Multiflora Rose - An Attractive And Serviceable Fences
The multiflora rose makes such an attractive and serviceable fence plant that gardeners can hardly believe all the things they hear about it - covered with flowers in June...grows several feet a year. . .so dense no person or animal can penetrate it...not bothered by insects or plant diseases. . .so tough and hardy anyone can grow it but nothing can kill it! It is all these things, and more.
A touglt, wiry plant of Asiatic origin, it is so hardy and grows so vigorously that for years nurserymen have used it as the understock on which to bud (or graft) garden roses. If you've ever set out a hybrid tea, floribunda or climber, the root of the plant was probably a multiflora rose. If your garden roses "suckered" from the bottom and you saw a long wiry cane coming from the base of a rose plant, this was the multiflora bush trying desperately to grow. despite the fact that its top was cut off by the nurseryman.
For farm use, multiflora roses are usually planted 12 inches apart. but for home gardens and plantings around public buildings, where only the appearance counts, a distance of 18 inches between plants is satisfactory. Increasingly used as a hedge around factories and public buildings, its dense tangle of growth keeps out intruders while its unusual beauty makes it valuable for landscaping.
On your home grounds, a living fence of multiflora roses will grow rapidly, giving you remarkable privacy in a very short time. Vigorous selected plants will grow as much as 3 to 4 feet the first year, becoming more solid as the luxuriant growth continues. Left untrimmed, multiflora rose fences or hedges will become 6 to 7 feet high and 5 to 6 feet wide in a few years. The long wiry growth can be trimmed off the sides to keep the width to a minimum. For garden use, a practical width is 3 feet. The maximum height of a hedge of this width will probably be from 6 to 7 feet.
Trimming is advisable to keep the long wiry growth compact. Vigorous new plants will quickly throw out willowy growth; the more this long new growth is cut back, the more dense the plant will become. Whenever a long cane is cut off, several new canes immediately push out where the cut was made.
In June, multiflora roses are completely covered with pinkish white blooms like those of a small single old-fashioned rambler rose. These last for a couple of weeks. All summer the plants are green and full; in early fall thousands of decorative red berries appear. These are a favorite food of many birds, so they may not last more than a few weeks.
There are some thorns, but they are not so numerous as to be any problem, nor are they as dangerous or sharp as barberry thorns. This sort of hedge is not dangerous to children, yet makes an impenetrable planting which they cannot crawl through or trample down. If you want a foolproof hedge -which will grow and grow but which requires virtually no care, by all means try the multiflora rose.
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