Mutabilis Rose Bushes
- Height: 2.2m
- Colour: Deep pink, coppery yellow
- Shape: Single
- Scent: Light
- Flowering period: Repeat
- Type: Shrub
- RHS Award of Garden Merit
Mutabilis Shrub Rose
The Mutabilis rose (Rosa chinensis or Rosa × odorata) is also often called the Butterfly Rose due to the unusual way the petals change colour, often in the course of a single day. Also sold as Tipo Ideale. Starting off a bright yellow, they turn orange, then pink and finally crimson. On a good day a Mutabilis rose can look as if a mass of butterflies has landed on its foliage.
A larger than average shrub rose, growing to 7ft tall, Rosa chinensis works very well as a hedging rose, or as a small climber against a fence or wall. The simple flowers let off the most heady, spicy scent.
Great for your garden
For the best flowering show, they prefer sunny, sheltered spots. Stunning against a fence in a sunny garden or terrace, especially near a seating area, where the heady scent can be appreciated. Their dense and bushy foliage and thorny stems are also extremely effective when grown as a hedge. Impenetrable but beautiful and sweet smelling!
The flowers are very short-lived but are produced incessantly from July through to September to stunning effect against the slim dark green foliage.
- Pale yellow turning to pinks, oranges and finally dark crimson.
- Has a medium flat single flower
- A mild but sweet fragrance, which turns spicy with age.
- Final Height and spread 7ft x 6ft
- Flowers continuously July – September
- Disease resistance is high
Look out for
It is important to note here that planting this rose in more exposed conditions will affect its flowering. On the plus side in warmer spots it is nearly evergreen.
First identified around 1896 in Italy, although it is widely thought to be a very old rose of Chinese origin.
Evergreen in warmer climates, obviously not in the UK though!
Not a cutting garden candidate due to the fact that the flowers only last a day on the plant once they come out into bloom.
Unlike any other rose, the flowers will often go through the whole spectrum of their colours in one day. This is due to the pigments in the petals changing in the sunlight at the various stages of the flowers unfolding.
How to plant the Mutabilis shrub rose
Plant between autumn and spring when the weather is not freezing. Position in full sun.
Improve soil as necessary so it is humus-rich, moist and well-drained soil.
Before planting soak the roots in water for at least 10 minutes. Dig a hole twice the width of the plants roots and the depth of your spades metal blade and mix a bucket of organic matter into the soil.
Plant at a minimum of 2 CFCbCbCB= ft apart if planting in a border, slightly less for a solid screening hedge, but give it more space if you want a more informal effect.
Prune in early spring, there is no need to deadhead since the flowers barely stay on the bush a day. Top dress in spring with Vitax organic rose fertiliser
Unusually for a rose, it is semi evergreen and so makes a densely branched thorny hedge all the year round.