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Knock Out® Roses Care

February 8, 2022 Jill Raver
Filed in: Shrub Information

While Knock Out® Roses are fairly new to the gardening scene, they have become wildly popular. Knock Out Roses are fast-growing and known for their delicate, colorful, and plentiful 3 season flower blooms. If you’re considering adding this gorgeous rose variety to your garden or landscape, you’ll be happy to know that Knock Out Rose care is surprisingly simple, regardless of the variety you choose.

Knock Out Rose Varieties

Knock Out® Roses come in a variety of colors, styles, and bloom types. Firstly, there are single and double Knock Out Rose varieties. What’s the difference? It’s all about appearance. The Double Knockout Rose, which is arguably the most popular, provides a more robust bloom because it appears to have a secondary flower in the center. Both single and double Knock Out Rose varieties come in an array of colors. Secondly, Knock Out Roses come in both shrub and tree varieties, making it easy to place them in your landscape no matter how much space you have to work with.

Single Bloom Varieties

Knock Out White Rose - this low maintenance, self-cleaning variety provides beautiful white blooms from spring to late fall. It’s also available as a Knock Out Rose tree.

Sunny Knock Out Rose - this stunning variety is sure to add some sunshine to your yard with gorgeous yellow blooms all season long. This variety is also available as a Sunny Knock Out Rose tree.

Coral Knock Out Rose - this new shrub variety is a bit taller and wider than other bush varieties on this list, however, it’s just as easy to maintain. With beautiful coral blooms from spring to late fall, this variety is sure to impress. This is also available as a Coral Knock Out Rose tree.

Double Bloom Varieties

Pink Double Knock Out Rose - this double-blooming bush gives meaning to the word knock out with an abundance of lush, full pink flowers that bloom all season long. This variety is also available as a Pink Knock Out Rose tree.

Double Knock Out Rose - this classic, full red-pink rose variety is a surefire way to add color to your landscape all season long. It’s also available as a Double Knock Out Rose tree or as a Petite Knock Out Rose tree for growing in pots.

Whichever variety you choose, you’ll need to know how to care for your Knock Out Roses. Here are tips for providing the best care.

Knock Out Rose Care Tips

When to Plant

You can plant Knock Out Roses any time of the year. However, depending on your grow zone, extra care should be taken to avoid planting during the most extreme temperatures of winter and summer. As a general rule, it’s best to plant your new shrubs or trees from early spring to late fall.

planting roses

Choose the Ideal Location

Where you choose to plant your Knock Out Roses is an important consideration. Knock Out Roses thrive in full sun but can also handle partial shade. As a general rule, the more sun your roses get, the bigger and brighter blooms they’ll produce. Knock Out Roses are extremely adaptable to most soil types, but adding a bit of compost can be helpful if your soil is on the sandy side. Be sure to plant your rose bush in an area that isn’t prone to standing water. While they like moist soil, they don’t like soggy, waterlogged roots. If you are planting multiple Knock Out Rose bushes, space them at least three feet apart.


Your Knock Out Rose will need to be watered well at the time of planting. It’s also a good practice to keep the soil moist for the first month. Once the roots are established, you can allow the soil to dry before watering. Knock Out Roses, once established, are drought tolerant and don't require much supplemental watering except during prolonged hot, dry periods.


Knowing when to fertilize Knock Out Roses is essential in the care of your bush or tree. You do not want to fertilize until after the roses complete one bloom cycle. For best results, we suggest applying a slow-release fertilizer twice a year after the first bloom cycle, both in early spring and again in mid to late summer. Applying fertilizer will help stimulate growth and ensure prolific blooms.

Pruning and Growth

Knock Out Roses do not require pruning. However, pruning can help maintain vigor, strength, size, and shape, as well as encourage better blooming. Knock Out Roses can grow up to 3-5 feet, depending on the variety. They can grow quickly. In fact, the Knock Out Rose growth rate can be up to two feet during the growing season. If you decide to prune, we recommend pruning back your Knock Out Roses in late winter or early spring, leaving about one foot of height remaining. These rose bushes are self-cleaning, so they do not require deadheading.

pruning roses

Pests and Disease

The most important thing to remember with any plant is that a healthy plant is less likely to be attacked by disease and pests. Knock Out Roses are pest and disease resistant not free, so while these plants do tend to have fewer problems than traditional rose bushes, problems can occasionally pop up. Rose Slugs, black spot, and rose rosette diseases can be treated with fungicides. Fungicides are best used as preventative care rather than treatment. A great natural and organic way of treating pests and fungal diseases is by spraying them lightly with neem oil.

Knock Out Roses Winter Care

In most grow zones, you don’t need to care for Knock Out Roses during the winter months. In zones 6 and lower, it may be a good idea to plant in pots so that they can be moved indoors during harsh winters. If your roses were planted in the ground, a thick layer of mulch should be applied before severe winter temperatures to protect the root system.

In zones 5 and 6, you can let them stay outside through the first few touches of frost. Knock Out Roses are quite cold tolerant and experiencing some low temperatures will make them more adaptable. However, if you live in an area that gets a hard, long ground freeze, it’s best to move them into a protected area, preferably one that is cool and dark like a basement or garage. If they are planted in the ground and not in pots, you can wrap the trunk with insulating material and apply a layer of mulch.

Best Companion Plants for Knock Out Roses

If you’re wondering what to plant with your Knock Out Roses, here are a few companion plant ideas to consider:

Companion Plants

  • Kaleidoscope Abelia is a great companion plant to the Knock Out Rose. It’s a dwarf variety that also provides color to your landscape from spring until fall.
  • Winky Pinky Hydrangea is another great companion plant to consider. It’s a very prolific bloomer and highly adaptable.
  • Bloomerang Dark Purple Lilac is a prolific, fragrant bloomer that provides color to the landscape in spring and again in late summer to first frost.

Knock Out Rose care doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it’s actually quite easy, as they are very low maintenance once established. With a little love and attention, these one-of-a-kind rose bushes will provide color for your landscape in spring, summer, and fall.

Browse Knock Out Roses for sale here. For additional Knock Out Rose and flowering shrub options, search our online plant nursery.

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