Lady Banks’ Rose (Rosa banksiae)

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Plant Details

Category: Nursery
Light: Full Sun
Bloom Season: Spring
Height: 15-20' / 
Space: 15-20' / 
Zones: 8, 9
Lowest Temp: 10° to 20°F / 
-12° to -7°C
Colors: Yellow, White

Basic Care

Best in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil. Water freely in dry weather. Fertilize regularly for best display. Prune when dormant, in late autumn or late winter.


Keep soil evenly moist.


Fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil.


Fertilize regularly for best display.

climbing plants




A vigorous species rose that is the ultimate choice for arbors, fences, and trellises due to it’s natural climbing, almost vine-like habit. This rose is a native of China and was introduced to the Western world as a result of Captain Cook’s ocean voyages in the late1700s. The common name, “Lady Banks”, is a tribute to the wife of Sir Joseph Banks, the head of the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain at that time who joined Captain Cook’s on an expedition. Lady Banks’ roses bloom over a long season starting in late spring when the plant is covered with flowers and the air is filled with a sweet, violet-like fragrance.


Commonly used to climb fences or walls. Beautiful trained to posts, latticework and trellises. Cut flowers are long-lasting in fresh bouquets.

Lady Banks’ Rose (Rosa banksiae) Care Guide

Plant in spring or early fall to give plants the best start.

Choose a location that will allow roots to spread and branches to grow freely. Space plants far enough from building foundations, walls, and decks so that the growing foliage won’t crowd the structure. Consider whether tall trees or shrubs will block windows or interfere with the roof or power lines.

To prepare the planting area dig a hole as deep as the root ball and three times as wide. After removing the soil, mix it with some compost or peat moss. This enriches the soil and loosens the existing dirt so that new roots can spread easily.

To remove the plant from the container, gently brace the base of the plant, tip it sideways and tap the outside of the pot to loosen. Rotate the container and continue to tap, loosening the soil until the plant pulls smoothly from the pot. The container can also be removed by carefully cutting it down the side.

Set the plant in the hole. If the root ball is wrapped in burlap fabric this must now be removed along with any string or wire securing the burlap. If roots are tightly packed gently rake them apart with your fingers.

Return the soil to the planting area packing it firmly around the root ball. Fill the hole until the soil line is just at the base of the plant, where the roots begin to flare out from the main stem.

Water the plant well then add a 2” (5cm) layer of mulch, such as shredded bark, around the planting area. Keep the mulch at least 4” (10cm) away from the trunk of the plant as this can keep the bark too moist and cause it to decay.

Depending on rainfall, new plants need to be watered weekly through the first growing season. A slow, one-hour trickle of water should do the job. During hot spells thoroughly soaking the ground up to 8” (20 cm) every few days is better than watering a little bit daily. Deep watering encourages roots to grow further into the ground resulting in a sturdier plant with more drought tolerance.

To check for soil moisture use your finger or a hand trowel to dig a small hole and examine the soil. If the first 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, it is time to water.

Monitor new plants through the first two years to make sure they are getting the moisture they need. After that they should be sturdy enough to survive on their own.

Pruning may be needed to remove dead branches, encourage bushier growth, promote more flowers, or maintain a specific size or shape.

Dead branches should be removed close to the trunk, flush with the bark. When pruning to control a plant’s size or shape, cuts should be made just above a leaf bud and at a slight angle. This bud will be where the new growth sprouts.

Many shrubs can be regularly sheared to keep them shaped as a hedge, edging or formal foundation planting.

Always use sharp, clean tools when pruning. There are many tools available depending on the job. Hand shears, pruners, and loppers are ideal for most shrubs. Pole pruners and tree saws are better for large, mature shrubs or trees. If a tree is so large that it can’t be safely pruned with a pole pruner, it is best to call in a professional tree service.

Established trees should be fertilized every 2-3 years. Feed in early spring when plants start growing.

Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product designed for trees and shrubs, or go with a nutritionally balanced, general-purpose formula such as 10-10-10.

Always follow the fertilizer package directions for application rates and scheduling. Over-fertilizing plants or applying at the wrong time during the growing season can result in plant injury.

Companion/Combination Plants


  1. Donna Moore

    If I plant a lady banks rose by a fence thats solid wood, not chain length, do I need to put a trellis in front of the rose for it to grow up and cascade over? Or will it “attach” itself to the wood fence and grow up and then cascade , thanks for your help, excited to get my first lady banks

    • My Garden Life

      Hi Donna,
      Your Lady Banks’ rose won’t attach to the fence on its own, you will need to provide support for it. That can be accomplished by using a sturdy trellis placed just in front of the fence then tying the canes to the trellis. If you don’t mind putting a few holes in the fence wood, you could use eye hooks screwed directly into the fence. Space the eye hooks about a foot apart. You can then secure the canes to the eye hooks using twist ties or stretch plant tape and add more hooks as your plant grows. Enjoy your new rose!


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