Rosa 'Mutabilis'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 1 Professionals
Common Name: China rose
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to frost
Bloom Description: Yellow to orange to pink to red
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Other: Thorns

Culture

Best grown in medium moisture, slightly acidic, well-drained garden loams in full sun to part shade. Best flowering and disease resistance generally occur in full sun, however. Water deeply and regularly (mornings are best). Avoid overhead watering. Good air circulation promotes vigorous and healthy growth and helps control foliar diseases. Summer mulch helps retain moisture, keeps roots cool and discourages weeds. Remove spent flowers to encourage rebloom. Crowns need winter protection in cold winter areas such as St. Louis. Remove and destroy diseased leaves from plants, as practicable, and clean up and destroy dead leaves from the ground around the plants both during the growing season and as part of a thorough cleanup during winter (dormant season). Prune as needed in late winter to early spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Rosa is a genus of about 150 species of deciduous (occasionally evergreen) shrubs and climbers noted for their beautiful, often fragrant, single, semidouble or double flowers which are borne singly or in clusters on often prickly stems clad with 5-9 leaflets often having toothed margins.

Shrub roses are usually large-growing bushes between 4-10 feet tall and as wide. They are a very diverse group of hybrids and usually produce clusters of flowers several times a year but some may bloom just once in spring. They do not require the heavy pruning required of hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses unless being pruned to control size. Plants can be allowed to grow large with minimal pruning.

Genus name comes from the Latin name.

'Mutabilis', a China rose, is a rounded, repeat-blooming, old garden shrub rose which grows 3-6' tall (typically to 3' in northern climates and taller in southern climates). Features clusters of slightly fragrant, single flowers (3" diameter) which bloom in May and repeat throughout the summer into fall. Flowers change color (mutate as the cultivar name suggests) as they mature, opening yellow and changing to orange, pink and finally deep pinkish-red. Thus, a shrub in full bloom will feature a wide spectrum of flower colors. Medium green foliage and red stems. Orange hips will form if spent flowers are not deadheaded. Sometimes called butterfly rose because of the purported resemblance of the open flowers to butterflies. Synonymous with and formerly known as Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis'.

Problems

Roses are susceptible to a large number of diseases, the most common of which are black spot, powdery mildew, rust and rose rosette. Although good cultural practices are the first line of defense in disease control, regular preventative fungicide applications throughout the growing season are usually required, particularly in humid climates with regular rainfall such as the St. Louis area. Potential insect problems include aphids, beetles, borers, scale, thrips, rose midges, leafhoppers and spider mites. Local rose associations and extension services are usually able to offer specific recommendations and advice for selecting and growing roses.

This China rose has good disease resistance, however.

Garden Uses

Grow as a specimen or in small groups in borders, cottage gardens, foundations or rose gardens. Also effective as a hedge.