Pruning knockout roses in texas

Pruning Knockout Roses

You can trim knockout roses from now to when the buds begin swell in spring. Trimming and pruning for knockout roses is same method used for other varieties of roses.
” Q. — When and how do I prune roses? A. — The best time to prune roses is in late winter or early spring just before growth begins, typically early March through early April. Pruning needs to be done every year and should be followed by deadheading and clean-up throughout the growing season. There are two exceptions: • Old heirloom roses and some climbers produce blooms on the previous year’s wood, so wait to prune these until after they bloom. • Diseased plants are often cut back severely in the fall. Steps in Pruning • Remove dead, diseased, or damaged canes. Cut stems 1 inch below darkened areas, cutting back to green wood (the center of the stem will be white, not tan). Make the cut at a 45-degree angle, 1/4 inch above an outward facing bud. Remove all canes that are 1/4 inch or smaller in diameter. • Remove canes that are growing toward the center of the plant, as well as any crossing canes. • Hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas can be pruned to 12 to 24 inches in height with 9 to 12 large, Healthy canes remaining. Old, shrub, and species roses should be pruned lightly, removing no more than a third of the growth. • Climbing roses are shaped only after they have established long, sturdy canes, usually after two to three years. Select the sturdiest canes as horizontal supports. The shoots from this basic structure, called laterals, will flower. The laterals are pruned back to four or five buds.”
From Go to this web site at Ohio State and search for pruning knockout roses. Once you are on the web site, you will be there all day. Ohioline has 1000s of answers to gardening and agriculture problems, all research based.
Also read Pam Corle-Bennet’s Gardening article in Saturday’s Springfield News-Sun (Jan. 12, 2013). She writes about knockout roses.
I hope this will be of some help to you. Rick

Late summer time for pruning roses


Late summer is time to think about pruning roses. Roses respond best to regular pruning each year.

We prune our repeat-flowering roses (also called everblooming roses or remontant roses) based on the timing of the two major flowering periods that occur each year. The first major flowering season occurs in late spring to early summer, and the second occurs in fall (roses do bloom in summer, but the number and quality of the flowers are reduced).

The first pruning, done in late January or early February, prepares rose bushes for the late-spring to early summer blooming. The second pruning is done in late August to early September and ensures shapely bushes with lots of flowers in the fall blooming season.

Pruning helps control the size of rose bushes and stimulates fresh, vigorous growth that improves flowing. It also provides the opportunity to remove any dead canes.

There is no shortage of gardeners confused about how and when to prune their roses. There are very good reasons for this confusion. Much of the standard information you read about pruning roses, particularly in older references, applies to the hybrid tea and grandiflora groups. These were the primary rose groups grown in the 20th century. When almost everybody grew hybrid tea and grandiflora roses, it was simple to give pruning recommendations.

But the rose world has changed radically. In the last 20 years, old garden roses have gained popularity. They are a very diverse group with many different categories such, as China, noisette, Bourbon and tea (the forerunner of hybrid tea). Old garden roses, as a group, are bushier than hybrid tea roses and have a more pleasing natural shape.

Modern rose breeders did not ignore the rise in popularity of old garden roses. They have been developing and releasing new varieties that possess many of the desirable characteristics of the old garden roses. These roses form a new group called the “landscape roses.” The Knock Out rose group and the Drift rose series are two excellent examples of modern landscape roses.

Repeat-flowering landscape roses and old garden roses do not require the annual hard pruning that hybrid tea and grandiflora roses do. And you don’t have to be so precise about how you do the pruning.

To add to the confusion, some of the old garden roses and climbing roses in our gardens are not repeat-blooming types. They are once-blooming roses, which bloom in April and May and then stop and are pruned in midsummer after they finish blooming.

So when it comes to pruning roses these days, it really depends on the type of rose you have. When purchasing roses, gardeners need to pay attention not just to the variety name, but also to the group the rose belongs to as well.

Proper pruning

Use sharp bypass-type hand pruners when pruning roses. They make clean cuts and minimize damage to the stems.

Wear a sturdy pair of leather gloves and long sleeves because no matter how careful you are, thorny roses can painfully puncture or scratch your hands and arms. Should you need to cut canes larger than one-half inch in diameter, you should use loppers.

Here is the basic procedure for late summer pruning of hybrid tea and grandiflora roses: First, entirely remove all diseased or dead canes by cutting them back to their point of origin. Weak, spindly canes the diameter of a pencil or less should also be removed the same way.

A good rose bush should have four to eight strong healthy canes the diameter of your finger or larger after this first step. Cut back the remaining canes to about 30 to 36 inches from ground level.

Make the cuts about one-quarter inch above a dormant bud or newly sprouted side shoot that faces away from the center of the bush.

Other repeat-blooming roses, such as China, tea, noisette, Bourbon, polyantha, floribunda, shrub, landscape and miniature roses, may also be pruned now. These roses are usually only cut back by about one-third their height and shaped under most circumstances. Dead wood is also removed.

