Care of Pavement Rose

by Michelle Wishhart

Developed from the rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa), the Pavement Series of roses includes compact shrubs admired for their low growth habit, repeat blooming and general durability. Some favorite cultivars include the intensely fragrant, purple-flowered "Purple Pavement" and the pure-white-flowered "Schneekoppe." Pavement Series roses have strong disease resistance, but still require good cultural conditions and regular maintenance to grow well in your garden.

1. Location

Pavement Series roses require at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. To lessen the chance of pests and diseases, the Clemson Cooperative Extension recommends planting roses in a location with good air circulation well away from fruit trees. "Purple Pavement" may be grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 to 9, while "Schneekoppe" is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9. Rugosa roses are notably tolerant of salty conditions and make an excellent choice for seaside gardens.

2. Soil

Plant Pavement Series roses in well-draining, fertile soil. Drainage can be increased by adding peat moss or well rotted manure to the soil before planting, at a ratio of about one-quarter added material to three-quarters native soil. Avoid overhead irrigation, which contributes to fungal problems, and water in the morning to allow any splashed foliage time to dry out before evening. Water deeply to help plants establish a healthy root system.

3. Fertilizer

You can encourage flowering by applying a rose fertilizer or slow-release tree and shrub fertilizer to the soil, following the amount recommended on the label. If you use dry fertilizer, scratch the fertilizer into moist soil over the roots but not directly against the canes, and water deeply to avoid scorching the roots. The Clemson Cooperative Extension recommends fertilizing after each bloom period until six weeks before the expected fall frost date in your region.

4. Maintenance

To conserve moisture in the soil and suppress competitive weeds, apply a fresh 3-inch layer of an organic mulch such as pine bark, wood chips or pine straw every year in early spring. Keep mulch off the stems to avoid rot. Check foliage and flower buds occasionally for common rose pests such as aphids, thrips and mites. Remove and destroy heavily infested foliage and flowers. Releasing predatory insects such as lady beetles and lacewings in you landscape may help lessen pest populations.