Roses encourage biodiversity in urban areas in many different ways. They supply insects with food, provide birds with nesting sites, and shelter small mammals. Their rose hips are also a welcome source of food for many bird species during the autumn and winter. These advantages provided by roses thus contribute to a better use of the benefits of plant material.
Roses are a real asset for insect life. Their long flowering period from June into autumn makes roses beneficial for insects like honeybees, bumblebees and hoverflies. Single-flowered roses are especially rich in available pollen but insects also manage to locate pollen in semi-double roses. And the fragrance typical of some roses means that insects will be attracted to them even from far away. Should aphids find their way to roses, this will also attract ladybirds, lacewings and other natural predators. Less well-known is the fact that roses are a host plant for a number of moths, including the Black-spot Chestnut and the Barred Yellow.
A rose planting is a bird-friendly planting. Rose hips are a welcome source of food for birds like thrushes, blackbirds and redwings not only during the autumn but also in the winter. And some bird species such as green finches and goldfinches peck out the seeds inside rose hips. These birds also eat many aphids and caterpillars on these plants. The rose bushes themselves provide nesting sites for birds and shelter for small mammals like hedgehogs.
Modern shrub roses
Modern shrub roses are particularly suitable for use in public green spaces because they require very little maintenance. Two important conditions for success, however, are a sunny location and a good healthy soil.