Roses have a long and vibrant history and have even been recognized as a status symbol. Because roses come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, they allow gardeners a great deal of variety from which to choose. New rose gardeners may be tempted to jump headfirst into growing hybrid tea or floribunda roses only to be discouraged by the lack of blooms or amount of maintenance encountered. Shrub roses like Knockout® serve as a wonderful compromise for those who want roses in the landscape but aren’t sure where to start.
Characteristics of the Knockout® rose:
- Disease resistant
- Shrub-type rose that reblooms continuously throughout the growing season
- Bloom colors somewhat limited relative to other types of roses
- Multi-season interest with dark green, glossy foliage turning dark maroon to purple in fall
These roses are generally low maintenance and require very little pruning. Much like other roses, Knockouts® can be pruned in spring to reduce their size or stimulate flowering. They also respond quite well to a light summer pruning to balance or shape the plant. Deadheading, or removing spent blooms, will also encourage flowering especially on older plants. Dead, damaged, or diseased stems can be removed any time of year. Take care to sanitize pruners between cuts if disease is suspected. Bypass pruners work best to make a clean cut- anvil style pruners will crush stems and prohibit proper healing. As with any rose, be sure to wear thick or leather gloves to prune- the thorns are no joke! For more information on roses, visit Our Rose Garden or contact your local Extension office.