Double Knockout Roses probably sound familiar to you because ever since they were introduced in 2000 they spread like wildfire all over the country. They spread faster throughout neighborhoods than chicken pox in a kindergarten class. We’re willing to bet that if you don’t have them in your yard then a neighbor, friend, or family member does close by.
Why are Double Knockout Roses so popular? They’re extremely cold hardy and heat resistant. Double Knockout Roses are recommended for growing zones 5 through 10. They can survive frosts and temperatures that get down to 10 degrees. These tough roses can also handle the heat in Southern Florida, Texas, and California. Also, Double Knockout Roses are extremely disease and pest resistant. Black spot, rust, mildew, and more pose no threats.
We can’t forget about the main attraction for Double Knockout Roses, their blooms. They have a lot of large, thick, bright, and beautiful blooms. Their blooming season is one of the longest blooming seasons out of every rose bush. Double Knockout Roses start to bloom early in the spring and last until the first frost. While other roses are going dormant Double knockout Roses are still pumping blooms out. Their fresh and sweet fragrance will drift through your yard for months.
Gardeners that don’t exactly have green thumbs can easily plant these roses and forget about them. They’re tough enough to be planted and left with little to no maintenance. They will naturally grow to their average size of 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide on their own. However, some of you are excellent gardeners with years of experience and who garden as a hobby. For those people this serves as a guide for hands on Double Knockout Rose maintenance.
The first step for properly maintaining Double Knockout Rose Bushes is to plant them in the right location. Double Knockout Roses thrive in areas that receive full to partial sunlight and prefer at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day. An area that gives your Double Knockout Roses shade in the afternoon will be more beneficial for your roses than area that gives them morning shade. Make sure that your roses don’t sit in a low area of your yard that collects a lot of water runoff, or where standing water collects. If you’re roses are potted and kept indoors place them by a large sunny window.
Double Knockout Roses will adapt to a variety of soils as long as it’s well draining. Your natural soil will be great for your roses. If you’re concerned that your soil is too sandy, you can mix it with a bag of planting mix that specifically says that it’s for roses. If your soil seems too heavy with clay, you can mix it with a fine potting mix or sand.
Even the most inexperienced gardeners know that it’s very important to give any plant the correct amount of water. Double Knockout Roses prefer to keep their soil moist, but not over saturated. Check on your soil every few days if it starts to feel dry then it’s time to give your roses a drink. Soil in containers tends to dry out faster than soil in the ground, so Double Knockout Roses planted in containers may require water more frequently.
Most Double Knockout Roses only need to be watered once a week, unless there is a period of extreme heat or a drought occurring. Then you should check on your plants daily. If your Double Knockout Roses are kept in a container make sure that it has holes at the bottom so water can drain out. Some containers don’t have holes, but holes can quickly and easily added with a drill.
Give water to your roses at the base, not from overhead. If water droplets get on the leaves and dry in the sun then spots can emerge on the leaves and blooms where the water droplets were sitting. Also moist blooms and foliage can lead to common rose diseases. We know that no one can control the humidity in the air or how much it rains, but only watering your roses at the soil line will greatly reduce the risk for problems and diseases. Also, it’s best to water Double Knockout Roses in the early morning so they can absorb all of the moisture before the heat of the day causes it all to evaporate.
Double Knockout Roses will always benefit from a nice nutritious meal. One quick way to provide nutrients for your roses is to spread a 3 to 6 inch layer of mulch around their bases. The layer of mulch should be 3 to 6 inches away from their bases, and not touching it. Mulch will give your roses nutrients and help your soil retain moisture longer. Also, mulch will regulate the temperature of your soil, and keep the roots on your Double Knockout Roses insulated during the winter. In the spring and summer mulch will prevent weeds from growing around your roses, to prevent competition for nutrients.
Fertilizer is always a great way to give plants extra nutrients. Double Knockout Roses love well balanced fertilizers like formula 10-10-10. Give your roses some fertilizer in the late winter or early spring every year after the final freeze or once your ground has thawed out. You’ll really notice that difference that fertilizer provides once your first round of bright rose blooms.
The last step in Double Knockout Rose maintenance is pruning. However, Double Knockout Roses are self-cleaning roses! No pruning or dead-heading is required. You can promote new growth by pruning off spent blooms. Also, it’s good to remove any stems that appear to be dead, diseased, or dying as soon as you spot them.
You can prune your bushes back at any time to keep them at a desired height or shape. Also, every year in the beginning of spring you can prune back all of the healthy stems to about a foot long. Doing this will promote knew growth and allow more fresh air and sunlight in between each stem. The improved air circulation and sunlight will reduce the chances of your rose bushes getting a disease or fungus. Whenever you make cuts with your shears or pruners make the cuts at 45 degree angles facing upwards to promote new growth.
Enjoy Your Roses
Even if you plant your Double Knockout Roses and leave them to maintain themselves they’ll provide you with beautiful fragrant blooms for months. If you choose to follow these basic rose maintenance tips then you’ll receive even more blooms that are bigger and brighter. There are Double Knockout Roses in a variety of different colors, ranging from classic red, soft pink and even yellow. You can even get a Double Knockout Rose Tree! No matter what level your gardening skills are at any color, shape, size, and variety of Double Knockout Roses will flourish in your backyard.