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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
RED LEAF ROSE, BLUE-LEAVED ROSE
syn. R. rubrifolia
Pronounced: RO-sa GLOW-ka
Central and Southern Europe.
Sunset zones: A1-A3, 1-24.
USDA zones: 2-8.
Height: 6 feet (2 m).
Width: 5 feet (1.5 m).
Single, pink flowers with white centers and gold stamens in early summer, followed by oval orange-red hips in autumn.
Grayish-purple leaves on red stems.
Upright shrub; arches when branches are loaded with flowers.
Fertile, humus rich, well-drained soil.
Once a month with a complete organic fertilizer during growing season.
Sow seed any time of year at 60-68°F (15- 20°C) in containers and place in a plastic bag for ten weeks, then refrigerate for ten weeks. Sow in containers in autumn and place in coldframe over winter.
Softwood cuttings in spring.
Hardwood cuttings in autumn.
Lightly prune immediately after flowering, or cut back by one-third.
Rainy Side Notes
Rosa glauca comes from the mountains in Central France, the Pyrenees, and also Southern Austria. The beauty of this rose species is in the foliage, and the small hips that stay on the rose through winter. It was introduced in England around 1830.
Its beautiful foliage is what makes this rose popular in gardens worldwide. The foliage is also used in flower arrangements. Here in the Pacific Northwest its branches can reach ten feet long and usually arch over when grown as a shrub. Take advantage of its long stems and train as a climbing rose. Prune down to the ground in spring to grow strictly for its beautiful foliage or to keep it small. Flowers bloom on old wood, so for flowers and rosehips, prune lightly when it finishes flowering for the season. Resistant to black spot, R. glauca is a great rose for the organic gardener to grow. The hips feed wildlife in the winter.
In the Pacific Northwest, it was chosen as a Great Plant Pick. In England, the Royal Horticultural Society gave it an Award of Garden Merit.
Photographed in author's garden.