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March Blooms in my Georgia Garden: Lady Banks Rose

One of the easiest roses of all to grow is the Lady Banks Rose. Rosa banksiae is a thornless rose producing soft fluffy blooms in early Spring. Lady Banks Rose is almost evergreen here in Georgia, if temperatures don't drop below the 20's. 

Lady Banks Rose is drought tolerant and disease resistant by nature. This lovely rose tolerates poor soil too.

Lady Band Rose is an easy care rose that is thornless and almost evergreen here in Georgia. It is a climbing rose that is beautiful growing on a pillar, arbor, fence, or trellis. 

Although Lady Banks blooms only once a year, in Spring it is absolutely covered with small fluffy double blooms.  Blooms are slightly fragrant and come in either yellow, Rosa banksiae 'Lutea', or white, 'Rosa banksiae 'Alba plena.' 

Rosa banksiae originated in China but was introduced to Europe in the early 1800's.  Lady Banks was very popular in the Southern United States during Antebellum times and was usually found on old plantations of the South. The largest rose in the world is a white blooming Lady Banks Rose that was planted in Tombstone, Arizona, in 1885. 

Plant your Lady Banks Rose in full sun for best bloom. This is a fast-growing strong rose that will quickly become very heavy, so plant it near a very strong support. Those inexpensive little trellises at the discount store will not work.

Lady Banks Rose is evergreen in USDA Zones 8-10, but is hardy in colder zones 6-7 where it will lose its leaves in winter. Banks Rose is said to withstand temperatures down into the teens, but we have single digit temperatures every so many years and our established plants lived through that. 
Once established, Lady Banks Rose is quite drought tolerant, but be sure to water regularly the first few years. Lady Banks is somewhat hard to find in nurseries, so you don't want to have to try to replace it.

Lady Banks, unlike many other roses, can be grown near the beach since it tolerates salt spray.

Lady Banks is not bothered by diseases and pests that infect most roses, so you won't need to spray at all.

If you don't have an arbor or trellis, Lady Banks can be grown as a free-standing shrub rose, but must be drastically pruned yearly to keep it in check. If pruning is needed, do so immediately after flowering. 

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