How to care for your double knockout roses so they reward you with tons of color and blooms
You've heard of them. You’ve seen them. You probably even have one in your yard already or at least know someone who does!
That's because Double Knockout Roses, since their introduction a few years ago, have rapidly become one of the most sought after rose varieties in the country. Between extra-large, brightly colored blooms, great pest & disease resistance, and increased tolerance to cold it isn't hard to imagine why they've become so popular. They've made roses accessible to anyone -- even the least "green-thumbed" among us -- because they can be such a "plant it and leave it" type of rose.
They are the ultimate in low maintenance! Whether you prefer red knockout roses or pink knockout roses, you'll find a rose bush that will reward you with tons of color!
But for those over-achievers looking to grow a Knockout with even FASTER growth, even MORE blooms, and even BRIGHTER color, we've put together a few simple but vital maintenance tips that will get you there in a hurry!
It all comes down to five steps:
The first step toward a flourishing Knockout rose lies in the planting. The ideal location for a Knockout is an area that receives between six and eight hours of sunlight each day and has moist, well-drained soil. That is not to say that they cannot be grown elsewhere; Knockouts are quite adaptable to various conditions. But this would be the best choice for optimal blooms, color, and overall health!
Once you have selected your location, you will want to dig your planting spot to be two feet wide and two feet deep. Place your rose plant into this hole and backfill with amended soil and water thoroughly; this will compact the soil and eliminate any air pockets.
Watering is, of course, a vital part of any plants health and this is true also for a Knockout rose. You'll want to water your rose two to three times a week until the plant is established. This promotes root growth, which in turn helps the plant to develop masses of leaves and blooms! After the first three months, you can reduce watering to once a week, except in times of extreme heat and drought, during which it's recommended that you use your discretion from day to day.
NEVER purposely moisten the foliage or blooms of your Knockout, as this promotes disease. Water only at soil level and as early in the day as possible to allow that any excess moisture is absorbed before the temperature drops in the evenings.
Spreading a two to three inch layer of mulch around the base of your Knockout rose will help to conserve moisture, maintain appropriate soil temperature, and add extra nutrients to the soil while prohibiting the growth of weeds. It is best to replace your mulch quarterly, or as often as needed to prevent its deterioration.
Fertilization should be done once a year, with a balanced 10-10-10 formula. It is best to do this in early spring, so that by the time your Knockout is ready to bloom the fertilizer has already had time to take effect.
Knockouts are self-cleaning roses, so regular pruning or dead-heading is unnecessary. It will promote growth and blooms, however, to remove any stems that are dead, dying or diseased as soon as they are identified. Once yearly, in very early spring, you can cut back all healthy stems to a length between one and two feet.
This action will not only promote growth as discussed above, but also reduce the chance of fungal disease by enhancing light and air circulation at the time of year when your rose needs it most!
Follow these five simple steps, and you’ll have the whole neighborhood talking about what a great gardener you must be with your unmatched Knockout Roses!