Knockout roses under pine tree

redecoratingmom(8 GA)November 28, 2011

Ok, I've been searching the site and cannot find the answer to this question. Maybe its crazy, but I want to know if anyone has had success with planting knockout roses under pine trees? I have a tall, sparsely branched pine tree in my front yard and I'm itching to plant something wonderful and colorful under it. So that led me to think of knockout roses. I'm concerned about the light shading the tree provides and the acidic soil. Will that spell doom for the roses?

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ken-n.ga.mts(7a/7b)

Go ahead and plant a few. If the pine tree is sparse they should do very well.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 4:08PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Most roses do best with 6 hours or more of sunshine, but some can get by with somewhat less--but they may bloom less also, and may be a bit more susceptible to blackspot disease. I imagine Knock Outs might do all right where you want them, but I wouldn't plant them any closer than necessary to the pines.

Don't think the acidic soil is that much of a problem--unless the soil is terribly acidic. Wouldn't the big thick roots to the pine tree be a problem, however?

Did you think about some hydrangeas under the pine trees instead of roses? That might work better.

Kate

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 4:11PM
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stlgal(south z5)

I've seen KOs growing in all kinds of strange places here, so I anticipate they'd do okay as long as they aren't too crowded by roots. Agree with Dublinbay that hydrangea might be a more natural choice, as they like some shade and don't mind acidic soil.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 6:03PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I say go for it! I've seen KOs growing and blooming just fine in all kinds of situations. I thought roses liked an acid soil?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 8:53PM
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stlgal(south z5)

I don't think they're too picky--ours is on the alkaline side before amendment and they do fine. KOs can only be taken down by rose rosette as far as I can tell, so I'd second the 'go for it'!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 11:41PM
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teakettle2

My neighbor has two canary island pines that I am forced to live with. I grow hydrangeas, geraniums and ferns. Farther out-at the edge of the pine shade I planted a Lyda Rose and two Bonica roses. They are all doing ok. All of them are still blooming right now.
I just got the Lyda rose this spring and it is a blooming fool. I heard it did well in part shade and she sure is. To me,the blossoms look like dogwood so I have a nice forest look going (IMO).
Try it-you can always dig em up and give em away.if it doesnt work out.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 11:57PM
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redecoratingmom(8 GA)

Wow, thanks for such quick replies! The roots might be a bit of an issue. Yet, I did plant some azaleas in the same spot a couple of years ago in the dead heat of a GA summer. Needless to say they didn't make it (long story). I remember when digging there I did hit root a few times but I got them planted. Are knockouts deep rooted?
I have considered the hydrangeas before but I'm just not crazy about them. I want to like them, I really do, but its just something about them...maybe its the leaves. I like plants with smaller leaves (weird, I know).

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 12:38AM
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zack_lau

Root competition can be an issue--both pines and roses have shallow root systems. Redbuds ought to be a better companion for roses--they have deep root systems that make them tough to transplant. One of the reasons for redoing entire beds is that it allows me to remove the invasive root systems that run all through our yard. Similarly, I prefer to transplant roses as dormant bareroots--this allows me to separate the invasive roots from the roses.

Invasive roots are worst when it comes to transplanting potted plants--they can zoom into that rich potting mixture and choke a plant that hasn't had a chance to become established.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 8:39AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Nothing ventured nothing gained... Try it and see what happens.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 12:16PM
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redecoratingmom(8 GA)

Okay, I think I'll go for it. Nothing ventured nothing gained is right Jim! I am worried about the root situation but, hey, Home Depot and Lowes have a 1 year warranty on perennials so I won't lose much besides labor. I really want some roses in my front yard and this is really my most practical location in the sense that I don't have to dig up something else to plant them. I just renovated a bed in the front and that experience has scarred me for life haha. Definitely not eager to do it again. So a couple of question before I set out:
1. Should I dig up the whole area, add amendments, and maybe raise the grade a few inches, or should I just plant them hole by hole?
2. Any guesses on how far from the tree I should plant? There's a smaller pine next to it and it has some unidentified shrubs planted right up to the trunk. The shrubs and tree has survived all this time but it just doesn't seem right.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 2:34PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

1. Should I dig up the whole area, add amendments, and maybe raise the grade a few inches, or should I just plant them hole by hole?
2. Any guesses on how far from the tree I should plant? There's a smaller pine next to it and it has some unidentified shrubs planted right up to the trunk. The shrubs and tree has survived all this time but it just doesn't seem right.

------------------------------------------------------------

I need to think about your situation for a bit....

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 3:05PM
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Merilia(8 PNW)

While you might not lose much by growing a rose under bad conditions, *somebody* is losing money when you ask for your refund. From what I understand about how plants are sold by big box stores, it will be the nursery growing the roses that takes the loss. I would personally not feel comfortable asking for a refund if I purposefully didn't respect a plant's cultural needs.

