What Are Knockout Roses
Have you ever seen Knockout Roses? This particular type of rose is one of the more famous of roses as the blossoms are simple exquisite. The name certainly matches the vision that one sees. Introduced by rose breeder, Bill Radler, the first Knockout has expanded into a much larger family.
The first of the Knockout Roses won the AARS award in the year 2000. This rose was cultivated to be easy to grow, easy to care for and easy on the eyes. In fact, one of the best characteristics of this rose is that it is the most disease resistant rose available. Another benefit of the Knockout is that you can enjoy new blossoms about every 5 to 6 weeks during the growing season with no deadheads left on the stems.
Other characteristics of the Knockout Roses are that they are also pest resistant, have a high tolerance to drought and are Black Spot resistant. Each member of the family also requires full sun for proper growth. What else could you ask for in an easy to grow and care for rose?
Being perfect for almost any zone (must be protected in the winter in colder zones), these make a perfect accent for gardens, pathways and patios. The growth can spur to about 3 to 4 feet both in width and in height. If pruned, you can easily maintain a smaller shape to fit easier into the landscape. The current varieties of the Knockout Roses are:
- The Knockout
- The Double Knockout (double bloom type)
- The Blushing Knockout
- The Rainbow Knockout
- The Sunny Knockout
- The Pink Knockout
- The Double Pink Knockout (double bloom type)
AARS, All-America Rose Selections, has very strict criteria for the roses that are presented their award. The roses must go through very extensive testing over a time span of several years to ensure that they are the best of the best. Every variety of the Knockout family has gone through this same testing to ensure that each one has the same wonderful qualities that any rose lover wants from a rose.
The original Knockout is a somewhat deep but enticing red color while the Rainbow Knockout is a combination of a delicate but tasteful pink with a bright yellow in the center. The Sunny Knockout has blossoms that begin with a bright and sunny yellow color and then slowly fade to a creamy white. A tip for the Sunny Knockout rose lover is that the cooler weather will entice the yellow to stay in the blossom longer.
It doesn’t matter if you have afraid of purchasing that first rose plant or you have been growing roses for years. Choosing a Knockout rose with the AARS stamp of approval is a for sure sign that you are picking a winner. It is a rose that will bloom whole heartedly for years to come.
All roses offer an exquisite bloom; some have a fragrance that is lighter than others and the colors can range from white to black (it’s really not black though). In regards to Knockout Roses, the colors are truly remarkable and their upkeep minimal and altogether a winning combination.
Caring for Knockout Roses
If you have seen Knockout Roses then you know how beautiful they are but did you know that Caring for Knockout Roses is easier than you may think? Keep in mind that although they one of the most beloved roses, they are still a rose. With this in mind, the care is simple.
Tips When Caring for Knockout Roses
* Ensure before planting that the designated spot receives at least 6 hours of full sun each day and the soil has good drainage.
* Knockout Roses are actually considered a shrub which should give you an idea of how to properly care for the plant. You can let them grow as they want to or you can keep them trimmed in a particular shape.
* If the base of the shrub is consistently producing new shoots on a yearly basis, it you can remove the older canes to allow the new shoots to fully develop and produce even more blooms.
* The best way to choose which canes should be removed is whichever are producing the least amount of blossoms should be the ones to be removed.
* Remove canes that are not growing in the same outward direction as the other canes and stems.
* Trimming can be done throughout the blooming season but should really only be done to collect specimens for the centerpiece or to remove any dead parts. However, the major trimming (about 12 to 18 inches) should be done while the bush is dormant which is during the colder seasons in either late fall or early spring.
* If you are wanting to keep your Knockout’s in a smaller sized bush, you can drastically cut back the canes in the early spring. This will not hurt the plant but will encourage it to grow when growing season gets started.
* Deadheading, or removing the actual blossoms, is recommended to be done once a blossom has been spent or is no longer showing its full glory.
* When Caring for Knockout Roses in the colder months, protect each bush in the winter by adding several inches of mulch around the base of the plant. Covering it with burlap or a heavy plastic is helpful to protect the main portion from the cold, especially if you get frost and snow.
* Watering can be an issue with many but in reality it is a simple task. Watering is best done with a drip system but if you don’t have one of these, you can water 2 to 3 times a week by thoroughly soaking the ground. If you have very high temperatures in the warmer months, watering may need to be done more often to provide ample moisture.
* It is best to water during the early hours of the day as this will ensure the plant receives as much moisture as possible before it is evaporated by the heat. While watering, ensure that the leaves and blossoms do not get wet and only the base/ground receives water. If water lands on the leaves/blossoms, the water droplets will stain and damage the leaves/blossoms as well as possibly cause the infliction of diseases.
* Fertilizer is a must but is only part of Caring for Knockout Roses at certain times throughout the year. It is best to follow the instructions of a quality rose fertilizer however you can feed your Knockout’s after each blooming cycle.
Roses, more specifically Knockout Roses, are some of the most beautiful roses in the world. Having them in your yard/garden is possible and you can enjoy their blossoms for years with the right care.