Generally, this is best done using hand pruners to selectively cut individual branches and canes. But in the case of a mass planting or hedge, they can even be sheared with hedge shears to shape them and encourage full, bushy growth. (This works well for Knock Out roses.)

If some of your bushes are considerably overgrown, you can cut them back further. Long, especially vigorous shoots that have grown well beyond the rest of the bush and make it look out of balance may be cut back harder than the rest of the bush.

Once-blooming roses, which include some old garden types and many climbing and rambler roses (Cherokee, swamp, Lady Banks, Veilchenblau, Dorothy Perkins and Blaze are some examples), should not be pruned now. If once-blooming roses are pruned back hard now, they will produce fewer flowers next year. When extensive pruning of once-blooming roses is necessary, it is best done in early to midsummer after they have finished flowering.

It is far easier for you and healthier for your rose bushes if you prune them regularly twice each year. It is more difficult to properly prune a rose bush that has been allowed to grow way beyond the desired size, and more stressful for the bush.

Pruning Drift® Roses

September 3rd, 2013

Follow these simple steps to prune your Drift® rose

Step 1: When do I prune my rose bush?

Prune your rose bush in early spring, never in the fall and never in the winter. Check your rose bush from time to time as spring moves along and when you start to see new shoots growing from the canes on your rose bush, that’s a good sign that it is time to prune.

Step 2: Use proper tools

You will need a few basic tools when the time comes to prune your roses: gloves, because of the thorns on your rose bush. Lopping shears, for some of the heavier canes that are going to be difficult to cut with some of the smaller shears. Small hand shears, for some of the finer work, and a pair of hedge trimmers to get the job done quickly.

Step 3: Determine how high you want to prune

Determining how high you want to prune depends on how high you want your rose bush to finish. Your rose bush will usually triple in size after pruning so we recommend cutting it back by about 2/3.

How To Prune a Drift® Groundcover Rose: EXTENDED VERSION

How To Prune Knock Out Roses

One thing to keep in mind about Knock Out rose bushes is that they are very quick growing rose bushes typically. They need to be kept watered and fed pretty regularly to ensure their best possible performance of both growth and bloom production. A common question with these roses is, “Do I need to prune Knock Out roses?” The short answer is that you don’t need to, but they will perform better if you do some pruning. Let’s look at what goes into pruning Knock Out roses.

Pruning Tips for Knock Out Roses

When it comes to pruning Knock Out rose bushes, I recommend the best time when to prune Knock Out roses is in the early spring just as with any other rose bushes. Prune out the broken canes from the winter snows or wind whipping of the bushes. Prune out all dead canes and prune the overall bush back by about one-third of its overall height. While doing this pruning, be sure to keep an eye on the finished shape of the bush desired. This pruning in the early spring will help to bring on the strong growth and blooms production desired.

Deadheading, or the removal of the old spent blooms, is not really needed with Knock Out rose bushes to keep them blooming. However, doing some deadheading on an occasional basis does help not only stimulate the new clusters of blooms but also overall rose bush growth. By occasional deadheading, I mean that they do not need deadheading near as often as the hybrid tea or floribunda rose bushes will. Timing the deadheading just right to get a grand display of blooms in time for a special event is something to be learned for each individual climate. Doing the deadheading about a month prior to a special event may put the bloom cycle in line with the event timing, again this is something to be learned for your particular area. nature, the occasional deadheading pruning will indeed improve their overall performance in growth and bloom production.

If your Knock Out rose bushes are not performing as well as hoped for, it may well be that the frequency of watering and feeding needs to be increased. Your cycle of watering and feeding could use an adjustment of doing so four or five days earlier than you had been. Make changes to your cycle slowly, as big and drastic changes can also bring undesirable changes to the rose bushes performance. If you do currently deadhead occasionally or not at all, you may want to start doing the occasional deadheading or changing your cycle by a week or so sooner.

It really is all a learning process to see what cycle of care brings the best out of not only your Knock Out rose bushes, but all of your rose bushes. I recommend keeping a little garden journal for keeping track of what was done and when. Just a place to jot down a few notes; it really takes little time and goes a long long way towards helping us learn the best timing for our cycle of rose and garden care.

Dennis Patton: It’s time to think about pruning Knock Out roses, and here’s how | The Kansas City Star

Easy care roses have become a staple in the landscape. Don’t recognize the term easy-care? Maybe you would by the most commonly planted varieties, Knock Out roses. This one group of plants is prized for its season-long flowering and ease of care.

The most popular call to the Johnson County Extension office Gardening Hotline is about Knock Out roses. The questions usually revolve around pruning. People want to know two pieces of information — when to prune and how to properly prune this rock-solid plant.

