We are doing some landscaping and we're going to use some knock out roses in our plan. Just had a friend who doesn't know what knock outs are, rave about fairy roses. What are the pros & cons of both? I am in zone 5.
Originally, the "Fairy Roses" were dwarf (two to sixteen inches) rose bushes with single or double blooms, cultivated in the 1800's. They are/were dwarf or miniature Chinas and are probably virtually extinct now.
The fairy rose available today is a Polyantha Shrub Rose which is usually a smaller than average rose bush, growing to about three feet.
The pros and cons between Polyantha Shrubs and Knock Outs are pretty much dependent on what you like, want to take care of, and how much you want to see the same thing (particularly in the case of the Knock Outs) in almost every garden from Maine to California and everywhere in between.
When you start talking about real zone 5 winter temperatures, The Fairy is going to be a much better rose than Knock Out simply because it is hardier. Neither has any scent. Knock Out has larger flowers, but The Fairy has much, much larger flower clusters. Knock Out is red, The Fairy is pink. Both are very disease resistant.
Then there is Frontenac....
Knock out roses come in pink as well...but I cannot speak to zone 5 hardiness. I will say my knockout Blush has better disease resistance than The Fairy down here in hot-n-humid zone 7b-verging-on-8a.
The knockout has a much more shrublike habit and nicer foliage (my opinion) than the fairy. They are two distincly different plants. I don't see one directly substituting for the other.
I grow double knockouts is zone 4. Very easy care and lovely blooms. Prune/dead head regularly and they perform well. I agree with laag that they have a nicer foliage. I fertalize once a month from May to August. No problems.
I have both deep pink and yellow Knockout Roses. They grow very fast, make a nice shrub, and are pretty much low-maintenance. I am in zone 8b (or 9, depending on what site you visit.)
Thanks all for your info. I feel a little more comfortable now. We have the double pink knock outs on our plan and think we will just keep it that way.
stormz4: what do you use for fertilizer?
I dunno what stormz4 uses, but I use Espoma's Rose Tone. On everything in my garden.