The popular, scrambling evergreen to semi-evergreen has an arching growth habit reaching heights of twelve to twenty feet with long, glossy green leaves with three to five leaflets per leaf. Leaves will defoliate at lower temperatures. In early spring, the plant develops beautiful white or yellow clusters of single or double flowers, depending upon the variety. The blossoms are fragrant, and attract bees and butterflies. The variety ‘Lutea’ has yellow flowers and no thorns. ‘Alba Plena’ has white flowers and some thorns. The stems of this plant are usually thorn-less, slender, and sprawling. Use this vine in the landscape on trellises, walls, arbors, and fences, or train it to cascade over embankments. This is a great choice for erosion control on slopes and a beautiful, early spring color plant. The largest Lady Bank’s rose vine is growing in Tombstone, Arizona. The plant was installed in 1885 and covers an entire square block. The species is a native to central and western China, where it has been cultivated for hundreds of years.
The Lady Bank’s rose is hardy to about thirteen to fifteen degrees Fahrenheit. This vine does best in full sun with reflected heat. It needs supplemental irrigation once or twice per week, especially in hot weather. This fast-growing vine should be given plenty of room to grow, and requires training and pruning to look good. The foliage may attract harvester ants during the summer monsoon. The insects strip the leaves to build their nests. If needed, apply Amdro insecticide around anthills to prevent damage to the plant. Locate the anthills in the early morning hours, when the ants trail back to their nest.