Lady Banks Climbing RoseRosa banksiae 'Lutea'
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Rosa banksiae 'Lutea'
Outdoor Growing zone
Lady Banks’ Rose is a large climbing rose that is spectacular in bloom. One of the first roses to flower, it can bloom as early as March in warmer zones. It grows up to 20 feet long, and it needs a large, strong support to grow well. The small, lemon-yellow blossoms have many petals and they grow in bunches all along the stems, hiding the foliage. A plant in bloom is a glorious sight, and this plant has been given an Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society. A classic plant of southern gardens, this plant is more beautiful than words can ever describe.
Lady Banks’ Rose grows best in warmer zones, although it is hardy to zone 6, where it should be planted in a sunny, sheltered location. Grow it in rich garden soil, with mulches and rose fertilizer. It is more resistant to hot, dry conditions than almost any other rose, and it should always be planted in full sun. Pests and diseases are normally not important issues. Prune only immediately after flowering, since the new shoots of one year become the flowering shoots of the next spring.
There is something magical about climbing roses. Perhaps it is the profusion of flowers, or the way they grace a wall or pergola with indescribable charm. Perhaps it is the gentle perfume, or the glossy foliage. Most likely it is that they are just plain gorgeous, and none is more so than Lady Banks’ Rose, one of the very first roses to bloom, and a wonderful sight when its golden flowers garland wherever it grows.
Lady Banks’ Rose is a tall climbing plant that can reach 20 feet in length. It produces many long, trailing stems, from the base of the plant and also from existing stems. It can cover a large surface with branches and grows vigorously. Allow enough room when planting it for its potential size, as it flowers best when allowed to grow without much pruning. It is ideal for growing over a large pergola, arbor or gazebo, and for covering pool houses and other outdoor buildings. It is especially useful if you have old but strong structures that need hiding, such as fences or sheds. It also grows well up into large trees, and it is perfect for hiding old, dead trees. Turn that garden eye-sore into a thing of beauty with the help of Lady Banks’ Rose.
The long branches of Lady Banks’ Rose are thornless, so this is an easy rose to work with when you are in the garden. Tying it in to a trellis will be a pleasure, not a painful chore. The glossy green leaves are divided into 3 or 5 leaflets, with one at the end and the others in pairs along the leaf stalk. Each individual leaflet is oval, between 1 and 2 inches long, with a serrated edge and a pointed tip. The lush foliage makes this plant attractive at all times, even when it is not flowering, and in warmer zones this plant is semi-evergreen, holding its green leaves right through winter.
Lady Banks’ Rose begins to bloom earlier than almost any other rose. In warmer areas it may be in bloom in March or April, and it flowers in May in cooler zones. The flowers are small, about ¾ of an inch across, but carried in bunches of many flowers, which sprout from every bud along older stems. The flowers have many petals, and they are a gorgeous light, lemon pink. A plant in bloom is simply glorious, and a memorable sight in any garden. The blossoms have the soft scent of violets. This plant does take some time to develop and bloom after planting, especially in cooler zones, so be patient – your wait will be rewarded magnificently.
Lady Banks’ Rose is hardy from zone 6 to 10, and it grows best in the warmer zones. In zone 6 find the warmest place in your garden for it, perhaps against a sunny, south-facing wall, or in a sheltered place in full sun. Even in zone 7 it should be planted in a warm location. Full sun is always better for this rose, wherever you are, and produces the most prolific flowering. Avoid even partial shade if you can. Grow this rose in any type of garden soil, and it grows best in richer soils, so add plenty of organic material when planting, and mulch in late winter or early spring, after scattering the root zone with a rose fertilizer. Once established this rose grows better in drier conditions that just about any other rose, so it is ideal for dry states – in fact the Guinness World Record largest rose in the world is a Lady Banks’ Rose growing in Tombstone, Arizona. (It was planted in 1885, and it is still growing well). Pests and diseases are usually not serious problems, and this rose is not hard to grow, in a suitable position. This is a rambler-type rose, so any pruning should be done immediately after flowering, removing older canes and cutting back to a younger cane lower down. New growths should be tied into the support, as these are the branches that will bloom the following year.
Lady Banks’ Rose is a special form of a wild rose from China, Rosa banksiae. In the Fa Tee district of Guangzho (Canton), there have been plant nurseries since the 9th century. It was there, in 1807, that William Kerr, a Scotsman, and the first professional Western plant collector in China, bought a rose with small double white flowers. He had been hired to collect plants by Sir Joseph Banks, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, England, so he named the rose after Banks’ wife – Rosa banksiae. Later the wild parent plant was found growing through central and western China – it has single, yellow-white flowers, with just 5 petals. Later, growing at the Calcutta Botanical Garden in India, the botanist J.D. Parks found a yellow double-flowering form of this rose, which he brought to England around 1824. Called var. lutea, or just ‘Lutea’, this is today the most widely-grown form of Lady Banks’ Rose, and certainly the most beautiful. This plant was given the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society of England in 1960 – something only given to the very best plants. These plants are glorious, and worth giving plenty of space too. You will love it, but order now, as we only have a small number of plants in stock, and they will be gone very, very quickly.