Best Time to Prune Blushing Knock-Out Rose Bush?

LindaMA(MA z5)October 9, 2008

What is the best time to prune a knock-out rose bush and how far down can I cut it? When I purchased this blushing knock-out in the Spring from Home Depot, it was a bag rose and I had my doubts about how well it would actually do. To my surprise, the rose bush took off and started to bloom not too long after I purchased it and it's still blooming on October 9th! It's getting pretty big, something I didn't expect, and I'd like to cut it down some and shape it a little better, can anyone tell me how I should do this and when?

Many thanks!


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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Next spring.

Regular Knock Out, which is the only one I'm familiar with, seems to canker very easily. Last year I was pruning 3 separate sets of them, and they all had noticable damage at the old leaf nodes. It may have had something to do with a mild winter, but that only means this one is going to get hit hard no matter what the weather does. So pretty much the only thing to do is wait until spring, and see what has to be pruned out.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 11:05AM
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Hi Linda...I usually prune mine hard in February.I'm in zone 7 so I don't know if it would be the same in your zone or not. I know from experience that ko's are very hardy and easy to grow. I love them for their non stop color in my landscape. Hope that helps some.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 11:07AM
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roseman(Z 8A GA)

You should shape up the Knockout family of roses, but since they are shrubs, they should not be pruned as you would a hybrid tea. Cut them back one-third is need be, but only shape up shrubs, but do not prune.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 12:06PM
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Terry Crawford

Linda, I'm in Zone 5 here in Illinois and I grow several Knockouts. What I routinely do is prune off all the dead growth in April.

Some years, depending on the winter, there won't be as much winter damage as other years, so I'll be left with a bigger shrub after I prune. However, this past April, I had to prune quite a bit of dead wood off and they were pretty small. But trust me, it doesn't take them long to rebound and start growing again. Mine are all huge beasts now again.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 12:23PM
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I am actually trying to get a handle on how low to prune if I want my knockouts to eventually be about 4 fet tall. Can anyone help? I just cut them back to about three feet but my hunch is that from here they'll go crazy. Two feet seems so smlll compared to where I am starting from. This will be their third year. Last summer they got to be about 5 feet and that is larger than what I want right now. The first year they were in they grew pretty slowly and last year I pruned in early April to about 2 feet and they grew to about 5 feet. Should i go back to 2 feet if i want an outcome of 4 or should I go to three feet and then cut back in the summer if they are larger than I want?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 3:19PM
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