If ever there were a plant fit for a president, Mister Lincoln (Rosa ‘Mister Lincoln’) would be it! Named in honor of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, this award-winning rose offers amazing fragrance with beauty to match! (In fact, I think it would be very fitting if our government would find a way to plant this rose around the Lincoln Memorial…maybe even in copper pots made from recycled pennies!)

Mister Lincoln rose close-up

Mister Lincoln is an elegant stunner!

Photo Credit: Stan V. Griep

Mr Lincoln rose bush

Mister Lincoln brings lovely bouquets, whether naturally in the landscape or arranged in a vase.

Photo Credit: Stan V. Griep

This hybrid tea rose has been standing proud since it was first bred in 1964, today blooming aplenty and bringing wonderful fragrance to countless rose beds and gardens. From the time of my first rose memory, Mister Lincoln was a name well at the forefront. My mother’s rose beds have never been without this beauty. (Today I help her tend to seven of them in her current garden.)

Nearly every large bloom of this amazing plant seems to have the appearance of expensive red velvet, with 30-35 petals per flower. (For us here in Colorado, Mister Lincoln starts to bloom in early June and then blooms again and again until the first frosts, sometimes as late as mid-November.) And in my opinion, Mister Lincoln sets a standard for fragrance that’s hard to match! Cutting some flowers to take indoors is truly a special treat, because the fragrance will just fill the room. In fact, these beautiful and perfumed blooms have won many a trophy at various rose shows, including “Most Fragrant Rose.”

In addition to being gorgeous, Mister Lincoln is a very hardy rosebush here in Colorado, as well as in many other areas with cold winters and hot summers. The plant loves to reach toward the sky, too, as if to display its beautiful blooms to those traveling in airplanes or hot air balloons! (Well, okay, maybe not quite that tall…but I have heard that Mister Lincoln reaches well-over 7 feet tall in some parts of California!)

Given its love to grow tall, Mister Lincoln is best planted in areas where it can stretch without interference. That said, the bush doesn’t seem to spread out much more than a 30-inch space will allow. If you get Mister Lincoln as a bare-root rose, I recommend planting it in very early spring, just as soon as the soil is able to be dug out for planting. Then mound the soil back up on the bush a bit for protection, as the weather is usually still unsettled at that time. Buying the plant as a leafed- and budded-out bush will require that it be planted after the last frost date. (Here, that’s supposed to be May 15th, but that date’s been flexible recently, so be ready to provide protection if the weather reports speak of frost!)

Try planting Mister Lincoln along walkways to give your visitors a very special treat as they come to your house entry – with the beautiful red blooms set against rich green foliage to catch their eyes and the wonderful fragrance to entice their sense of smell. (You’re sure to see many a smile and hear rave reviews from your guests!)

The only disease problems this rose has had for me comes from powdery mildew. But I’ve easily controlled the issue thanks to a fungicide. And truly, the splendor and overall hardiness of this fantastic rose outweighs any disease problems!

I highly recommend this blooming beauty to anyone who loves roses – and especially to those who love the strong and pleasing fragrance of these remarkable flowers. (Thank you, Mister Lincoln!)