The Art of Growing a Lady Banks Rose: Plant, Grow, Care

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Learn how to plant, grow, and care for a Lady Banks rose with this simple guide. Discover tips on location, soil preparation, watering, fertilizing, and pruning to ensure your climbing rose thrives and beautifies your garden.

Welcome, garden friends! If you’re looking to add a dash of charm and history to your Spring garden, the Lady Banks rose is a perfect choice.

The Lady Banks rose was named in 1807 in honor of Dorothea Lady Banks, the wife of Sir Joseph Banks, a prominent English explorer, botanist.

This rose variety, (botanical name Rosa banksiae), is famed for its fast growing nature and masses of tiny, delicate flowers that can beautifully cascade over fences and arbors in Spring or early summer.

Here’s your simple guide to planting, growing, and caring for a Lady Banks rose.

What Is a Lady Banks Rose?

The Lady Banks rose is a climbing thornless rose variety that originates from central and western China. It blooms profusely in early spring with either double white flowers or pale yellow flowers, depending on the cultivar.

What makes it truly special is its ability to grow quickly and cover large areas, making it ideal for vertical gardening. In full bloom, the flowers only have a slight fragrance but you rarely have to contend with black spot or powdery mildew

My Father in Law has the yellow Lady Banks rose and I took cuttings from it to root one for myself!

yellow lady banks rose growing over a mature orange tree
Lady Banks Rose growing over a mature Orange Tree

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Choosing the Right Spot


Lady Banks roses thrive in full sun to partial shade. Choose a spot that gets at least four to six hours of sun daily. If you’re in a particularly hot climate, a location with morning sun and afternoon shade would be ideal to prevent the blooms from fading too quickly.

Since the mature size can be quite massive if allowed to grow with no pruning then give it plenty of space. This vigorous plant is capable of growing over 40 feet tall!

But to keep it in check, plant where you can easily prune and keep to a reasonable size.

lady banks rose beside an oak tree blooming

This vigorous grower is perfect to create a screen for a porch, fence, or patio, well worth the effort needed to keep it contained in a certain space. Make sure to provide a sturdy arbor or trellis.

Because this is a thornless rose it is a perfect candidate to place on arbors near a garden path or walkway.


This vigorous climber prefers well-drained soil. It’s fairly adaptable but performs best in soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. 

Hopefully, you have been amending your soil before now but if not you can add compost on top after planting.

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You can find out why you shouldn’t put amendments into the planting hole here

Planting Your Lady Banks Rose


The best time to plant the Lady Banks rose is early spring or fall. Avoid planting in very hot or cold conditions as extreme temperatures can stress the plant.

You could go ahead during the warmer time of year if you provide shade for it until the temps cool down.

How to Plant

1. Dig a Hole: Make sure it’s twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of your plant.

2. Prepare the Root Ball: Gently loosen the roots if they are tightly bound. This encourages them to spread into the surrounding soil.

3. Planting: Place the rose in the hole so that the base of the plant (where the stem meets the roots) is level with the soil surface. Backfill the hole with native soil, gently tamping down as you go to remove air pockets.

4. Water Thoroughly: Once planted, give your rose a good watering to help settle the soil.

Alba Meidiland

Fun fact: The white form of Lady Banks used to be preferred over the yellow

The single form, Rosa banksiae normalis, is thought to be the original wild rambler rose which both the white double flowers and double yellow blooms are supposedly from.

Care and Maintenance


During the first growing season, it’s important to keep the soil evenly moist to establish a robust root system. Water deeply once a week, more frequently during hot, dry spells. Once established, Lady Banks roses are quite drought-tolerant.


Feed your rose in early spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to support vigorous growth and blooming. This is relative, if you keep your soil healthy with compost and natural amendments fertilizing is not always necessary.

If your soil is poor and needs some help this fertilizer is wonderful as it provides immediate results.

Avoid over-fertilizing, which can lead to rich green foliage but fewer flowers. The rose in the photos above never gets fertilized and it is full of yellow blooms!


Pruning is essential to maintain the size and shape of your climbing rose. The best time to prune Lady Banks roses is right after they finish blooming since they bloom on old wood. This is typically in late Spring or early Summer.

Remove dead wood or weak growth, and thin out crowded areas to improve air circulation. This also encourages new growth. Cutting out diseased branches is important for a healthier plant, this can be done at anytime you notice them.

close up of lady banks rose in a garden, delicate yellow blooms on a green background

Pest and Disease Management

Luckily, Lady Banks roses are relatively resistant to pests and diseases. Still, keep an eye out for aphids and powdery mildew. A strong blast of water can often remove aphids, and ensuring good air circulation helps prevent mildew.

Common Questions

Can Lady Banks roses grow in pots?

Yes, they can grow in large pots, but they really shine when they have space to spread out. Make sure your container has good drainage and you will need to fertilize as the nutrients leach out with watering.

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How fast do Lady Banks roses grow?

They are fast growers! Once established, they can grow several feet in a season, making them perfect for covering trellises or walls quickly.

Are Lady Banks roses evergreen?

In warmer, milder climates, Lady Banks roses can be evergreen. In colder climates, they may lose some or all of their leaves in winter.


Growing a Lady Banks rose can be a delightful addition to your garden. Its vigorous growth, coupled with its stunning, long-lasting blooms, makes it a gardener’s favorite. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy the spectacular sight of this climbing rose in your own backyard for years to come.

Happy gardening!

Hi, I’m Pamela

I am a 40-year master gardening enthusiast who loves to share the simple tips, tricks, and inspiration I have learned from personal experience.
My goal is to cultivate the love of gardening and help make your gardening life more enjoyable!
a Garden Friend!

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