How To Plant Knockout Roses In Containers (With Videos) (2023)

Knockout roses are a relatively new perennial that’s making waves in the gardening community. I’ve seen success with traditional garden roses in the past. But with this revolutionary variety, I wanted to see if container gardening was possible.

You can plant knockout roses in container but choose one that is at least 16-inches deep. A 10-gallon, ceramic or terracotta container is a good choice as this plant is top-heavy. You’ll get the best flowers in the second or third year of growing them in the container.

I researched how to plant knockout roses in containers and created this step-by-step guide to show you what I learned.

Choosing the Best Time to Grow

Knockout roses are a hardy perennial. Developed in the 1970s, they officially hit the scene in 1999. Knockouts are a unique plant that addresses many of the problems that gardeners have with heirloom varieties. Available at nurseries around the globe, these plants make it easy to enjoy the fragrant blooms of roses all to yourself.

The first step in planting Knockout roses is to plan ahead.These roses are hardy enough to handle planting at any point during the spring and fall. But if you want to start your plant on the right foot, wait until late winter.

Plantingbetween late winter early springgives your rose shrub a better chance at success. It gives the plant more time to establish itself in the new environment. You won’t notice much growth until spring rolls around. But hose extra weeks in the soil will make a huge difference once the sweltering heat of summer kicks in.

There’s a bit more wiggle room with container planting. You can still get good results if you wait until early spring. But, earlier is always better.

How To Plant Knockout Roses In Containers (With Videos) (1)

Where Do Knockout Roses Grow?

Knockout Roses are surprisingly hardy. As a result, they can often flourish in places where standard roses die off.

These plants do best inUSDA hardiness zones 5 through 10. They resist both harsh cold and excessive heat. Some gardeners have had good results further north than recommended. The plant can reportedly withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees.

If you live in an area with tough winters, you can bring the rose inside. Like any other rose bush, Knockouts go dormant during the winter. Bringing them inside can prevent permanent damage due to excessive frost and freezing.

Understand How Long it Will Take to Grow

One of the biggest perks of Knockout roses is their fast-growing nature.Whether you plant from a cutting or rootstock, it doesn’t take long for you to start seeing those precious blooms.

Generally, it will take several months for the plant to get comfortable in the pot. Don’t expect to see much action outside of the soil. This is especially true when you plan in the winter.However, underneath the soil, the plant is working hard to develop new growth.

In the early spring, you should start to see new growth. Within a month or two, the first blooms should appear.

Like most shrub rose varieties, Knockouts are fully capable of producing flowers during the first year. However, it’s going to be a couple of years until you see the plant’s full potential. As the plant matures and winters over, it will get stronger and more capable.

Knockout roses can reach heights of three to four feet tall. They are equally wide, resulting in a voluminous shrub that will look great in a sturdy container.You can also train some varieties to grow in a tree-like form. Either way, the plant should reach its full size within three or four years.

What About Dormancy?

As mentioned earlier, Knockout roses do go dormant once the temperature drops. Depending on where you live, this can happen in the late fall or early winter.

When the plant goes dormant, it will drop all of its foliage, resulting in a barren-looking plant. Don’t worry: Your plant is not dead.

Dormancy is a critical survival technique. The sap within the cells of your rose shrub thickens, providing ample protection from freezing temperatures. During this time, the plant will reserve its energy and come back once temperatures rise again.

Choose the Right Container for Knockout Roses

Once you have your timing all planned out, you can move onto choosing the right container.

Root depth varies for this plant. It all depends on the age of the plant and the density of your soil. Knockouts are adaptable enough to accommodate the growing environment.

That said, you should aim for a large pot with ample depth. A 10 or 15-gallon container is ideal. Make sure to check the measurements.Go for a container that’sat least 18 inches in diameter and 16 inches deep. If you can go larger, do so.These plants like to spread their roots if there’s adequate room.

Design and Material Considerations

Usually, the design of your container is all a matter of personal preference. But with Knockout roses, the type of pot you choose has a greater impact.

You see, Knockouts tend to get a bit top-heavy. As the blooms come in, the weight of the flowers and foliage could easily cause your pot to tip over. Remember, these plants have a wide spread even in containers.

To ensure that your plant is safe and secure, choose a hefty pot with some considerable weight. Terracotta, ceramic, and concrete planters are all good choices. Plastic is a good temporary solution, but there’s always the risk of a heavy wind knocking it over.


The final consideration is drainage. Knockout roses will not tolerate standing water, so your container should have several drainage holes on the bottom.

