Knock out roses

pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)November 2, 2010

Was visiting my best friend near Wilmington, NC this past week and her house and landscape is beautiful and I noticed that she has a lot of knock out roses planted but said while they do so well there due to a great climate, they work them to death. They talked about prunning them several times a year. I live up north and was considering getting some but now I'm wondering if they will do that well up here. Anybody in the Mid-Atlantic region have any experience with growing knock out roses? I'd definately want the double knock out red or pink varieities.

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jungseed(z4b & z2b)

I would think Knock out roses would be better for you than for your friend. You said you live north of her. Knock out roses were created by Bill Radler who lives and works in Wisconsin. I think you are right about the good growing conditions she has causing the amount of work required.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 9:54AM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

I live in the Maryland/Wash.DC area of the country. I've been admiring the double red knock out rose but would love that pink knockout rose too. I have 3 rose bushes in the back of my house that get the morning and early afternoon sun and do very well. There is a minature yellow rose bush that seems to be getting crowded out so was thinking of digging it up and moving it to a large patio container. Thought I could always plant some annuals around the edge of the container for more color. The containers I have are anywhere from 10-16 inches in diameter and almost that same depth. They are the "fiberglass type" That's not the exact name for the container but you have the idea. They look like they are stone or concrete. Everything that I plant in them seems to do very well. I would be moving the yellow minature rose to the front of the house in the breezeway area which gets full sun afternoon for about 6 hrs. maybe longer depending on what month it is. I can move the patio containers around as my husband made me a wooden frame with wheels attached to keep them elevated from the concrete patio but more for ease in moving them about. I had bought the metal ones and their wheels never work right. So with presured treated lumber he made these and they are great when I want to move the plants around. I am thinking of planting some spring bulbs in them, as I have at least 5 patio containers.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 11:23AM
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Well, Knockout and its cousins are great roses, if you like off-red. I'll let my blog post today speak for me:

Here is a link that might be useful: Anti-Knockout Blog on Garden Musings

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 8:23AM
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So I read the Blog and get where you are coming from, but my question stands on best time to prune them - I was told I could take them down a couple of feet - want them busy vs. tall.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 3:53PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

I have several Knock Out varieties. I like that they can be trimmed back anytime throughout the growing season. I keep mine 3-4 feet tall. Cutting back can be done at the same time faded blooms are removed. An electric trimmer or pair of hedge shears make it easy to remove the faded blooms and as much of the growth you want. I particularly like Blushing Pink Knock Out. Mine grows at the end of my driveway on the street where they're covered with snow all winter. They require little pruning in spring and no spray. They remain disease free and bloom continuously all season. They're a great low maintenance easy care first rose for those "who can't grow roses."

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 4:45PM
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Please make sure that you read up on the exact variety you are planning to buy. I didn't do a complete enough job of that when buying Double Knockout; this was our first rose order and I believed the vendor's assurance that it was just like the well-known Knockout rose except that it was double. Not so! The Double Knockout is definitely disease-resistant, but otherwise it's noticeably different than Knockout. It doesn't have the shade tolerance that I'd read that Knockouts have and it's overall a smaller plant. (And I think the diameter of the blooms might be a bit smaller too, though I'm not certain of that.)

Our Double Knockout got tossed due to Rose Rosette Disease before it ever got to a large size, but I liked it enough to have kept it otherwise. I'm not posting this to knock the Knockout family, not at all, and the same goes for the Double Knockouts. In the right setting (enough sun!) they ought to be fine. The color of red in its blooms is a real red that's quite nice in flower arrangements and nice in the landscape view too.

I have no experience with any Knockouts other than the Double Knockout, which is a nice red. But the same caution would apply to any rose: no matter the name similarity to another rose, including if it's the same breeder, please do look up information on the exact rose you're thinking of buying.

