Knock Out Roses are graceful, elegant, and surprisingly easy to care for. There are many varieties of these roses including the Double Knock Out Rose, the Rainbow Knock Out Rose, and the Blushing Knock Out Rose.
This simple, yet beautiful, species has many beneficial characteristics. Knock Out Roses are low maintenance and easy to grow. They have a delightful fragrance and a long blooming season, allowing you more time to ‘smell the roses.’ Knock Out Roses are also great at disease resistance and will typically survive a rough winter (although this past year in Cincinnati we have lost many of the plants due to the brutal winter we just went through). Knock Out Roses are also self-cleaning, but if you prefer a cleaner appearance you can cut off the spent flower sections.
Knock Out Roses should be planted in a well-drained area that receives full sun, up to 5-6 hours of sun a day. To plant a Knock Out Rose you will need to dig a hole twice as wide as the container or root ball, make sure you plant at ground level and not to deep. Add organic matter such as compost, manure, or peat moss. Make sure the root ball is moist and loosened before placing in the hole. Back fill the hole with your soil and organic matter, water well, and apply mulch around the base of the plant (you can use leaves, wood chips, etc.). The mulch will help to make sure your Knock Out Roses are well protected through harsh winters.
Knock Out Roses do not require standard rose pruning. To promote healthy growth and encourage bountiful flowers, use hedge trimmers in early spring, after the last hard frost, to shear the shrub down to about 1/3 or 1/2 of its current height. If left unpruned, the roses can grow to a height and width of 3 to 4 feet tall. You may do trimming throughout the season as desired to help maintain its shape.
Knock Out Roses can be planted in groups, amongst other perennials, or with annuals that require the same lighting requirements. They can be used for hedges, borders, or just about anywhere. They are a beautiful addition to any landscape.