Planting Knockout Roses
Has the thought of Planting Knockout Roses discouraged you from taking that step and planting a bush or two? If so, remove those negative thoughts from your mind right now because planting a new Knockout in your garden is super easy. Are you ready to get started?
Okay, so you are at your favorite nursery or home improvement store in the garden section and you see their selection of Knockout roses. Their colors are so vibrant, their petal arrangements are so delicately designed but oh they look so intimidating! Sure their thorns can do a number on your hands and arms if you are not careful but with a little patience and care you too can have gorgeous Knockout roses growing in and around your flower beds.
Like any other family of roses, there are certain stipulations that must be met in order for your rose to survive. Granted, there are roses that are decades old that haven’t seen a days’ care and look great. However, we are talking about roses in your care; yes, you can do it and be successful at it.
All roses need a certain amount of full sun, at least six hours, every day. The soil should have good drainage meaning that if you watered the area for about 10 to 15 minutes the water will have either been absorbed or drained away and not sitting or pooled on top of the soil. One last thing to check is the pH (should be about 6.5) of the soil. If you are unsure, take a sample to your local nursery who can test it for you or you can buy a test kit from them or your local home improvement store.
Now that you have chosen the best location, the next step is to prepare the soil. You may want to mix in some fertilizer into the existing dirt to feed your rose once it has been planted. If you have purchased a new Knockout, follow the instructions on the packaging. It should advise to soak the roots for about an hour for hydration purposes before planting.
Next is to dig the hole which should be wide enough for the roots to be spread out nicely and are not cramped. The depth of the hole should be deep enough for the entire root ball to set into the ground but only until the soil’s surface is just below the “bud union” of your Knockout for warmer zones or above the union in cooler climates.
To help position your Knockout, in the bottom center of the hole make a small mound to place the plant onto. Then gently spread out the roots and then begin to backfill in the dirt. Make sure that the soil is pushed up underneath and around the roots but not too tight otherwise the roots will have a harder time as they begin to grow and reach further out into the soil.
Now that you have your Knockout completely planted, it’s time for a refreshing drink. Provide a good watering and do this on a regular basis during the first few months after being planted to ensure that it receives plenty of hydration especially during the warmer temperatures. Do you best to not get the leaves or blossoms (if any) wet as this can cause spotting and possibly disease if allowed over time.
The process wasn’t that hard, now was it? I know that you have been eyeing the Knockouts for awhile now and I agree they do look intimidating but believe me they are not. You can be a wonderful rose gardener and know that you know that Planting Knockout Roses is easy, you are on your way to an even more beautiful garden.
How to Prune Knockout Roses
Learning How to Prune Knockout Roses is a lot easier than it appears to be. Roses in general are very hearty plants and can withstand a great deal of abuse. If you haven’t seen wild roses, then you don’t know how they can grow and be prosperous.
Knockout roses are one of the most popular roses today and should be as they are not only beautiful but easy to care for. For those who are new to gardening or caring for roses in general, pruning them can be a challenge because the individual doesn’t know how to begin or even when the best times to prune are. With the right knowledge, you too can have gorgeous Knockout roses in your garden.
Probably the easiest thing to learn when learning How to Prune Knockout Roses is to prune or remove any dead stems and blossoms when they are noticed. By removing the dead portions, the bush will use its energy on healthy growth rather than trying to revive the dead portions. This is a very simple process that anyone can do anytime throughout the year with a pair of quality, sharp pruning shears.
If you have newly planted your Knockout, you shouldn’t need to trim it until it has gone an entire growing cycle or one full year. During its second year, it has matured enough for there to be enough trimming for you to do (if you feel it necessary). You can trim to shape the bush for visual purposes and/or you can trim simply to remove the dead portions if any.
If you have a mature plant, you can trim much more during the Knockout’s dormant season which is late fall or early spring. If you would rather do a more thorough trimming in the warmer weather, the growth (including the number of blossoms) will not be as great compared to trimming before the buds begin popping.
The best cuts are done with a sharp pair of cutting shears. You can purchase a pair at your favorite hardware store or nursery. There are a number of different brands and sizes. It is best, if you can, to try a pair out in the store by practicing cutting in the air before you buy. This will give you a good idea of how they will feel in your hands. You can opt for a pair of hand held or even a pair of loppers which are simply a pair of shears that have long handles. These are actually great if you need to trim near the base of the bush.
Each cut should be a clean cut meaning that you only need to make the blades of the shears go through the stem once and no more than twice. However, the thicker canes will take a few more attempts if you need to cut them off. This instance should only occur on older roses that you have inherited as the prior care taker did not take proper care of them.
Make each cut preferably just above a bud. This will ensure that when the bud develops, there is nothing in its way while it grows. In addition, each cut should be an angled cut in which the angle slants about 45 degrees from the center of the plant towards the tip of the stem.
It may sound that you need to take a course in learning How to Prune Knockout Roses, but you don’t. Through a short trial and error period you will be able to successfully care for your Knockout’s and enjoy them every season thereafter.