Rosa “Hansa” will shine in a garden bed also planted with pink, blue or orange perennials. (Richie Steffen)

Rosa “Hansa” will shine in a garden bed also planted with pink, blue or orange perennials. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Rosa ‘Hansa,’ double pink old-fashioned rose

This shrub rose will shine in a garden bed also planted with pink, blue or orange perennials.

What: In a nutshell, Rosa “Hansa” is tough as nails. It is fragrant, long blooming, drought tolerant and produces great hips. It may be a selection of Rosa rugosa, or it may be a hybrid, but it shows that species preference for full sun and sandy soils. The flowers of this deciduous shrub are double, highly scented and vibrant reddish-purple in color. They are produced on a medium-sized plant with dark green foliage. It is worth growing for the red hips alone! Introduced in Holland in 1905 by Schaum and Van Tol, this reliable, easy-care plant has stood the test of time. Use it as a specimen, barrier or hedge. Plant it in a mixed border or near blue conifers, such as Abies pinsapo “Glauca.” Perennials with pink, blue or orange flowers shine near “Hansa,” as do plants with silver foliage, such as Lychnis coronaria. It can even be trained into a standard (small tree on a single trunk). Bees and butterflies like the flowers, and the hips can be used for tea or jelly.

Where: This tough shrub rose thrives in well-drained or sandy soil. Avoid clay or water-logged sites.

Size: The double pink old-fashioned rose grows to be 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide when mature.

Care: Once established it is drought tolerant. It requires full sun to grow its best and has excellent disease resistance. It is tolerant of salt spray and wind. No pruning is needed to maintain the compact form. Do not deadhead, the rose hips can be quite attractive in the late summer and fall.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Pick

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