En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 01, 2008

From: Sandwich, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Pruning and deadheading rosa rugosa while blooming
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Can you prune the dead flowers and branches of rosa rogosa while it is still blooming?


Just about any member of the Rosaceae family will profit from deadheading and judicious pruning. They will put on fresh growth and it will also promote further blooming. It's not a job we personally would want to take on. Although we live in the land of Prickly Pear cactus and Agave with its formidable armor, we wouldn't voluntarily try pruning a rosa rugosa. The stems are incredibly spiny, densely covered in gray, needle-like thorns. However, in Massachusetts, with your early hard winters, we would not suggest pruning any more after August 1, although deadheading can continue. By pruning, you promote new growth and it might not have time to harden off before Winter. Rosa rugosa is a native of northern China, Korea and Japan, and therefore would not appear in our Native Plant Database. This USDA Plants Profile for Rosa rugosa indicates that it is widely grown in Massachusetts.

We found this forum iVillage Garden Web on Pruning Rosa Rugosa Roses that we thought you might find amusing. Apparently, you're either for 'em or agin 'em, with a lot of strong opinions, but you also could pick up some useful information from other gardeners with experience with the plants. For instance, several gardeners offer tips on picking up those stems without impaling yourself.


More Non-Natives Questions

Winter-hardiness of hibiscus in Idaho
June 14, 2009 - I bought a hibiscus tree at Sam's Club in Idaho Falls and after planting it, I read the label which says not to go below 50 degrees. Does that mean it is an inside or potted tree to bring in in the ...
view the full question and answer

Water requirements for fruit trees in California
January 15, 2013 - Dear Sir; In which of these options (fruit trees) the need for watering in irrigation process is higher than the others: -Olive tree -Nectarines and peaches trees -Hazelnut trees -Pistachios and ...
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native house plant, probably Coleus
September 16, 2007 - What would cause the new leaves of a house plant to be solid green? When I bought it, the original leaves were almost like a "tie-dye" fabric (green,yellow,orange, and red).
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive peanut butter tree from Canby, OR
July 17, 2012 - I too have a peanut butter tree with the pink and white blooms, its about 5 years old and is beautiful, but 2 weeks ago it started wilting and losing all its leaves, I am afraid it is dying. Can I sav...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Crimson Clover coming up with bluebonnets in Driftwood TX
April 21, 2010 - Is Crimson Clover considered invasive? We have some coming up in our field with our Bluebonnets.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center