Standing water will damage the root system. It could lead to root rot, pest infestations, and a host of other health problems.

If your pot doesn’t have enough, take a drill to it.

Prepare the Container for Planting

When it comes time to plant, there’s still some prep work to do.

In addition to creating drainage holes, you need to find a way to prop your pot up. One of the biggest mistakes that novice gardeners make is setting the container directly on the ground or concrete. When you do that, you’re essentially blocking the drainage holes.

Use a lifted container tray or a decorative stand. You can also use something as simple as a few bricks. Whatever the case may be, make sure that the drainage holes are open and ready to release water.

Some gardeners choose to add rocks or pebbles to the bottom of the container. This is a viable choice, too. It can add significant weight to the pot and improve soil drainage. However, those rocks will take away valuable space for the rose’s root system.

Soil Preparation

Knockout roses need nutrient-rich soil that drains well. Loamy soil is one of the best choices. It shouldn’t be overly sandy or have too much clay. Ideally, the soil should hold onto moisture well while still letting some of that excess water flow out through the drainage holes.

Work the soil thoroughly with your hands or a garden trowel. The goal here is to remove any lumps and avoid compaction.

How To Plant Knockout Roses In Containers (With Videos) (2)

While you’re at it, throw in some compost.Organic compostcan do wonders to support your plant in the years to come. Container flowers are notorious for leaching all of the nutrients out of the soil after a few years. Infusing it with compost early on will help maintain soil conditions. Plus, it gives your Knockout rose shrub the kick it needs to start off strong.

For pH, aim for levels between 6.0 to 7.0. These roses like things relatively neutral if not a hair on the acidic side. If the soil is too alkali, add some peat moss. You’ll want to do this several months early to ensure that pH levels are correct when it comes time to plant.

Plant the Seeds, Seedlings, or Cuttings

Finally, it’s time to get planting.

Knockout roses come in a couple of different forms. However, the planting process is relatively the same.

Interestingly enough, Knockouts aren’t available in seed form. If you want to grow from seed, you’re going to have to pay a little more and get special permission from the developer.

That’s because Knockout Roses are a patented product. The original seller of these plants,Star Roses and Plants, owns the rights to the plant. Planting seeds or cuttings would be infringing on the patent. While it might not seem like a big deal, the patent-owners have gone after gardeners in the past.It’s not something you want to get mixed up in, so make sure that you’re getting an official container plant or bare-root from a reputable seller.

Planting Bare-Root Roses

Available from many nurseries, bare-root plants give you a bit more flexibility with planting. As the name would suggest, this form is nothing more than a bare root without any soil.

Analyze the size of the root ball. Then, dig a hole in the soil that’s about three times the size. Gently place the root into the hole and lightly pack the soil around it for security.

Make note of any grafted unions. If the root has a visible graft, make sure that it’s planted one to two inches below the top of the soil. Otherwise, there’s a risk of rot and disease.

Planting Young Container Plants

Purchasing young container plants is the easiest option. These plants are semi-established. However, they are still delicate and require additional growth before blooming.

The planting process is basically transplantation. Dig a hole that’s roughly the same size as the existing container. Then, gently remove the soil and root mass. You can loosen the soil a bit to make things easier for the root to spread beyond it. Pack it in at the same height and you’re good to go.

Provide the Required Sunlight

Ample sunlight is a must for Knockout Roses. These plants need plenty of energy to grow in the early stages. Transplant shock is a real issue to be wary of. So, you need to place your newly planted rose shrub in a spot that provides as much light as possible.

Knockout roses needsix to eight hours of sun every day. The more sun the plant gets, the better. High sun exposure promotes stronger growth, which could result in more bountiful blooms.

When Does the Knockout Rose Bloom

With the right amount of sun, these roses will start blooming pretty quickly.A bloom cycle lasts for aboutfive to six weeks.

However, Knockouts don’t just bloom once. In temperate climates, they can go through upwards of seven bloom cycles in a single year.They will continually produce flowers from mid-spring to fall as long as the temperature is right.

Sun exposure plays a big role in how often buds form. Oftentimes, the blooming cycles will occur in waves. You might see a big burst of flowers during the cycle. Then, a steep decline will follow with only a few blooms here and there before the next cycle occurs.

However, lots of sun can help fill in the gaps between cycles. The more exposure your plant gets, the more energy it has to develop those sought-after buds.

Water the Knockout Rose Plant

Knockout roses are resilient plants. But, they can only stay beautiful and hardy if they’re getting enough water.

