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Rosa banksiae 'Lutea'

Jenny1066Jenny1066 Posts: 24
We planted the above rose on a small metal arch around 5 years ago as we were told it was a small growing rose.  We only had a good flush of flowers the second year and ever since it just ends up like a tangled mass on top of the arch with very few flowers.  We just trim it back to make it look tidier but should we perhaps cut it right back now to give it a fresh start or is it simply too rampant for a small arch.  Help.


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    I think the rose will be too vigorous for your small arch. By the time you prune back, you will be pruning out potential flowering stems. It's more suitable for a wall training, top of fence, or pergola.
  • Jenny1066Jenny1066 Posts: 24
    Thank you.  Having now researched it I realise that is the case. How difficult it would be to dig it up and remove it I don't know.
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 Posts: 886
    Lutea has lovely small flowers but grows up to 12m so definitely too big for a standard garden arch. You could cut it back hard and start again, giving it good prune each year to keep in check, but it may be better to move it somewhere you can enjoy it. 

    It’s a rambler so you need to do any regular pruning after flowering, don’t leave it to the winter/early spring as you would a climbing rose.

    Pilgrim is a yellow climbing rose, not thornless but repeat flowers so a longer season. 
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
    East facing, top of a hill clay-loam, cultivated for centuries (7 years by me). Birmingham
  • Jenny1066Jenny1066 Posts: 24
    Thank you.  Looks like we had better remove it then.  I wonder how deep the roots are - don't want to disturb the arch!!  Think we will veer away from roses as we don't seem to be very good with them.  We have a lovely purple small flowering clematis on the other side which I cut back each Spring and up it goes.  Any suggestions what might go with that instead of the Lutea?
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,053
    It’s a shame you have been sold the wrong rose, as others have said it is no way a small rose suitable for an arch. Don’t let it put you off growing roses! There are some lovely smaller climbing roses that would be much more suitable and repeat flowering too. Another yellow, white, peach, whatever colour you fancy really.

    After 5 years it will have established, relatively deep roots. You would need to dig all around it carefully and get as much of the roots out as you can. If planting another rose there, swap the soil with some from another part of the garden and scatter mycorrhizal fungi in the hole and on the roots of the new rose to avoid rose replant disease. Usually either soil replacement or the fungi are sufficient to avoid the new one getting diseased, but I tend to do both to be on the safe side.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Loraine3Loraine3 Posts: 569
    I have a Readers Digest book 'Guide to Creative Gardening' and the comment for Rosa banksia lutea is that it deserves the tallest and warmest wall available; the south front of a three storey house is ideal! I lived in a 3 storey Georgian farmhouse which had this rose on the south east corner, periodically my father in law hacked it to the ground and it always sprang back! There is also one on Killerton House (NT).
  • Jenny1066Jenny1066 Posts: 24
    Thank you Nollie and Loraine. Certainly learning a lot about this rose this morning!  Feeling a bit sad really!
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,900's a little bit more information for you..

    ..I'm a little amused you were told this was a small rose..   it flowers best if the main framework is at least 6 years old, and the lateral growth that comes off that, is at least 2 years old.. so pruning needs to be judicious and can be tricky to get right, in order to get the most blooms... a bit like Wisteria..  not a rose for beginners unless it can be totally left alone for a few years to just grow.. hacking it about every year will give you less flowers..
    ..the world's largest rose is a white version that was planted in Tombstone, Arizona in the 1880's... it now covers some 5000 square feet..'s a link if you'd like to read about it.. 'Lutea' is only reliably hardy in the south of England..

    East Anglia, England
  • Jenny1066Jenny1066 Posts: 24
    What an interesting story - thank you for sharing it. Would love to see it.
  • Hi, I came across this post whilst looking for some advice on my rosa banksiae Alba plena. We too were advised this was a good flower for an archway. We have had it for about 3 years with very few flowers. We had been cutting it back as the new growth grows really quickly. 

    When reading up on how to care for it, I thought I read it was best to cut it back at the end or august and from the photo you will see it’s out of control. However when I checked again, every advice says to prune after flowering in May. 

    So, my question is, if I cut it back now and cut back the new growth, will that affect the flowering next year? And how much do I actually cut back. Enough to make it neat or take it back a lot to allow for some re growth? Or do I leave it to do its thing until it flowers next May?

    We have a jasmine climber on the other side that is doing well but doesn’t grow as fast. 

    Many thanks in advance. A very confused and novice gardener!!
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