How to grow "Knock Out" Knock Out Roses

Are you frustrated because your Knock Out Roses look like old news?  Are they yellow, brown, scraggly looking?  Well here's some tips to make you the "Knock Out" envy of the neighborhood!


The first thing you need to know about Knock Outs is that there's a myth that all you need to do is dig a hole and plant them.  False!  While the Knock Out Rose is about the best rose to choose as far as limited maintenance, it still requires some attention.  When you first plant a Knock Out make sure you water it every day.  The only way for a new potted plant to absorb moisture is from the root bound ball that has been trapped inside that pot where it was grown.  Since the plant hasn't had a change to get rooted in it'll dry out very quickly even after it was just watered.  Therefore, in the heat of the summer, you should water the Knock Out every day for at least 30 days.  Then back it off the every other day for the next 30 days.  After that, your irrigation schedule should suffice.  Obviously adjust watering when it rains.


The second thing you should do very shortly after you plant is apply and rose and floor care product that covers fertilization, insecticide, and fungicide.  Roses are very susceptible to insects and disease.  I have found a great easy to apply product is by Bayer.  It's called "All in one rose and flower care."  Follow the directions and this will be a quick easy way to have great Knock Outs.  Apply as directed.


As your Knock Outs bloom out they'll leave a brown dead flower.  These become somewhat unattractive.  More importantly they drop onto the leaves after time and cause rotting and yellowing.  These dead buds also prevent the rose from putting all its strength into forming new buds for continual flowering.  This is where the term "Dead Heading" comes from.  While this is not absolutely essential to do, if you're going to grow "Knock Out'" Knock Outs it should be a routine.  


After a while Knock Outs can become tall, straggly, and unsightly.  Don't be afraid to prune them.  Depending on how long you've waited will determine just how much.  On landscaping jobs, when a customer has really let their Knock Outs go, I have literally chopped off the entire rose straight across the top and half way down the plant!  Not to worry, Knock Outs are very resiliant and will begin to shows signs of new growth within weeks.  This also helps keep the Knock Out shorter, thicker and more like a rose bush which is what it is supposed to be.


The best way to prune Knock Outs is to do it slightly and more often.  When the blooms turn dead and you go to dead head the plant, just snip the dead bloom and the few leaves under it.  Not much, just about 1/2 " under the bloom.  This will keep the plant healthy and full.  If you do this the Knock Out will reward you with consistent color year around.


Don't give up on your Knock Outs!  Even if they have become eye sores you can bring them back.  Just follow these tips and it's only a matter of a few weeks and you'll being to see the signs.  There's nothing that can beat Knock Outs for class, color, and making a statement in your landscape.  For more information about Holiday's Nursery & Landscaping or "George the Garden Guy" call 904-613-9918.  We can come to your home, give you a wonderful plan, and make your home a garden paradise!