It’s best to water these plants every few days to ensure that the soil stays moist.

The key to watering these plants is to let them drink slowly and deeply. The goal is to let the water soak deep into the soil so that the root system has an easier time absorbing it. Provide a large volume of water so that the soil is moist 12 to 18 inches down.

You can water the plant the old-fashioned way with a watering pale. But if you have several potted shrubs, it may be better to use a soaker hose.A soaker hose will release water slowly, allowing it to penetrate deep. Not only that, but the hose will prevent accidental splashing.

It’s important to avoid getting water or mud on the foliage. Doing so could lead to fungal problems, mold, and scorching from the sun.

When to Water Knockout Roses

Aim to water your roses in the early morning. This will give the water a chance to fully soak into the soil before the sun rises high above the plant. Avoid late evening and midday waterings.

Late waterings don’t give the water enough time to drain and evaporate. As a result, the roots can become waterlogged and overly saturated. With midday waterings, you’ll have the exact opposite problem.The temperatures are too high, resulting in quick evaporation instead of a slow soak.

If you experience a particularly dry week with no rain, consider giving the plant a few extra inches of water during the week. You can do this over the course of several days to prevent overwatering issues.


Mulchingmay be beneficial in hotter climates. Spread two to three inches of mulch on top of the soil. Make sure to leave some space around the base of the plant.

The mulch will help retain some moisture and avoid quick evaporation. It can also regulate soil temperatures to keep things on the cooler side.

Prune the Knockout Rose Plant

While Knockout roses are pretty low-maintenance, they can still use occasional pruning.

Pruning helps to divert the plant’s energy and manage its growth.

There are a few different times to prune.

Pre-Season Prune

The first, and most crucial, is going to be in the early spring. This pruning job is all about maintaining the plant’s size. If you don’t prune, the shrub can become overgrown and unmanageable.

Cut the plant back to about 12 inchesafter the last hard frost of the year. It looks dramatic, but don’t worry. Pruned Knockout roses will triple in size after your prune. By the end of the year, it’ll be back to the pre-prune height.

Use sharppruning shearsto cut the branches at an angle. Discard the debris and give the plant a good watering to help it recover.

Mid-Season Prune

You can also prune the plant several times throughout the year. These shrubs are fast-growing, so some ongoing maintenance is always a plus.

Mid-season prunes focus on reducing density and encouraging healthy growth. The best time to do this task is during that plant’s resting phase.

Remember how I said that the plant goes through several blooming cycles throughout the year? Well, the resting phase is those in-between weeks where flowers are sparse and new buds haven’t come to fruition just yet.

Use this time to cut off small or damaged canes. Examine the branch structure closely and make adjustments to super-dense areas. You want to improve airflow a bit and give the branches room to breathe. Use hand pruners here and be gentle.

When to Stop Pruning

Prune as much as you need during the spring and early summer. But,stop all pruning activities in the latter part of summer or early fall.

At this stage, your plant is winding down. But if you continue pruning, you’re just going to encourage more growth. This could impact the dormancy cycle and prevent the plant from hardening off before the winter.

If you need to do some additional pruning, you can cut old branches off during the winter. However, only do this if you live in the warm South.The harsh temperatures of northern winters will do some damage if you prune. It’s best to wait until things warm up after the last hard frost.

What About Deadheading?

Deadheading is the process of removing spent flowers and buds.

Usually, this process is necessary to promote continued growth. But for Knockout roses, it’s not a requirement. These plants are self-cleaning, so you can just leave the plant alone and watch new blooms come in.

That said, deadheading won’t do any harm. The process can create a tidier look, which is always a good thing.

Fertilize the Knockout Rose Plant

Knockout roses do just fine without fertilizers. If you mixed in some compost before planting, your shrub should have all the nutrients it needs for at least a year or two.

Of course, an extra boost of nutrients can help your plant reach its full potential. It’s all a matter of personal preference.

If you do want to go this route, you need to plan your applications accordingly.

The most important thing is towait until after the first bloom cycle. The plant should be well-established before you attempt to feed it any form of fertilizer. Applying too early could lead to development issues.

After that first wave of flowers, you can apply a standard balanced fertilizer product. I recommend using a simple water-soluble formula for simplicity. Prepare the mixture according to the instructions and apply it slowly to the soil around the base.

Make sure that you water your plant first to avoid burn. Also, pour the product slowly to ensure that you don’t splash any fertilizer onto the stem.

You can apply fertilizer three or four times during the spring and early summer.