There are some other roses besides the Knockouts that are very disease resistant. If you like yellow, consider Julia Child. For pink, perhaps Belinda's Dream if it's not too tall for your spot. Mortimer Sackler is an extraordinarily healthy pink that can be a mounded shrub or a short climber, and the same is true for Climbing Pinkie. I've just bought Eutin, another red that blooms a lot, is easy to grow, and has good shade tolerance too. For white, maybe Ducher if your winters aren't too cold and summers are warm enough for that one. Fragrant Wave is a very disease resistant hardy white with attractive double flowers, though I wasn't crazy about its hybrid-tea kind of plant form. Lots of teas (not the same as hybrid teas) are easy to grow if your spot is warm enough (examples: Mrs. Dudley Cross, Duchesse De Brabant).

For more suggestions for disease-resistant roses but tending toward the older roses (as the teas are), you might try posting on the Antique Roses Forum to ask for suggestions. Consider posting your location more precisely and you might find someone who lives in your vicinity who'll share their growing experiences with different varieties. (This doesn't mean your experience would necessarily be the same, but the guess would be better than going just on info from someone 600 miles away.)

Use the Help Me Find website to lookup descriptive information, pictures, and comments on each rose that you wind up considering. (Linked below my signature.)

Best wishes,

Here is a link that might be useful: Scroll down on left side of this page to Search on a rose by name

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 1:14AM
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brhgm(z8b LA)

Polyanthas, Buck Roses, Poulsen Town and Country Series, Flowercarpet series are all great shrub roses. Some of the Tea and Noisette roses will do well also. I only prune Knockouts for shape as they need no winter cut back or special care at all. Hybrid Teas have to be cut back twice here in South Louisiana because of the long growing season. Check with Antique Roses Forum for more help.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 1:58PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I grow KO in eastern Pennsylvania. KO thrives in our zone 6 climate and soil. I prune them 2 or 3 times each season. They will grow into a tight bush when pruned. The bloom continuously here and have a light, pleasing, sweet fragrance which can be easily detected when many blooms are present (often).

Pay no attention to the blog published by Prof. Rubbish. There are many rose snobs who fail to understand the difference between a landscape plant and a specimen. No one expects a KO to replace Peace or Mr. Lincoln.

Use Knock Out roses to add color to your summer landscape.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 8:48AM
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petaloid(SoCal 10a/24)

I hear good things about the Knockout series for landscaping, but just wanted to warn folks who live in rust-prone areas (like me, on the Pacific coast) that my Double Knockout gets major rust in season. Even so, it blooms like crazy.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 9:15AM
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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

Harryshoe, your pictures take my breath away! So lovely. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 9:40AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Thanks Karen. There is always a few weeks in the spring where everything comes up roses!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 7:16AM
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I know that knock out roses get a bad rap on the forum, due primarily I believe to their immense popularity. There doesn't seem to be anything on this forum which will separate the rosarians into camps as quickly as a discusion on knockouts. In all of my roses, I only have one, a double knock out, which I picked up on a whim on sale. For me it doesn't have the same impact, grace, and form of a HT or Austen or some of the others. For one the flowers are small. However, there is a reason it is so darn popular. It is a true workhorse of the garden. I didn't do anything for mine--no spraying, very little winter protection, very occassional deadheading--basically just left it in full sun and let it bloom. And it does bloom and bloom and bloom. It has remained in my garden because of its easy care and even though I am constantly looking for room for new roses, I expect it will continue to have a spot in my garden. I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 11:40AM
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I probably won't buy another Double Knockout to replace the one lost to Rose Rosette Disease, but that's simply because there are so very few spots in this yard that both have enough sun and a reduced chance of deer visits. There are roses (especially teas and chinas) that are so beautiful to me that I want them much more. But the Double Knockout's small red double roses were nice, very nice, in the landscape where it was growing. It's not a blah or a bad rose at all. I especially liked its lack of thorns.

It was very, very easy to grow and care for, even in a spot that didn't get enough sun for good blooming from July through October. Little care needed; it doesn't need spraying.

If you like the looks of Double Knockout and it's the right size for your spot(s), then what you see is what you get--no bad surprises that I know of. I'd have kept mine if Rose Rosette Disease hadn't gotten it.

Assuming you do get some Knockouts and then, realizing how much you like roses, you find some room for more... well, just keep looking at online nurseries and at HelpMeFind for more rose pictures and information. There are quite a few that you'll fall in love with. :)

Best wishes,

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 7:51PM
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