The ideal time to prune any type of rose is in the very late winter or early spring. They are best pruned as new growth is starting to develop. They can be pruned a little later into spring with good success. Fall is the worst time these plants should be pruned, as fall pruning can lead to winterkill.

How to properly prune Knock Out type roses is more difficult to explain. This plant is so vigorous and will thrive regardless of whether it is an extreme trimming or a light haircut. One of the common complaints about the plant is that it grows bigger than listed on the plant label. The amount of pruning can help control the overall size. Of course the ideal size in your garden depends on its placement. Here are a few different pruning concepts to help ensure you have the best-looking rose.

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If you prefer larger plants you’ll do a light trimming. This would include removing the dead wood and branches that are crossing and growing toward the inside of the bush. Good light penetration is important for nice flower development. You could stop at this point and the plant would be fine.

One drawback to this light trimming is, over time, the canes become very thick and woody resulting in fewer flowers at the bottom of the bush with a leggy appearance. The next step in pruning would be removing the oldest, thick, woody canes to the ground in the spring. This usually involves a saw to cut them off at ground level. This allows for new canes to sprout and keep the plant’s canes younger and more vigorous. The greatest number of flowers comes from younger less-woody stems.

Neither one of these methods will help control size. A more extreme method of pruning will be required. The first step is always the same; remove the dead, dying, crossing and inward-growing branches. The next step is the same as above; cut out the old woody canes to the ground. After these cuts are made the size of the plant can then be controlled.

The last step is to cut all remaining canes back to somewhere between one to two feet. Trace down each remaining branch and look for a nice plump bud pointing outward on the plant. Make the cut at this point. Thin out the small wispy canes leaving between three and five canes about the size of your thumb’s diameter. When you have completed the process the bush will look like a bunch of sticks, but they will quickly recover. Even with this harsh pruning a healthy plant will still reach three feet or more by fall.

One last tip, if your plant is outgrowing its allotted space don’t fertilize. Additional fertilization just makes the plant grow bigger. If you feel the need to feed make one application at pruning. The good news is these plants are so forgiving you really cannot mess it up. Easy care rose pruning will result in a healthier and better-looking plant with more flowers. I would call that a win-win!

A question for Dan Gill: When would be the best time to trim my Knock Out roses? — Virginia Gaudet

Answer: Like all everblooming roses we grow in Louisiana (hybrid tea, grandiflora, floribunda, China, noisette, tea, Bourbon, landscape roses, miniature roses and others), Knock Out roses should receive two major prunings a year.

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. The pruning is not as severe; usually we cut them back about one-third the height of the bush.

When cutting the shrubs back, also look for any dead canes and remove them. After the late August/early September pruning, fertilize the bushes with a general-purpose fertilizer or rose fertilizer following label directions. This ensures a great display of flowers during the outstanding fall blooming season.

Use sharp by-pass hand pruners when pruning roses. They make clean cuts and minimize damage to the stems. Wear a sturdy pair of leather gloves and long sleeves, because no matter how careful you are, thorny roses can painfully puncture or scratch your hands and arms.

There is no set way to prune a Knock Out rose (or other landscape roses). It depends entirely on the desires of the gardener and the situation. If you want your roses to grow tall and large to form a screen, you would do lighter pruning and cut out any dead wood. In a situation where the bushes have grown too large, decide what size they need to be for the location. Cut the bushes back about 1 foot shorter than you want them to be. (Within reason, you should not cut them back shorter than 2 feet tall).

Cutting back roses stimulates vigorous new growth and generally improves flowering.

The Knock Out family of roses, and other excellent everblooming landscape roses and old garden roses, are great additions to our yards. Don’t neglect pruning them twice a year. It stimulates vigorous new growth and better flowering, helps control size, keeps the bushes shapely and removes dead growth.

Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter. Email questions to [email protected] or add them to the comment section below.

Follow his stories at, on Facebook and @nolahomegarden on Instagram.

Melissa Asked

Is now a good time to prune Knockout roses? How much height should I leave after pruning?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Melissa: Yes, you are correct. The best time to prune your roses is now, late winter/early spring, before new growth begins. Pruning while they are dormant makes them less susceptible to winter injury and other potential problems. As a general rule, it is best not to remove more than one-third of the size of the rose each year. If your roses are older and you need to remove more than this, you can do so during consecutive years. Prune year after year to maintain the size you want. It is fine to prune any broken, diseased, or dead branches off as soon as you notice them, not taking into account the time of year. Pruning can be done to thin, shape, and rejuvenate our flowering shrubs. Thinning is beneficial in terms of removing older wood and allowing for better air circulation as well as light filtration. Remember to put on a thick pair of gloves and use a clean, sharp, and rust-free pair of pruners. Make your cuts flush to the nearest intersecting cane so there are no stubs. Knockout roses are considered low-maintenance and disease-resistant; when they are planted in favorable conditions these shrubs can grow to be 3 to 5 feet tall and wide. They will provide you with many years of prolific blooms.

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