But like pruning, you need to stop in the latter part of summer.You don’t want to create any unnecessary growth as your plant prepares to go dormant for winter.

Here are some of my favorite container gardening tools

Thank you for reading this post. I hope it helps you with your gardening needs. I’ve listed some tools below that can help you with container gardening. These are affiliate links so I’ll earn a commission if you use them.

Gardening Gloves – I find the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Gardening Gloves really good for both men and women. It’s made from bamboo so helps absorb perspiration. They are also comfortable and fit very well.

Containers – You know picking the right container is crucial for your container gardening. I’ve written a detailed post on the best containers you can choose from. If you’re happy with a plastic container, you can check out the Bloem Saturn Planter.

Watering Can – This is a must-have tool when you’re growing plants in pots or grow bags. It helps to water the potting soil without splashing on the foliage. The Kensington Watering Can is stylish, strong, and can provide precision when watering potted plants.

TrowelGarden Guru Trowel is my favorite because it’s durable and comfortable to use. My gardening friends really love having a trowel because they use it for digging soil, mixing fertilizer, moving seeds, leveling out the soil, mixing compost or mulch, and also dividing tubers

Bypass Pruner – I really like the Corona Bypass Pruner because it’s durable and gives a clean cut that helps plants recover faster. If you’re looking for something cheap, get the Fiskars Bypass Pruner that is really good as well.

To see an extensive list of the best container gardening tools gardeners recommend, check out this resource that I made for you.


Can Knock Out roses be planted in a container? ›

Yes, knockout roses can be successfully grown in pots. They require a sunny location, well-drained soil, and regular fertilizing to thrive. You will need to repot the bush into a larger container as it grows, and take steps to protect it from winter weather if you live in a colder climate.

How do you winterize Knock Out roses in pots? ›

Containers: If you planted your Knock Out® Roses in containers, winterizing them is easy. To start, leave the containers outside through the first few frosts of the season, then bring them inside and store in a cool, dark area such as your basement or garage.

What size container for Knock Out rose? ›

Ideally, your Knock Out rose container should be at least 18 inches (46 cm.) wide and 16 inches (40 cm.) deep. Use a sturdy container that won't tip or blow over.

What pots are best for Knock Out roses? ›

A standard 2 gallon pot is about 9 inches tall and wide. For a Knock Out or similar size rose a 3 gallon pot is a good option when repotting a 1 gallon plant and a 5 or 7 gallon container when repotting a 3 gallon plant.

What is the best potting soil for container roses? ›

Peat moss, coir, compost, and shredded bark all tend to drain well and can be optimal for growing roses in containers indoors, including in self-watering planters. However, be sure to monitor the roses to ensure they don't dry out too much or become too wet when you're watering them.

How deep do you bury knockout roses? ›

Dig a planting hole to a depth the same as the root ball and about twice as wide. Remove the Knock Out from its container and gently loosen the roots at the bottom. Place it in the ground and backfill the hole. Make sure that the base of the plant is level with the surrounding soil.

Do knockout roses need to be in well drained soil? ›

Knockout roses can thrive in a wide range of soils. They can survive and grow in dry climates, but they prefer moist soil with good drainage. These roses flourish in soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Test your soil with a home kit.

Can roses winter over in pots? ›

If you plan to overwinter your container rose outside, they should be in plastic or wood containers. Ceramic and terra cotta pots will crack if the endure freeze and thaw cycles. Right after the first frost winter protection should be applied, usually middle or late November. “Bury” the entire pot in leaves or mulch.

Should I cut down knockout roses for winter? ›

Winter is a good time to trim Knock Out Roses. While the plant is dormant, there is less chance of damage by disease and insects when pruning heavily. It is an opportune time to remove any large old wood branches and improve the overall shape of the rose.

Do roses need deep or wide pots? ›

Most roses grow well in containers as long as root space is sufficient and care is appropriate. Containers of at least 2 to 2.5 feet in depth and at least 15 to 20 inches in diameter are recommended for full-sized rose varieties, and generally the deeper the better for rose health, growth, and blooming.

How do I make my Knock Out roses thicker? ›

We've found that pruning just above an outward-facing bud will promote a wider, bushier rose bush. Knock Out Roses can be pruned lightly throughout the active growth season. Deadheading spent blooms or clusters will encourage quicker formation of new buds and rebloom.

How do you thicken Knock Out roses? ›

Prune lightly when needed. Heavy pruning is not required, as Knockout roses tend to grow uniformly. A light trim can control overly long stems and encourage a thicker growth.

