Content Detail

Red-leaved rose is a large, vase-shaped species rose grown for its outstanding blue-green foliage and arching stems. It is one of the more cold hardy roses for northern climates.The cherry-pink flowers contrast nicely with the foliage in late spring. It is not a repeat bloomer. The red rose hips are a favorite to many birds. This species of rose grows wild in the mountains of southern Europe.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium shrub (5-8 feet), Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Pink
  • Shape or form Arching, Round
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size & Form: 

Red-leaved rose is a 5 to 8 foot high, erect shrub with arching to spreading branches. Plants can become leggy with age.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to the mountains of central and southern Europe.

Attracts birds or wildlife:

Red rose hips turn brown and remain on the plant during the winter. Rose hips are attractive to birds and wildlife.

Bark color and texture: 

The reddish-purple arching stems are almost thornless, but older stems may have small prickle-type thorns.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

Leaves are alternate and pinnately compound, with five to seven elliptical leaflets. The blue-green foliage is infused with red and covered with a waxy bloom. Fall color is reddish-burgundy.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Single-type, pink flowers are 1 to 2 inches wide and mildly fragrant. The center of the flower is tinged white with showy stamens.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

Fruits are rose hips that mature to a dark reddish-purple.


Plant care:

Red-leaved rose prefers full sun and well-drained soils. It is  pH adaptable, but avoid planting in extremely wet conditions. Plants require very little pruning.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Blackspot, powdery mildew, root rots, cankers, and Japanese beetles are common problems.


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