Growing a Lady Banks Rose
By: Julie Day
Last summer, I planted a yellow Lady Banks Rose (Rosa banksiae) to grow up the column of my side porch. Lady Banks is a thornless climbing rose that explodes in clusters of miniature white or yellow blossoms in the spring, and it’s what we gardeners call a “vigorous climber.” That means that the thing is on the fast track to taking over my porch (and possibly my entire house), a slightly overwhelming prospect that is tempered only by the breathtaking display of flowers dripping from the soft, green branches. Simply put, it’s gorgeous.
The Lady Banks Rose is one of the more drought-tolerant and disease-resistant rose species, making it a favorite among gardeners for many generations. Here are a few quick facts for growing this luscious rose:
- Size and Pruning: Lady Banks blooms on old wood, so be careful not to over-prune the older branches. You’ll be busy enough trying to contain the size of this rose – it’s not meant for small spaces and easily grows to 30 feet or more, quickly swallowing sheds, trees, and unaware bystanders in its path. In fact, the largest rose in the world is a 100-year-old Lady Banks in Tombstone, Arizona. Check out the amazing Tombstone Rose that covers more than 8,000 square feet!
I may regret planting Lady Banks so near the house, but it’s such a pleasure to walk under the blossoms when I enter and leave my kitchen door. The scent is very subtle, and the vine itself is a delicate, eager bundle of vitality growing visibly larger by the day.
To find out more, check out Lady Banks Rose Update.