What is the best natural fertilizer for knockout roses? ›

For the organic growers, blood and alfalfa meal are an excellent rose fertilizer. These are higher in nitrogen while being low in phosphorus and potassium. You can apply about a cup or so each time to provide about the same rate as man-made fertilizers.

Is Miracle Grow potting soil good for roses? ›

Mix equal parts of Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Roses (or Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers) and the soil removed from the planting hole. If planting in a container, use with Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix. Either way, you are helping ensure that roses receive ample nutrition while establishing new roots in the garden.

How often do you water roses in pots? ›


Water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, saturating the soil until water runs from the drainage holes and soil media no longer bubbles. Daily watering may be needed during the heat of the summer, even if the container is a large one.

What are the easiest roses to grow in containers? ›

Groundcover (a.k.a. "carpet") roses are our top pick for the best rose to grow in a container. They have a lower and more compact growth habit than shrub roses. This makes them look tidier when planted in a pot. Plus, they play well with others.

What month do you plant Knock Out roses? ›

The best time to plant knockout roses is in the spring or fall. Make sure there is no threat of frost or they may not last through it.

What is the lifespan of a knockout rose? ›

Generally speaking, you can expect your knock out® roses to last for 3 – 5 years – or blooming seasons. However, with some care in watering, fertilizing, and pruning, you can expect knockout roses to last several years. With proper care, they can potentially live for decades.

How often should I water knockout rose? ›

Most Double Knock Out Roses only need weekly watering, unless there is a period of extreme heat or drought. If your Double Knock Out Roses are kept in a container, make sure that it has drainage holes. Some containers don't have holes, but holes can quickly and easily added with a drill.

What kills knockout roses? ›

When weather conditions are ideal, Knockout roses can become infected with powdery mildew, rust and even some black spot. More trouble is rose rosette, a new virus disease spread by a small eriophyid mite. It can turn healthy roses into monsters of contorted, crinkled, red stems and leaves.

Can I sprinkle Epsom salt around plants? ›

Adding Epsom salts to soil that already has sufficient magnesium can actually harm your soil and plants, such as by inhibiting calcium uptake. Spraying Epsom salt solutions on plant leaves can cause leaf scorch. Excess magnesium can increase mineral contamination in water that percolates through soil.

Are eggshells good for knockout roses? ›

Egg Shells

Egg shells are rich in calcium. This strengthens the tissue of a rose allowing for healthier blooms. Mix in crushed up shells into potting soil and add it to your potted roses or crush the shells and sprinkle them on the top layer of soil around the rose.

Can you water Knock Out roses too much? ›

Knock Out Roses grow best in a moist but well-drained soil. Constantly soggy or wet soil can cause root rot or other harmful plant diseases. So be careful not to over-water!

What do overwatered Knock Out roses look like? ›

You can tell if your rose bush is overwatered because the leaves will turn yellow and droop. Waterlogged soil can lead to root rot and cause the plant to die so be careful not to overwater your rose plant.

Can you grow roses in a 5 gallon bucket? ›

When I receive large bare root roses, I plant them into five gallon containers and grow them there at least until the fall and often for a year or more. For me, the five gallon black plastic container is the standard.

Can I leave potted rose outside in winter? ›

Dormancy is when to make the move

And once woken up it will need sunshine, but it's too cold to put the rose outside. Simply wait for the rose to go naturally dormant, and when that first deep freeze is forecast, like 25°F (–4°C) or below, go ahead and bring it inside.

Should I cover my roses in winter? ›

Winter protection is often necessary for most types of garden roses. The extent of protection depends on the type of rose and its location in the garden. Choose only types hardy enough to survive the coldest average winter temperatures in your growing zone.

Should I cut the dead blooms off my knockout roses? ›

Do I need to deadhead my Knock Out® Roses? All members in The Knock Out® Family of Roses are self-cleaning, so there is no need to deadhead.

How far to cut back knockout roses in the fall? ›

You're free to prune your knockout roses as soon as that last hard frost finishes thawing. We recommend cutting back about ½ – ⅓ of the total growth, which is usually between 12 and 18 inches.

How late in the year can you plant knockout roses? ›

The best time to plant Knock Out roses is in late winter or early spring. This way, your rose bushes will have enough time to establish strong roots before the summer heat sets in. If you are growing container Knock Out roses, you can plant as late as late spring.

Do roses work well in pots? ›

Roses are excellent plants for growing in pots. English Roses, with their shrubby, bushy habit are ideal for growing in large pots and containers. Unlike many other potted plants, English Roses will flower in fragrant flushes throughout the summer and into the autumn.

