Why plant Audubon® Native Swamp Rose?
Roses almost always need good, well-drained garden soil in order to thrive, so this one is an interesting outlier. Swamp Rose prefers to make its home at the edge of a pond or bog. If you have a wetland area on your property, consider growing this fine Accent in that soggy soil. In early to mid-summer, you’ll be rewarded with a parade of soft pink flowers that give off that classic, soapy-sweet Rose scent. Birders, especially, will love Swamp Rose because it gives birds everything they want—fruits to eat in fall, caterpillar meals, and twiggy habitat for nesting in. A worthy native!
Swamp Rose is a wide-ranging plant that has established itself in most of the eastern U.S., from Wisconsin to Louisiana and east to the Coast, wherever it finds acidic, wet soil. In the wild, its dense, thorny branches provide a safe haven for songbirds, and thicket-dwellers like yellow warblers, cardinals, catbirds, and mockingbirds will nest there. The easy availability of protein-rich caterpillars makes this plant especially appealing as bird habitat. Swamp Rose foliage hosts many, many species of moths and butterflies, which make up an important part of many birds’ diets.
How to use Audubon® Native Swamp Rose in the landscape?
Swamp Rose flowers produce no nectar, but bumblebees love them anyway for their profusion of pollen, and they collect it eagerly. The result of their work is a multitude of glossy red fruits that nourish birds.
Hardiness Zone: 3-9
How To Plant Audubon® Native Swamp Rose
There are many Roses for drier sites, so choose one of those for average garden conditions, and save this one for wet soil. It will even tolerate periodic flooding. Swamp Rose needs to be in full sun for best results. This plant will develop into an arching shrub with thorny canes. It will spread by suckers, but does so slowly. Prune (carefully) in early spring if desired, or just let it go, and it will become a wonderful, densely twiggy bird hideaway. Do not spray pesticides! They can be deadly to birds and are especially dangerous around wetlands.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.