Knock-Out Roses – How to Grow

The Knock-Out rose (Rosaceae Family Rosa Genus) is referred to as the one must-grow rose bush. This variety of the popular flower can be seen growing everywhere from the home garden to sidewalk containers in many downtown landscapes. The bush is easy-care, easy to grow, highly adaptable, fast growing and profusely blooming. The Knock-Out rose is everything you want in a flower and more. Coming in single and double petal bloom varieties that provide a constant supply of red color all summer. Use these planting and growing tips for these rosarian favorites and start growing your own today.

Buying a Knock-Out
The Knock-Out rose bush will come packaged in one of two way- either a bare root plant or a container plant. Bare root rose bushes are dormant and dead-looking, but they’re not dead, just dormant for the winter. Once the bare root bush is planted in-ground, it will spring to life. When purchasing bare root roses, thoroughly inspect the main stem and branches. All should be intact with no damage and covered with a coat of clear wax. Also look for signs of life, such as buds or leaves, and select a plant that has a couple of healthy looking buds or leaves. A container grown Knock-Out rose bush provides instant gratification after planting. Look for a container grown rose that is fully leafed out and has un-opened buds to purchase. That way you won’t have to wait a weeks for another round of rose blooms to develop and bloom.

Planting Location
All rose bushes love the sunshine and well-draining soil, so select a planting location that will receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day (more is better) and that is not in a low-lying area of the landscape.

Prepare Soil
The hole for a container-grown rose bush should be twice as wide and twice as deep as the container. Mix the removed soil with compost to make a 50-50 soil/compost mixture, then backfill the hole halfway. Gently remove the root ball from the container and place in the center of the hole. Add or remove mixed soil as needed to set the bush at the same level it was in while in its original planting container (planting a rose bush too deep in the soil will result in the loss of the rose bush). Firm the soil around the newly planted bush, water in well and add two inches of mulch around the base of the rose to help retain soil moisture. To plant a bare root Knock-Out rose bush,mix the removed soil as described above, then create a cone-shaped mound of soil in the center of the planting hole. Gently spread the bare roots down the cone before back-filling the planting hole. Firm the soil, water in well and add two inches of mulch around the base of the rose.

Care Tips
Knock-Out roses are voracious drinkers and eaters. During the growing season they will need a deep watering of 1-2 inches every week. Don’t feed for the first month to give the roots time to become established, after that, feed roses monthly with a water soluble rose food. Established Knock-Out rose bushes need fed in early spring when buds first begin to swell with a side dressing of a balanced (10-10-10) granulated fertilizer. Deadhead the bush as needed by removing spent blooms when they begin to fade with a pair of sharp shears. Cutting blooms off the bush stimulates new growth a rose production, so don’t hesitate to harvest rose buds for floral arrangements. Save any major pruning tasks for early spring, feed Knock-Out immediately after pruning.

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