Lady Banks Rose – Naked at Bottom

Q: I was hoping you could give me some advice on a problem I have with my four year old Lady Banks rose bush. It is on a west-facing brick wall and over the years, I have attached a double trellis up the wall to allow the bush to grow higher.

This past summer, I noticed that the bush is healthy at the top but scraggly at the bottom. How can I encourage better growth near the ground level?

A: Pruning at the top won’t make it sprout at the bottom. The best thing to do is to cut a couple of the main canes down to twelve inches tall in late February. They will sprout new growth and that can be trained around the base of the plant to hide the naked lower part.

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