What happens if you don't prune Knock Out roses? ›

If you don't prune your roses, they may become too top heavy. Also, pruning in early spring will make your Knock Out Roses full of blooms!

Is baking soda good for Knock Out roses? ›

Related Articles. Almost as handy as duct tape for household jobs, baking soda not only deodorizes and cleans, but also helps control black spot (Diplocarpon rosae) in your roses (Rosa spp.). Black spot thrives in warm, 70 to 80 degree Fahrenheit weather when the humidity is high.

What does baking soda do to roses? ›

Baking Soda.

This can act as a fungicide. Dilute 1 teaspoon to 1 quart of warm, soapy water and spray on your roses' leaves. The baking soda will treat and prevent diseases like black spot, while the soap helps it stick, and is also mildly effective at smothering many insects pests.

What does sugar water do for roses? ›

Sugar increases fresh weight of the flowers and prolongs the vase life. Use 0.5 - 1% Floralife (concentration of sugar not specified). 2% sugar solution doubles the vase life of the cut inflorescence. Some sugar in the vase solution increases the number and size of open flowers as well as prolongs the vase life.

How long can roses stay in a container? ›

Every two to three years, container-grown roses need to be repotted to keep the plants healthy and flowering well. If the plant has outgrown its pot, find a new container that is one to two sizes larger than the original pot. Be sure to pick a pot that has drainage holes!

Do I need to cover Knock Out roses in the winter? ›

Although knockout roses can survive the cold weather itself, it's always the strong and cold wind that accompanies the winter that does the damage by either plucking them off the soil or drying them out to death. One of the best ways to protect knockout roses from the harsh winter is by covering them.

How do you make Knock Out roses thrive? ›

These roses grow best in full sun, at least six hours daily. The more sun it receives, it will experience more frequent blooms and be showier. Avoid diseases, like powdery mildew, by providing plants with morning sun and filtered or partial afternoon shade.

Do Knock Out roses need to be in well drained soil? ›

Knockout roses can thrive in a wide range of soils. They can survive and grow in dry climates, but they prefer moist soil with good drainage. These roses flourish in soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Test your soil with a home kit.

How often should you water roses in containers? ›


Water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, saturating the soil until water runs from the drainage holes and soil media no longer bubbles. Daily watering may be needed during the heat of the summer, even if the container is a large one.

Do roses grow better in pots or the ground? ›

Roses are excellent plants for growing in pots. English Roses, with their shrubby, bushy habit are ideal for growing in large pots and containers. Unlike many other potted plants, English Roses will flower in fragrant flushes throughout the summer and into the fall.

Can roses survive winter in pots? ›

If you plan to overwinter your container rose outside, they should be in plastic or wood containers. Ceramic and terra cotta pots will crack if the endure freeze and thaw cycles. Right after the first frost winter protection should be applied, usually middle or late November. “Bury” the entire pot in leaves or mulch.

Should Knock Out roses be cut back in the fall? ›

About the only time not to prune is late summer and early fall, as this might encourage late growth that wouldn't harden off in time for winter. In the North, winter is not a good time to prune, but winter is just fine in the South. Although 'Knock Out' is marketed as a compact shrub, over time it gets pretty big.

What month do you cut back Knock Out roses? ›

The first pruning is done in late January. At that time, Knock Out roses are cut back by about one-half their height or more, but no shorter than 2 feet from the ground. This prepares the bushes for the outstanding spring/early summer bloom period. The bushes are cut back again at the end of August or early September.

Is Miracle Grow good for Knock Out roses? ›

Apply a granular slow-release fertilizer such as Miracle Grow to the newly planted rose bush. A healthy application will help it recuperate from its replanting and adjust to its new location. For lush growth, continue a monthly application until cooler weather in the fall. Prune lightly when needed.

Do Knock Out roses like coffee grounds? ›

Roses do like coffee grounds, but too much too close can give them a nasty nitrogen burn and can kill your roses. Never sprinkle coffee grounds right next to the plant.

How deep do you bury Knock Out roses? ›

Dig a planting hole to a depth the same as the root ball and about twice as wide. Remove the Knock Out from its container and gently loosen the roots at the bottom. Place it in the ground and backfill the hole. Make sure that the base of the plant is level with the surrounding soil.

Do Knock Out roses like mulch? ›

Mulch Knock Out roses with pine straw or a similar material in spring and add new mulch in late summer or early fall. Two to three inches of mulch are great for roses.


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