Lady Hillingdon

Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)July 8, 2014

My Lady Hillingdon has been planted for a couple of years but is not really taking off. I think the problem is radiated heat from a west facing wall. Last summer I tried blocking the mid day heat with a chair and we have planted a cherry tree that some day will shade the bed from the afternoon heat and a potted boougainvilea to cover part of the wall but for now she and her friend Golden Celebration remain unhappy.

We probably have a few more weeks of morning fog before it really gets hot. I am thinking of moving her this weekend to a cooler spot along with GC and replacing with a sage

What do you think?

Will she hate being moved more than the hot months of August to October?

She looks so pretty in other peoples gardens I would like to see her happy here. Could she handle some shade?

GC will be moved to a shadier spot this plant is about 6 years old in the garden and is only 18" tall

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jerijen(Zone 10)

Ours is huge (of course, it's probably 10-12 years old) but since we planted trees for privacy, it doesn't bloom.

Want it? I hate to just toss it, but it won't ever do much, where it is.

It's a lovely plant. It could come out, around November . . .

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:37PM
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I suspect that Lady H just does not love heat, given that it does so well in southern England. On the other hand, moving a rose in the heat of summer is very problematic. Could you rig up temporary heat barrier between the rose and the wall? Maybe even a sheet of foam insulation? And of course, keep it well watered without letting the soil get soggy. Mulch will help keep the soil a bit cooler and therefore the roots as well, but I imagine the air around the upper part of the plant is hot from the wall itself.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 2:12PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

I've had problems with roses up against retaining walls. They just get scorched. Putting flat latticework behind them helped a lot, bit the roses which have handled it best have been Grandmother's Hat, and Louis Philippe -- both carrying a lot of foliage, to shade the canes.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:22PM
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fogrose(zone 10/sunset 17)

What about using some shade cloth in the afternoon?

Since Lady Hillingdon blooms for me with part shade I can't imagine she likes all that much heat.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 7:32PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

In light of my experience with Lady Hillingdon in two hot and dry gardens, I would say she doesn't care for dry heat. I did have a beautiful Cl. Lady Hillingdon in the first garden but the one I have now is not doing well. I first planted it against the house wall which was a mistake. When I moved her I pruned her too much and took the leaves off and she's sat there without growth for many months in spite of frequent watering and mulching. If we have adequate rain this winter that may help since I don't know what else to do.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:20PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)


I would LOVE your Lady Hillingdon. Linda's is so pretty, I have several neighbors that love yellow roses and I sure would love to be able to propagate and share some of her some day. At the rate mine is growing, I am better off buying more bands and growing them out.

I will see what else I can think to put to block the reflected heat. We are west facing at the top of the hill, have a 4' shallow gravel walk, the rose bed, the picket fence, another foot or so before a 3 foot retaining wall drop off and then the lower garden. The cherry trees are planted down there so the roses would get more shade and I have a higher spot to pick from. The bed has part of our gray water line feeding it plus these two roses have extra drippers on them. Inches of compost topped by wood chips. BUT we also face a mountain pass that funnels wind to this area and add the reflected heat and I think sages are probably better than roses right there. Although Yves Piaget is right next to her and blooms like mad, but I think gets a bit less reflected heat. GC has white walls non stop, not that it did anything in a different bed either. I think it is a weak clone on a weak root purchased from Costco with a couple of other slow starters.

We are fairly humid other than santa ana wind events, thankfully.

I think she and GC will be happier lower in the garden where the breeze is gentle and cooler. She is in the shade in the morning, but I think would rather have the shade in the middle of the day so I will look for a good spot for her down there and hold off on moving her for a few months.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:05AM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

In my experience Lady Hillingdon (I have the climbing version) doesn't mind the heat, I have it against a southwest facing wall, but GC does. I used to have GC against a south facing stone wall and she refused to bloom and grow between July and September. Both of these are growing well. They are grafted.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 1:02AM
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comtessedelacouche (10b S.Australia: hotdryMedclimate)

I've always had the impression, rightly or wrongly, that the non-climbing version of LH is not generally quite as robust a plant as the climber, which may have a bearing here? Just a thought re another possibility for the front of the retaining wall (if I have understood your word-map of your garden correctly, Kippy) to go with the sage and bougainvillea, might be plumbago - an underrated, currently rather unfashionable darling of a pretty blue, long-flowering, heat, wind and drought-proof semi-climber, that will cope with total neglect - not that anyone around here would ever neglect their gardens they way I have mine...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 7:48AM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

I love plumbago and have a few very large semi climbers but one should consider a. Their rampant growth given half a chance and the right conditions and their biannual need for grooming b. their intolerance of even slightly cold conditions which will get them 'pruned' very easily and c. the annoying tendency of their flowers to stick to ones hair and, in my case, hairy skin :) To offset these, they will bloom magnificently at the height of summer over here when many other plants are running for cover from the strong sun.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:56AM
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Brittie - La Porte, TX 9a

Yes, I've heard several times that the bush form of LH is a slow grower. I've had mine since 2011 and it is still only two feet tall...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:50AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Our Lady Hillingdon is probably over 5-ft. tall -- and now the poor dear is leaning outward, trying to reach the sun.