On a completely different note, probably the biggest risk to plants under the pine tree would be dryness. I would be willing to bet that lack of adequate water is what killed your azalea, and roses need more irrigation than azaleas do.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 6:14PM
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redecoratingmom(8 GA)

Merilia, I completely understand where you are coming from, actually you sound a lot like my husband in that regard (the-man-who-refuses-to-return-anything). Believe me my plan is not nearly that diabolical or crazy to set out to intentionally kill plants in hopes of a refund in the distant future. "Yes, lets purchase a small lot of plants, transplant them where they have no chance for survival,watch them slowly come to demise, then dig 'em up months later all for the thrill of the return process...muwahahahah!" Just kidding. Seriously, I really want the plants to thrive which was the motivation behind me posting this question. If this idea has no chance of working, I really want to know.
As far as the azaleas, I do agree that a lack of water killed them but am not sure it was solely because of the pine tree. Here in the south, azaleas are about as common as grass. No respectable garden here would be complete with out some. Many of the ones grown are typically planted around pine trees (also as common as grass here) and they thrive. Mine, on the other hand, were planted out in the middle of the front yard, by a woman in her last trimester of pregnancy, at the peak of a scorching GA summer in the middle of a drought. As you may have guessed, the hotter it got, the bigger I got and less often was I willing to drag out that hose and stand in the heat for 15-20mins watering them. So they slowly became twigs. But you'd be glad to know that I did NOT return them. Nope, they became so twig like that the guy who cut our grass couldn't tell otherwise and ran them down with the lawn mower.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 6:35PM
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teakettle2

Lol! That's pretty darn funny..thanks for giving me a smile today.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 9:29PM
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spartan-apple

I am a bit concerned about what success you may have. I do not have pines but did try a similar event under the canopy of a Norway spruce. Trying to dig a hole was a lot of work as the area was full of spruce roots. Digging "too many" holes would definitely hurt the spruce.

In my case it was just a few so I took the chance. I chose
shade tolerant plants but water was the issue. I had to water them every day or they wilted in summer. The vast
root system of the spruce would just suck the area dry.

I gave up the following year and put a few potted plants under the spruce. Perfect! No damage to the spruce and I did not have to water as often.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 12:35PM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

How about the other way around: adding a conifer to an already-existing rose garden? I was thinking of adding a couple cypress trees to provide a bit of shade and a vertical accent...any thoughts? bart

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 10:32AM
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jazzmom516(Zone 7 LI, NY)

I think that if you want color you may want to go with summer blooming perennials that like shady conditions rather than the roses-- the root systems of the perennials are not as deep as a rose has. I definitely think the pine tree is going to win the battle for food & water competition with the rose. Another thought is to plant shade loving annuals for that color in the summer.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 1:18PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Can you plant them far enough away that they will not interfere with each other bart...?

Since the original person created this thread I have seen KO's planted under trees or close to trees and they are not doing so well... In the 3 cases I have seen...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 1:46PM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

How far away would it have to be, do you think? bart

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 4:44AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Probably 20 ft away from the tree trunk--and if it is a Norway spruce, about 30 ft away from the tree trunk. (I speak from experience about the Norway spruce--with time it will take over an entire corner of your yard.)

Kate

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 9:05AM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

I was thinking more of Italian cypress trees...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:34AM
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seil zone 6b MI

I don't think any tree is a good idea in a rose bed. The tree roots will take over and the roses will have to compete to get enough water and nutrients. Besides that shade will reduce the amount of bloom. Roses love sunshine. If it gets too hot you can always erect some type of shade for them temporarily.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:55AM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

Seil, you are in a zone 6,in Michigan. Here in Italy,in my garden with it's south-western exposure,most roses really welcome a bit of shade.In fact, that's why I want to do it! but not in a bed with the roses, natch...bart

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 11:05AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I know what you mean, bart. I always strategically plant 1-2 trees in the southwest corner and 1-2 trees somewhere along the western property line. Those spots give the best shade from our boiling hot late-afternoon/August sun. The flowers and bushes are planted in between or under the trees (shade plants) or to the east of the trees (which cast long shadows after 4:00 in the afternoon).

Morning sun is a whole different ball-game--take advantage of all the morning sun you can get.

Kate

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 1:19PM
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summerseve_gw

I grow a lot of Knockout roses (200+), and many of them(150+) are under four Spruce pine trees, I cut down the lower branches for the sunlight, and they're are doing very well, I water them once a day during the hot and dry summer days (above 75ðF/24ðC). The hottest day here is under 90ðF/32ðC. They're wonderful landscaping roses, fill your gardens with colors, so my old garden roses can just take their time with no hurry....... :-)

This post was edited by Summerseve on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 0:01

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 11:57PM
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