This Lady Is a Classic

Lady Banks' Rose is a great Southern favorite

Lady Banks’ Rose is a great Southern favorite.

Lady Banks' rose yellow flowers appear each spring in profusion

Lady Banks’ roses’ yellow flowers appear each spring in profusion.

Lady Banks’ Rose (Rosa banksiae) is one of the easiest of all roses to grow.  And guess what? It is thornless. A classic in older Southern gardens, they perform great in our area with almost no care. The only problem is they bloom only once a year. They can get huge, in fact. I have seen new runners up to 10-feet-long on established plants. To keep them healthy, all you really have to do is plant them in a well-drained situation, and I think they really like a little shade. While there is a white selection, almost all you will see are the yellow ones. I really have never seen any of the typical rose problems like blackspot and dieback. If you want to see some very old specimens of Lady Banks’ rose, check the arbors at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens behind the Dunn Rose Garden. Most larger garden centers carry these plants this time of the year.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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