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How To Prune Knock Out Roses

How To Prune Knock Out Roses

Knock Out roses are beautiful, low-maintenance plants that bloom cherry red, yellow, or pink flowers from spring to winter, and in some states with mild climates, they even blossom year-round. They're prolific bloomers, drought-tolerant, and disease-resistant, making them a perfect choice for homeowners and gardeners who have limited experience with rose gardening.

Basic Knock Out Rose Care

Like all varieties of roses, Knock Out roses grow best in well-draining soil surrounded by mulch in areas that receive at least 6-8 hours of full sun. Fertilizer and regular watering will keep these roses healthy and encourage new blooms, especially during their growing season.

While Knock Out roses are hardy and resistant, pests can still find ways to feast upon this plant. They're also not immune to powdery mildew, rose mosaic, rose rosette, and blackspot, so check the leaves and canes regularly for any abnormal signs. Dirty and rusty tools can also cause damage to Knock Out roses, so make sure clean your pruning shears before and after each session to minimize the spread of disease.

Why and When You Should Prune Knock Out Roses

In most cases, pruning and deadheading Knock Out roses is unnecessary because of their self-cleaning nature and ability to grow independently. However, Knock Out roses will look their best when you prune them in spring. Deadheading, on the other hand, should be done constantly throughout the growing season. You should also always remove broken, diseased, or dead parts immediately when you spot them.

Tools You'll Need

Pruning Knock Out roses doesn’t require any specialized tools. A pair of gardening gloves and hardworking bypass pruners is enough to complete the task. For bigger branches that your pruners can't handle, you might opt for a pair of loppers to provide you with the strength and leverage you need.

Before you begin, make sure your bypass garden shears or loppers are clean and sharp, as this will give your plant clean and precise cuts, speeding up the healing process.

PRO TIP: Roses have prickly thorns, which can make pruning painful. To keep yourself safe, wear a great pair of gardening gloves and durable working clothes such as a jacket to protect your hands and arms. 

How To Prune Your Knock Out Roses

Before you begin pruning, determine your goal. Do you want to reduce your plant size, maintain a certain height, or removed dead and diseased branches? Setting a goal before starting your task will help you deal with your priorities first and manage your time wisely.

Once late winter or early spring arrives, check for sprouts or buds emerging from your rose bush’s stems. Once you've notice that they're about a quarter or half an inch long, it's time to start pruning.

Depending on how thick the branches are, use your bypass garden shears or lopper to cut the limbs. Prune older growth, cutting right above the bud or sprout. You may also remove branches that are growing inward, including canes that cross each other. Prune spent flowers to encourage new growth and more flowers to bloom. Don't forget to remove dead, diseased, and damaged rose branches.

Be careful not to prune back more than 1/3 of the plant, as this can cause stress to the plant or shrub. After each session, make sure to clean up any debris, including dirt and sap that may have built up on your pruner or lopper.

Following these simple steps will make pruning your Knock Out roses a simple and enjoyable task. Better yet, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful blooms and healthy plants for years to come. Happy pruning!