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Old 22-10-2004, 05:50 PM
George V. Roberts Jr.
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Default Spacing for Rosa rugosa hedge?


I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has experience growing a Rosa rugosa
hedge. I've ordered a quantity of bare-root species shrubs to be delivered
next April. I'm going to plant them along a section of 30-year-old stockade
fence that's on its last legs. Internet advice on rugosa spacing varies.
I've read you should space the shrubs as little as 1 or 2 feet apart, or as
much as 2/3 the height of the mature shrub, which is reputed to be about 6
feet, for a spacing of about 4 feet apart.

I'm new at this, but 1 or 2 feet sounds a bit close to me (and sounds maybe
like nurseries trying to sell you more plants than you actually need). Could
such tight spacing cause the shrubs to be stunted?

Would 4 feet apart be too far? My wish is to grow an impassable hedge within
2 or 3 years, which is about how long I think the fence will make it if the
neighborhood urchins don't start pulling it apart.

Also, the shrubs I've ordered supposedly will be 12 to 24 inches tall.
Anyone have any ideas on realistic growth rates? The company literature says
that rugosas will grow 2 feet per year. How many seasons before I can
reasonably expect a functional hedge, rather than simply a row of rose

Depending on what you recommend for spacing, I may have ordered twice as
many shrubs as I need. If so, any advantages or disadvantages to planting a
double staggered row?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

George Roberts

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