Dog rose, a rose tree with a rather wild touch

Dogrose, Rosa canina

Plant a dog rose bush in a corner of your garden.

Simple Dog rose facts

Name – Rosa canina
Family – Wild rose tree
Type – rose tree

Height – 3 to 10 feet (1 to 3 m)
Breadth – 3 to 10 feet (1 to 3 m)
Exposure – full sun, part sun

Soil: rich  –  Foliage: semi-evergreen, deciduous  –   Flowering: spring, summer

Dog rose in the wild grows in forest clearings and along swaths of open terrain: this is why sun and part shade are its favorite exposure.

Planting a dog rose tree

Dog rose is an easy, hardy shrub, that most often is quite happy in all types of soil.

Dog rose plantingThe best season to plant dog rose is fall, and second to that, spring.

Its small size makes it the ideal shrub for shrub beds, standalones or for wild hedges, on the condition that no pathways go through or near it because of thorns.

  • You can set up your dog rose tree in the sun or in part shade during the hottest hours.
  • Plant this dog rose in a mix of garden earth and soil mix with, ideally, a layer of fertilizer lining the bottom of the hole.
  • Water abundantly immediately after planting.
  • Equally important, mulch will help conserve water and eliminate weed growth.

Dog rose, an easy plant to prepare cuttings from

To propagate a dog rose, collect cuttings 8 inches (20 cm) long from the tips of the sprigs that have grown during the year. Bury the lower part in a blend of ⅔ light garden soil and ⅓ sand, and set it on the side of the house facing away from the equator. Maintain moisture in the soil during the entire winter.

In spring, transplant your rooted cuttings in healthy, well-drained soil that is well exposed to the sun. Mulch to ease regrowth.

Caring for your dog rose

As mentioned earlier, dog rose is a very easy shrub.

  • Rose tree fertilizer in spring will make the blooming even more dense and abundant.
  • Again, mulch at the foot of the dog rose tree will inhibit weed growth and will keep the ground cool.
  • Removing wilted flowers regularly will spur appearance of new flowers until late fall.

Pruning dog rose

If you prune your dog rose on a regular basis (once a year), you’ll be giving it what it needs to have a better growth, a nice stature and better blooming from spring to fall.

  • The pruning is preferably performed after the blooming.
  • Cut dead wood off regularly.
  • When part of a hedge, you can cut it back to the desired height after the blooming.

All there is to know about dog rose

Plant a dog rose bush in a corner of your garden: it will charm you with its beautiful flowers in spring and you’ll eat its fruits all winter long as true delicacies!

Dog rose fruitsVery ornamental during the blooming with its delicate elegant flowers with white or pink petals, the dog rose is covered in little red fruits in fall. These fruits, called rose hips, have incredibly high levels of vitamin C: you would need 35 oz (1 kg) of lemons to produce the same amount of vitamin C contained in 3.5 oz (100 g) of rose hips!

To savor them all winter long, collect them after the first frost – this will soften the fruits – and dry them without delay by placing them near a heat source. Add them to your tea in the morning, you’ll be energized for the whole day!

Planting a dog rose is within reach of every gardener. For the best type of rose hips, select the Rosa villosa variety, also called hairy dog rose: its fruits contain the highest amounts of vitamin C. The hairy aspect of it is a distinctive identification marker.

Benefits of dog rose

Dog rose is a gold mine for pharmacopeia: the buds stimulate the body’s immune system, and pincushion gall that occasionally grows on the plant can be used in a similar manner as the dog rose hips themselves, for herbal tea or invigorating decoctions.

Dogrose recipesCulinary wonders, rose hips are part of many recipes: jellies, jams and even “ketchup”. Indeed, rose hip, when cooked, releases a thickening agent that gives even a simple mug of boiled water a thick, creamy sensation when drinking.

Before using them in a culinary preparation, run the fruits through a sieve to remove seeds and whiskers (these are prized “itching powder” for childhood pranks): they’re both diuretic and irritating.

M.-C. H.

Smart tip about dog rose

If you have trouble growing roses because of the soil in your garden, use dog rose as a grafting root stock. It can grow almost anywhere and is fully compatible with all types of roses!

Images: dreamstime: Rozum; own work: Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois; Pixabay: Daniel Kirsch, László, Александр Салтановский