Audubon® Swamp Rose
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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!
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
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Recommended by Our Growers
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.
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.
How to Grow
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.
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