Rose Variety Sunny Sky

By David Marks
Sunny Sky was bred by W. Kordes and Sons, Germany in 1997.It was awarded the Rose of the Year 2016 at the Hampton Court Flower show in London.It has also been named as an ADR award winner in 2015 and the Portland Gold Medal winner for 2016.

Sunny Sky is an upright Hybrid Tea rose with double yellow flowers, deeper yellow in the centre compared to the lighter outer leaves which fade almost to white. This is a repeat flowering rose although flowers are likely to be produced in two flushes when established, ealy July to late July and then in September.

Being a Hybrid Tea, roses are produced on a single stem, the size of individual blooms is about 10cm / 4in. Scent is medium strength and citrus.

Rose variety Sunny Sky

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Rose variety Sunny Sky

Leaves are a glossy olive green. This is a strong growing and upright rose bush which reaches a height of 1.2m / 4ft and a spread of 1m / 3ft.


Sunny Sky is a very healthy and quick growing rose. We still suggest however that you follow our instructions on controlling black spot which can be found here.


Prune Sunny Sky rose as follows:

  • Remove all stems which show any signs of disease or damage. Cut them back to ground level or back to a main stem.
  • Remaining stems should then be pruned back to 15cm / 6 in from ground level. This will allow you to get a good view of the structure of the rose bush.
  • Now prune the rose bush so that it has four or five stems arranged equally apart roughly in a circle from the centre of the plant. These stems should ideally be growing out from the centre of the bush.
  • Compromise may be required but the idea is to keep the centre of the rose bush open and have the branches growing outwards. This is to allow air circulation to the centre of the plant and avoid infections.
  • When selecting stems, make sure that you remove stems which are touching or nearly touching another stem. Where stems are touching, they will rub off the outer bark and allow infections to enter.
  • Green stems are healthier and younger than browner stems so remove the browner stems and leave the green stems which are more vigorous.
  • When selecting the stems to remain, don’t leave spindly stems. Your are looking to have four or five stems which are at least the thickness of a pencil, hopefully thicker.


Bought online from Peter Beales on 24 January 2020 with another rose at a cost of £30.85 including postage and packing (so £15.42 per rose).

It was delivered with the other rose on 31 January 2020, extremely quick delivery time. The rose was supplied as a bare-rooted plant.

Rose variety Sunny Sky ready for planting
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A bare-rooted Sunny Sky rose ready for planting

See our page on comparing online rose suppliers here.

This rose was planted in our rose bed on 31 January 2020. We will update you on the progress of this variety below throughout the life of this rose.


4th April 2020
Sprayed with Roseclear. Looks to be establishing well. Surrounding ground covered in cardboard and mulched with very well composted wood chip. Watered twice after planting because of the unusually dry weather.

1st June 2020
Sprayed with Roseclear.

8th July 2020
First flower appeared, later than many other varieties but well worth the wait.

2nd August 2020
The first flush is still going strong with a good number of blooms. Even in rainy / windy weather the flowers are held high with no sign of drooping. No disease problems whatsoever. An outstanding variety by any standards.

15th August 2020
An exceptionally long first flush of flowers has now come to end. No sign of any pests or diseases.

In late August 2020 this plant produced what appeared to be three suckers which dwarfed the rest of the plant growth. Time and circumstances meant that we didn’t have time to investigate in detail what had happened.

The flowers which were produced in the first flush were truly beautiful and lots of them. 2021 will enable us to investigate further.


HEIGHT: 1.2m (4ft)

SPREAD: 60cm (2ft)

ROSE TYPE: Hybrid Tea, repeat flowering in two main flushes

FLOWER COLOUR: Yellow centre fading to almost white on the outer petals

FRAGRANCE: Citrus, medium

LEAVES: Olive green, glossy

THORNS: Average


USDA ZONES: 8b to 4b


GROWING CONDITIONS: Full or partial sunlight (four hours or more sun in summer)

SOIL CONDITIONS: Almost all soil conditions except dry or water-logged soils

CONTAINER GROWING: Not best suited to it

BREEDER: Kordes, 1997

AWARDS: Several awards although not an AGM


Click here for more in depth reviews of our recommended rose varieties.