Am I supposed to cut roses to the ground in Winter

artisticcheese(7)August 5, 2013


I have very little understanding about what to do with roses in my garden. I beleive they are called "knockout" roses. And my question is wether I need to cut entire bush to 6 inch in the winter? I heard I'm supposed to do that.
I'm in Dallas, TX.


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Probably not - how cold does it get where you live in the WInter? Does it snow?


    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 6:55PM
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It snows may be couple of days a year, it drops probably too 28 at most sometimes

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 7:27PM
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Here's a video put out by the developer of the knockout rose that might help:

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 8:16PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

NO! Prune in the Spring...

Some people prune 1/3 of the bush others prune
down even lower as shown in the video provided by subk3...

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 8:34PM
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predfern(z5 Chicago)

1) Roses die from top down in cold, increases cold damage.
2) Food stored in canes necessary for growth in spring.

See article below

Here is a link that might be useful: Do heavy rose pruning in the spring not the fall

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 12:12AM
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seil zone 6b MI

No, don't prune them down until spring. Then you can decide how low you need to take them to. Cut off any cane that has died over the winter and prune them for shape and size. Remember that where ever you prune them to they will grow UP from there. So take them down lower than you want them to eventually get to. With some practice and experience you'll get a feel for how you need to prune them for your likes. You can also prune during the season for shape and size, as needed, while you are dead heading the spent blooms.
Unless they're grafted and you prune them off to the graft pruning should not hurt them during the growing season. But pruning in the fall removes needed stored energy for spring revival.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 10:24AM
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nickl(Z7a NJ)

I very strongly agree with those who say to NOT cut down your roses for the winter. Nothing good can come of it, and a lot of bad can happen'.

If you feel your roses are too tall for their root system and are whipping around in the wind, you can tie the rose with some twine into a neat package that won't rock around that much.

I must say that I have never found tying to be necessary with shrub roses like "Knockout". They generally have strong roots. After the whole Sandy mess last year, we ended up losing some of our roses to the wind and the cold, But the shrubs never even missed a beat.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 10:47AM
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catsrose(VA 6)

Knock-outs are shrub roses which do not need to be pruned at all, except for taking out the dead wood. Prune in spring for size and shape, but you do not have to prune them.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 9:49PM
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If the roses are really tall, sometimes I'll prune them down them down to 4 feet in the late fall. Otherwise they tend to lean when the ground gets soft and mushy.

This post was edited by zack_lau on Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 9:03

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 9:02AM
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Desertgarden- Las Vegas, Z8b @ 2800 ft.


When to cut down roses depends upon your zone. I am in zone 9b, we strip our roses of their leaves and cut them down to force dormancy in late December or prior to about January 15th. During February, the temperature lows average in the 40's, and highs near 60, so our roses would not get a break. I own knock out roses and have used a similar, but more relaxed protocol ( no drastic pruning) with them.

We also cut the top growth down by 1/3 on all Moderns like hybrid teas, floribundas etc. around August 15th, and give the soil a good dose of organics to prepare for our Fall blooms that easily last through November. We stop fertilization in early October; by the 15th or so depending upon what is being used.

What you do can also vary according to the type of rose. There are old garden roses OGR's) that receive a different protocol.

Someone provided a link for knockouts. It would be a good place to start, as well as getting information specific to your zone, so I would really key in to the advice from the folks on this forum in "your" zone. You may have noticed, protocols vary according to the zone. You wrote that you reside in Dallas, TX which I believe is USDA zone 8A


This post was edited by desertgarden561 on Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 11:50

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 11:27AM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

A lot of what people "hear" about pruning/deadheading roses usually relates to the treatment of those in the hybrid tea class. Knock Out is in the Shrub class. It does not need (or want) a hard pruning at any time. In some zones, we do prune in late winter/early spring (March), and some of us follow when the forsythia blooms as an indicator of when to begin pruning.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 12:19PM
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