Q: In 2001 my husband built a beautiful arbor for my Lady Banks rose . In April 2005 she was beautiful on the arbor, bloomed profusely, everything was lovely. Now, for the past several years she has totally covered the beautiful arbor. How do I severely prune this huge rose? I don’t want to prune from February until August because MANY birds build their nests in the tangle of her branches and I’d hate to disrupt a family of birds. So, is it possible to prune the rose from late August through January?
A: Lady Banks can be a bit of a glutton can’t she? Lucky you didn’t plant the rose next to your garage or it would be covered by now.
If you don’t care about blooms, you can certainly prune it back to a manageable size this winter. Now that you know how insatiable this vigorous rose can be, keep a pair of pruners on a hook at the arbor and prune as necessary during the summer.
Betty R. adds “Here is a Lady Banks rose at the Physic Garden in London. Huge!” (below)