If I had a better place for her, I'd consider moving her, but really, that spot should be returned to pathway.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 3:48PM
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My 5- or 6-year old own-root Lady Hillingdon shrub is about 6 ' tall and 4 - 5' wide, so I wouldn't say she lacks vigor (started from a root sprout of another LH that needed to be removed and wasn't doing well in the part-shade, dry-ish spot it was in). She is in a good spot now, obviously: full sun all day but not next to anything that intensifies heat.

She can be sniffy about the heat, maybe. We've had several blast-furnace days of 106 degrees F + the past few weeks (oh, the scorched leaves out there, everywhere) and her second flush has been a loooooong time coming this year; only just starting to push out some new growth for it, finally. On the other hand, her first flush was absolutely spectacular and she set a lot of hips which I only recently got around to removing, so maybe she's just tired.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 5:28PM
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Plumbago is a thug here in SoCal. It suckers under ground, roots all over and flops on top of every plant near it. Pruning it to keep it within bounds results in an unhappy green plant with no flowers. It's great along the sides of the freeway through the older sections of down town, but NOT in a garden where you would like anything else. Been there. Never again! Kim

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 12:30AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Kim beat me to it!

I love the plumbagos by the freeway, they are bigger than some cars or trucks. I am not a fan of how their flowers stick to you. I put in one for a corner thinking it could be trimmed short and come back and bloom before needing pruning. But my gardener but it on the water system and we now trim hedges lower. I should have him just pull it out and replace with something else but it is a happy green hedge with some nice flowers every now and then.

My retaining wall is lower than Lady Hillingdon, we are on a hillside so the wall is what allows for a back and side yard that is generally not too sloped. It gets some shade and has the woodchip covered dirt in front of it so we do not seem to have the heat issues with the wall. It is the house that causes all the reflected heat.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 12:22PM
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Remember that there are two different plants called plumbago. One is Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, a groundcover that spreads by underground suckers. It is also called leadwort. The other is a large shrub, Plumbago auriculata, also called cape plumbago. They are related.

I find the shrub to be very pretty. It is not hardy in cold climates. Given that it is described as being deer resistant, it might be a bonus for those of us who live with that particular garden scourge, and have the climate to grow it.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 12:35AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

It's the big shrub we see here. In some cases, it's reached monumental sizes, and has been gracefully carved into hedges. I'm not sold on the very pale flowered ones, but some are darker, and really quite lovely.

(DH dislikes it, so we have none.)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:44PM
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nikthegreek(9b/10a E of Athens, Greece)

One of my plumbagos is fighting out with two specimens of a well known rose 'bully', Rosarium Uetersen. I have to say that I have to intervene in the fight with my pruners every now and then coming out all scratched and covered in bluish sticky flowers. Despite this I find the colour combination somewhat bold but quite attractive although the plumbago's bloom peak does not coincide with the roses' main spring and autumn flushes but with their lesser summer ones.

You can see the plumbago in the middle here and some Uetersen blooms on its right and front. Neither are in their peak in this pic. Sorry for the state of this area weed wise, have been too busy to properly weed out lately.

This post was edited by nikthegreek on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 6:58

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:33AM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Nik, that is so nice. I'm not a plumbago fan, since it's everywhere here and the color doesn't really wow me. However, seeing it with a cool pink, as in your pictures, has made me realize that the pink is the perfect foil for the blue color. It somehow lifts it out of the ordinary and gives it some punch. Good planning on your part!


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:48PM
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This exchange of ideas is further proof that everyone's garden is a different growing environment or even sub climate. I bought the shrub version of Lady Hillingdon as a $2.00 bargain plant from Chamblee's in 2011. She is about 4ft high by 4 ft wide now and puts out blooms every 4 weeks or so. This Spring/summer has been unusually moist here in North Texas. As a result she has lost some foliage to black spot. But otherwise she flowers profusely with a light tea/licorice scent to my nose. I love this rose with her golden apricot hue. It's the best $2.00 I've ever spent.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:02PM
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Out of curiosity, Shopshops, is your Hillingdon own root or budded? Thanks. Kim

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:14PM
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anitasacramento(z9/14 CA)

We have three own-root Lady Hillingdon's in the Sacramento cemetery. All do fine. It's hot and dry here - 107 degrees yesterday! Two are fairly large shrubs that are about 20 years old. We have one going up over an archway on the other side of a Reve d'Or, but I'm not sure that it's the climbing form. It seems to be one of those roses that builds up if it has something to climb upon, but otherwise just grows as a loose shrub. Two of them get some shade. The one in the Broadway Bed gets constant deadheading and blooms more often. If you don't get the hips off, it won't repeat much in the summer. That may sound obvious, but in my experience, many Teas just keep blooming, deadheaded or no.

I also have one at home. It was Samantha's rose, donated at the El Cerrito conference in 2005. I'm pretty sure it's the climbing form since it sent out long, floppy canes almost immediately. I have it hoisted over a tripod. It's in fairly full sun,and does fine.

The blooms are much lighter in tone in the summer and some have less petals. That great deep yellow tone is only in spring and fall. The leaves do scorch a bit when it's really hot. It would not be my first choice for a really hot spot with lots of reflected sun.

I think that the English preference for growing LH "up against a wall" is because of her need for protection from cold and some heat for best bloom production in chilly England. The only LH that one tends to see over there are climbing LH, invariably on a warm wall.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 12:53AM
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