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The Plant Guide

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Rosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’

Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis'

ROE-sah chin-EN-sis Audio

This beauty is prized for the unusual qualities of its flowers, which bloom continuously from spring until frost. The single cupped flowers open a honey-yellow, then they become coppery-pink, then watermelon, and finally a rich mahogany. The foliage is reddish purple, disease-resistant, and is evergreen in warm climates. This rose can be treated as a shrub or trained as a climber, reaching 10 feet high and 6 feet wide.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsWhile it is considered a China rose, the origins of this hybrid are a mystery. It is suitable as a specimen or an informal hedge, or grown in mixed borders or containers. 

CareGrow in fertile, moist, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Provide good air circulation and remove fallen leaves to help prevent disease.  While dormant in late winter or early spring, prune lightly or back by up to 1/3, reducing side shoots by 1/2 to 1/3. To renovate, prune one in four or five shoots from the base.

PropagationTake softwood cuttings when bloom initiates in spring to summer; take hardwood cuttings in fall.

ProblemsAphids, leafhoppers, spider mites, scale, caterpillars, sawfly larvae, cane borers, Japanese beetles, rose stem girders, rose midges, rose slugs, rose chafers, leaf-cutting bees, black spot, rust, powdery mildew, crown gall, canker, dieback, downy mildew, viruses.

  • Genus : Rosa
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Zones : 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Plant Height : 6 to 10 feet
  • Bloom Time : Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Showy Fruit
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Flower Color : Pink, Red, Yellow
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
View Comments


  1. claudiacrowley 03/15/2017

    This is a great rosebush. Easy to take care of (requires no care in my experience). I grew it in sandy clay soil in hot, dry Arlington, Texas, and in clay soil in equally hot and dry Fort Worth, Texas. The only problem is finding somebody who sells it who isn't out of stock.

  2. user-7008084 08/31/2017

    Niche Gardens has them. I ordered two and they should arrive in early September. I have a kind of Chinese/Japanese-style garden and the hybrids really don't fit very well in that kind of setting. I hope they do well. I'm in Maryland, zone 6-7.

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