White Rugosa Rose Rosa rugosa 'Alba' (Ru)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
white Japanese rose


Rosa rugosa 'Alba', more commonly known as the white rugosa rose, is a hardy flowering shrub known for its simple yet stunning beauty. It boasts lush, dense foliage that presents as a rich, deep green backdrop to its blossoms. The leaves are wrinkled with a textured, quilted appearance, contributing to its common name, which hints at the rough quality of the leaves. The flowers are the main attraction of this plant, with large, single white blooms that give off a sweet, intoxicating fragrance that fills the air, especially on warm days. Each flower consists of five petals arranged in a classic wild rose form, radiating around a center filled with a prominent cluster of golden yellow stamens, creating a striking contrast against the white petals. Blooms typically appear profusely in early summer and continue on and off throughout the growing season. The plant has a rugged, bushy demeanor, with strong branches that bear numerous sharp, prickly thorns. In autumn, the white rugosa rose produces large, tomato-shaped, orange to red-colored rose hips. These are not only attractive in the garden, providing a colorful display as the leaves fall, but they are also a valued food source for birds and can be used to make teas and jellies. The overall appearance of Rosa rugosa 'Alba' is one of rustic charm, combining robust growth with delicate, fragrant blooms that capture the essence of cottage gardens and informal landscape plantings.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      White Rugosa Rose, White Japanese Rose, White Ramanas Rose, White Hedgehog Rose.

    • Common names

      Rosa rugosa 'Alba'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Rosa rugosa 'Alba', commonly known as the white rugosa rose, is not considered poisonous to humans. There are no common symptoms of poisoning from this plant as it is generally recognized as non-toxic when touched or ingested in small amounts. However, eating large quantities of any plant material may cause digestive discomfort such as nausea or diarrhea. Additionally, the thorns can cause physical injury if not handled with care.

    • To pets

      The white rugosa rose is not toxic to pets. There are no specific symptoms associated with poisoning because it is regarded as non-toxic for animals like dogs and cats. Ingesting parts of the plant might occasionally lead to mild gastrointestinal upset, which could include symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, but this is not common. As with humans, the thorns could potentially cause physical injury to pets if interacted with.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-6 feet (1.2-1.8 meters)

    • Spread

      4-6 feet (1.2-1.8 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Landscape Enhancement: Rosa rugosa 'Alba', commonly known as White Rugosa Rose, is often used for ornamental purposes due to its attractive white flowers and dense, bushy growth habit.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The plant provides food and habitat for a variety of wildlife, including bees and butterflies, which are attracted to its flowers for their nectar and pollen.
    • Erosion Control: Its extensive root system helps stabilize soil, making White Rugosa Rose suitable for planting on slopes or areas prone to erosion.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, it requires minimal care, being tolerant of poor soil, salt spray, and drought, which makes it ideal for hands-off gardeners.
    • Hedge Plant: It can be used effectively as a natural barrier or hedge due to its thorny stems and dense growth.
    • Seasonal Interest: The White Rugosa Rose offers seasonal interest with its spring to summer blooming, followed by bright red hips in the fall and winter, providing year-round visual appeal.
    • Tolerant of Varied Climates: It is hardy in a range of climatic conditions and can survive in USDA zones 2 through 9, accommodating a wide geographic range.
    • Natural Repellent: The thorny nature of the plant can act as a natural deterrent to wildlife and unauthorized human access when used as a barrier.
    • Source of Rose Hips: The plant produces rose hips that can be used in culinary applications, such as jams and jellies, after the blooming season.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Vitamin C source: Rosa rugosa 'Alba' hips are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for immune system support.
    • Astringent: The petals and leaves are known for their astringent properties, which can help tighten and tone the skin.
    • Anti-inflammatory: The plant contains compounds that may help to reduce inflammation when applied topically.
    • Antioxidant: Rose hips and petals are believed to have antioxidant properties that may protect against cellular damage.
    • Diuretic effects: Traditionally, rose petals and hips may have been used to support kidney health and promote urination.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Rosa rugosa 'Alba', commonly known as white rugosa rose, can be used as a natural barrier due to its dense growth and thorny branches, which can deter unwanted foot traffic and animal intrusion.
    • The petals of white rugosa rose can be used to create natural dyes for fabrics, yielding delicate shades of pink depending on the mordant used.
    • The fragrant flowers of the white rugosa rose can be used in potpourri mixes to add a natural, floral perfume to a room.
    • White rugosa rosehips are used in the crafting industry to make beads for jewelry, as they can be dried and drilled to create natural, eco-friendly accessories.
    • The canes of white rugosa roses can be used in garden structures for climbing plants due to their strength and stiffness.
    • The essential oil derived from the white rugosa rose petals is used in aromatherapy for its calming and uplifting scent.
    • Leaves of the white rugosa rose can be used to add a subtle, astringent flavor in culinary dishes, though they are not commonly consumed.
    • White rugosa rose is used in landscape design as an ornamental plant, displaying beautiful white flowers that can enhance the aesthetic of gardens and parks.
    • Flower buds of the white rugosa rose can be crystalized with sugar and used as edible decorations for cakes and pastries.
    • The dense branching habit of white rugosa rose makes it suitable for use in creating living sculptures or topiaries in garden art.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The white rose is associated with purity, peace, and love, according to Feng Shui principles. It can be used to enhance the love and marriage area of a space, which is typically located in the southwest corner according to the Bagua map. By placing white roses in this area, they can help to attract romantic energy and calm personal relationships.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The white rose is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Love: As a member of the rose family, Rosa rugosa 'Alba', commonly known as the white rugosa rose, often symbolizes love and affection.
    • Purity and Innocence: The white color of the blooms is traditionally associated with purity, innocence, and chastity, making it an appropriate choice for weddings and christenings.
    • Beauty and Admiration: The rose itself is a symbol of beauty and admiration, which is reflected in the visually striking appearance of the white rugosa rose.
    • New Beginnings: The white rose can also represent new beginnings and is sometimes used to celebrate the start of a new journey or phase in life.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not needed
Late winter-early spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    White Rugosa Roses should be watered deeply and thoroughly, ensuring moisture reaches the roots. Typically, watering once a week with about 1 to 1.5 gallons of water is adequate, but this can vary depending on the climate and soil conditions. During hot, dry periods, it's essential to increase watering frequency to twice a week. It's best to water early in the morning to reduce evaporation and avoid wetting the foliage, which can lead to fungal diseases. Always check the soil moisture before watering to prevent overwatering, which can cause root rot.

