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Knock Out® Roses Care

February 8, 2022 Jill Raver
Filed in: Shrub Information

Knock Out® Roses are fairly new to the gardening scene. Over the past 10 years these Roses have become insanely popular for their delicate, colorful, plentiful flowers that bloom throughout 3 seasons as well as their pest and disease resistance. Knock Out Roses Care is surprisingly easy.

Knock Out Roses have fabulous colors including red, pink, blush pink (blushing), yellow (sunny) and white.




Knock Out Rose Varieties

You have a few different choices when it comes to Knock Out® Roses.

You can have either Double or Single blooms. The Red and Pink varieties have the Double blooms and the Yellow, White and Blushing varieties have the single blooms. The different shapes you can choose from are the standard rose bush or the super cool tree form.

Knock Out Rose Care

When to Plant

You can plant Knock Out Roses any time of the year, taking care to avoid the most extreme temperatures in winter and summer.

Choose the Ideal Location

The Knock Out Rose thrives in full to partial sun.  More sun will also guarantee the most blooms and best color. These roses are extremely adaptable, but add a bit of compost or potting soil if your soil is overly sandy. Make sure the site you choose does not have standing water.  This causes disease and even death.


Water in well when planting.  Keep soil moist for the first month.  Once established, allow the soil to dry before watering.  Knock Out Roses, once established, are quite drought tolerant and don't require much supplemental watering except in hot, dry periods.


For best performance apply a slow release fertilizer twice a year in early spring and again in mid to late summer. 


Knock Out Roses do not require pruning.  However, pruning can help maintain vigor, strength, size, and shape, as well as encourage better blooming.  We recommend pruning back your Knock Out® Roses in late winter or early spring, leaving about 1 foot of height remaining.  These rose bushes are self-cleaning, so they do not require deadheading.

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. Powdery Mildew and other fungal diseases can be treated with fungicides. Fungicides are best used as a preventative rather than a treatment.  So they are more of a go to when you have a history of these problems.  A great product for treating for pests and fungal disease organically is neem oil.  

I have known many gardeners (including myself) that have seen great results with this harmless product.  We don't see a lot of insect problems with Knock Outs, but Rose Slugs, which are actually the larvae of a Sawfly do like to chomp on the leaves.  These can be treated organically with neem oil or insecticidal soap. Be sure to coat the underside of the leaves well as this is where the slug hangs out and eats.  You may need to apply a couple treatments.  You can certainly apply a systemic insecticide to treat this pest if you prefer that route which is what we have found to be the best route.

Winter Care for Knock Out Roses

In most growing zones you do not need to care for Knock Out Roses in winter. In zones 5 and lower (if you are trying these roses in zones lower than recommended) a thick layer of mulch should be applied prior to severe winter temperatures.

In zones 5 and 6 knockouts grown in containers should be moved into a protected area, preferably cool and dark like a basement or garage. Let them stay outside through the first few frosts. They are quite cold tolerant and some low temperatures are actually good for these rose bushes. Move your potted roses back outside in early spring.

Knock Out Tree Roses in zones 7a and lower should be moved into a basement or garage if they are in a pot. If they are in the ground the trunk can be wrapped with insulating material.


Knock Out Roses Care is actually quite easy.  They are very low maintenance once established.  These rose bushes provide color for your landscape in spring, summer, and fall AND require minimal care.  You can't beat that in a flowering shrub!

For additional options, browse our online plant nursery and collection of Knock Out Roses for sale.


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