Please help with Lady of Shallot

KarenPA_6bMay 3, 2014

I just picked up a potted Lady of Shallot. The David Austin label says that it can be grown as a 5' shrub or and 8ft climber. What does this mean? What do I need to do to keep it as a 5' shrub? Do I constantly prune it to a certain height? Or are there specific times that the bush should be pruned? Many thanks in advance!

Karen

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I grow my Lady of Shalott as a 5' shrub. The first year or two I didn't do much of anything except feed and water it. At some point during the second year two of the canes started stretching up--obvious wanted to climb something! I cut them back a bit lower than the normal height of the shrub, and I may have had to do a bit of touch up pruning of those two canes somewhat later.

The Lady seems to have received the message and has been growing as a shrub ever since.

I have another Austin--Mortimer Sackler--which can be a tall shrub or a climber. It worked pretty much the same as the Lady--second year, a couple canes obviously wanted to reach for the sky. I trimmed them back--maybe did a bit of touch up pruning later and then pretty much left the bush alone. I seem to remember that a year or two later, I trimmed back a couple canes during the spring pruning, but I don't think I've done any other pruning of this shrub.

It's really not much of a hassle. If you want it to climb, plant it fairly close to an arbor or trellis. That way it can't grow outward (bushy); instead, it reaches upward for the sun--and thus makes a good climber.

My Lady of Shalott is in a fairly open spot--which hopefully encourages her to bush outward.

Good luck with your Lady.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 5:59PM
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