  • sunLight

    White Rugosa Roses flourish in full sun with at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. They perform best when planted in a spot that receives morning sunlight and some afternoon shade, particularly in hotter climates, to protect them from intense heat. While they can tolerate some light shade, too much shade can result in fewer blooms and a leggier growth habit.

  • thermometerTemperature

    White Rugosa Roses are hardy and can tolerate a range of temperatures; they can survive minimum temperatures down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit and are comfortable in the growing season with average temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature for robust growth and flowering is within this range; however, they can withstand short periods of higher temperatures if properly cared for with adequate watering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning White Rugosa Roses is essential to maintain their shape and encourage vigorous growth. Prune in late winter or early spring, removing dead or diseased wood and thinning out crowded areas to improve air circulation. Pruning after the first flush of blooms promotes a second bloom in the same season. The best time for major pruning is when the plant is dormant, but light pruning can be done throughout the growing season as necessary.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    White Rugosa Rose thrives in well-draining soil enriched with organic matter and a pH between 5.6 and 6.5. A mix of loamy garden soil, compost, and coarse sand in equal parts makes an ideal soil composition for robust growth and flowering.

  • plantRepotting

    White Rugosa Rose, when grown in containers, should be repotted every 2-3 years to prevent root crowding and replenish nutrient-rich soil, ensuring optimal growth and bloom production.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    White Rugosa Rose does well in average outdoor humidity levels; they are adaptable and do not require specific humidity conditions, making them versatile in various climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Grow in bright light, prune to shape, and keep well-watered.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, amend soil with organic matter.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Rosa rugosa 'Alba', commonly known as the White Rugosa Rose, begins its life as a seed which, after experiencing stratification through a cold period, germinates in the spring. Upon sprouting, the seedling develops into a young plant with characteristic pinnate leaves and begins to form a deep root system. As it matures, it enters the vegetative growth phase, during which it focuses on developing foliage and expanding its root structure to establish itself. In the subsequent years, during late spring to early summer, the White Rugosa Rose will blossom, producing fragrant white flowers that are attractive to pollinators, leading to the production of tomato-shaped rose hips in late summer to fall. These rose hips, which contain the seeds, eventually drop to the ground or are spread by wildlife, perpetuating the plant's life cycle. Throughout its lifetime, which can span several decades, the plant will go through repetitive seasonal cycles of growth, flowering, and dormancy, typically withstanding harsh coastal conditions and requiring minimal maintenance.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late winter-early spring

    • Propogation: The Rosa rugosa 'Alba', commonly known as white rugosa rose, is typically propagated by softwood cuttings in the late spring or early summer. To do this, a gardener would select a healthy, disease-free shoot from the current year's growth and cut a piece about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) long, making sure there are several leaf nodes present. The lower leaves are stripped, and the cutting is often dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. The cutting is then placed in a well-draining soil mix, ensuring that at least two leaf nodes are below the soil surface. The pot should be kept moist, and in a warm, bright location, but out of direct sunlight to prevent drying out. Roots typically develop in a few weeks, and once established, the young plant can be transplanted to a permanent location in the garden.