applications include promoting heart health, possibly through improving circulation or reducing cholesterol.
    • Immune system support: It has been suggested that the plant may have immunomodulatory effects, supporting the body's defense system.
    • Antimicrobial: Some studies indicate that Rosa laevigata may possess antimicrobial properties against certain pathogens.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • The thorns of the Cherokee rose can be used as natural barbs in garden security to deter animals and trespassers from climbing over fences.
    • Dried petals can be used to make eco-friendly confetti for events, offering a biodegradable alternative to plastic confetti.
    • The hips (fruit of the rose plant) are sometimes used in craft projects as natural beads once they are dried and hollowed out.
    • The roots of the Cherokee rose can be woven into baskets and other crafts for those interested in traditional or natural materials.
    • The canes of the Cherokee rose, being robust, may be used as natural supports for other climbing plants in a garden.
    • Cherokee rose plants can be trained and cultivated into living fences or hedges, contributing to both privacy and aesthetic appeal in landscapes.
    • The fragrance of the Cherokee rose flowers can be captured in homemade potpourris, providing a natural air freshener for the home.
    • Large petals of the Cherokee rose can be pressed and used in botanical paper making, creating unique textures for handmade paper products.
    • The dense growth habit of the Cherokee rose can provide habitats for small wildlife, promoting biodiversity in gardens and wild areas.
    • Floral artisans may use fresh or dried Cherokee rose blossoms in natural wedding decor, such as in table centerpieces or arch displays.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Cherokee rose is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Cherokee rose is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Love: As a member of the rose family, Rosa laevigata, commonly referred to as the Cherokee Rose, often symbolizes love, which is a universal meaning for most roses. The bloom is associated with emotional connections and romance.
    • Purity: The Cherokee Rose is also symbolic of purity. Its pristine white flowers can represent innocence and chastity, making it a meaningful symbol in various cultural ceremonies and traditions.
    • Hope: Symbolizing hope, the Cherokee Rose is said to have grown wherever a tear fell on the Trail of Tears. It stands as a reminder of resilience and the belief in a better future amidst hardship and suffering.
    • Beauty: With its elegant form and graceful petals, the Cherokee Rose is often used to symbolize beauty. It is a celebration of the natural aesthetics and the allure found within the simplicity of nature.
    • Motherhood: The Cherokee people regard the Cherokee Rose as symbolic of motherhood and the spirit of women, reflecting the strength and nurturing qualities attributed to the roles of mothers.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Cherokee Rose should be watered deeply once a week, providing about 1 to 1.5 inches of water each time. During hotter and drier periods, this frequency may need to increase to twice a week. It is best to water early in the morning to allow the foliage to dry out over the course of the day, which helps prevent diseases. Always water at the base of the plant to avoid wetting the foliage. Over the course of a month, the Cherokee Rose will generally require about 4 to 6 gallons of water, depending on weather conditions.

  • sunLight

    Cherokee Roses thrive in full sunlight, requiring at least 6 hours of direct sun each day for optimal growth and flowering. The best spot for this plant is in a location where it can benefit from morning sunlight, which is less intense than the afternoon sun. Partial shade is acceptable, particularly in hotter climates where some afternoon shade can help protect the plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Cherokee Roses are tolerant to a broad range of temperatures, but they grow best when the temperature is between 65°F and 75°F. They can survive minimum temperatures down to about 0°F and can handle summer highs up to around 90°F. To encourage blooming and healthy growth, avoid placing your Cherokee Rose in areas where temperatures frequently exceed these ranges.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is essential for Cherokee Roses to maintain their shape, encourage new growth, and improve air circulation within the plant. The best time for pruning is late winter or early spring, before new growth starts. Remove dead or damaged canes and thin out the plant to allow sunlight to penetrate and air to circulate. Prune off spent flowers throughout the blooming season to encourage more blooms.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Cherokee rose (Rosa laevigata) thrives in well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. A mix of loamy soil, organic compost, and a bit of sand or perlite to improve drainage constitutes the best soil for this plant. Ensure the soil allows for proper water retention yet drains excess water effectively to prevent root rot.

  • plantRepotting

    Cherokee roses are typically grown outdoors and don't require frequent repotting. However, if grown in containers, they should be repotted every 2 to 3 years during the dormant season to replenish soil nutrients and accommodate root growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Cherokee roses prefer moderate humidity levels, consistent with outdoor conditions. These roses do not require any special humidity considerations beyond natural rainfall and ambient outdoor humidity, making them suitable for a variety of climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, good airflow, and occasional pruning.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, well-drained soil, water deeply but infrequently.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of Rosa laevigata, commonly known as the Cherokee rose, begins with seed germination, which occurs when environmental conditions such as temperature and moisture are favorable. During the seedling stage, the plant develops roots and its first leaves, relying on the energy reserves stored in the seed. As it enters the juvenile phase, the Cherokee rose grows rapidly, developing stems, leaves, and a root system that allows it to photosynthesize and obtain nutrients from the soil. The mature stage is marked by the plant's ability to reproduce, with the Cherokee rose producing fragrant white flowers that attract pollinators, leading to the formation of fruits that contain seeds. After pollination and fruit set, the plant enters a period of senescence, where growth slows and it prepares for dormancy, particularly in cooler climates. The life cycle can repeat annually as seeds disperse and the plant spreads, with individual shrubs living for several years.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Rosa laevigata, commonly known as Cherokee rose, is via semi-hardwood cuttings. This is typically done during the summer months when the plant has new growth that is beginning to mature but is not fully hardened. To propagate via cuttings, a grower would need to select a healthy shoot and cut a 4 to 6-inch (10 to 15 cm) length, ensuring at least two to three sets of leaves are present. The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end is often dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. The cutting should then be planted in a well-draining potting mix, with the bottom half of the cutting buried in the soil. The soil should be kept moist but not waterlogged, and the cutting placed in a warm area with indirect light. With proper care, the cutting should root within a few weeks to a few months, after which it can be transplanted to a more permanent location.