Knock Out Rose Bushes
QUESTION: I have two knock-out rose bushes that we planted last spring.
They did wonderful and I was very happy with their growth.
I have read your articles on your website and am still a little confused.
I would like to make sure my roses do as well this year.
Your one article says that I don't really need to prune them, another says I should cut the entire bush back about 1/3 and there was an article that said I should cut the bush back significantly.
We live in Pennsylvania so we do get harsh winters, I didn't cover them or do any type of winter preparation.
Spring is right around the corner, so I'm watching the weather to make sure I don't prune them too early, and I didn't do any deadheading last season.
I am new to gardening and taking care of Roses and want to make sure I do a good job since we spent a lot of time and money on our landscaping last spring.
Your advice would be greatly appreciated!
ANSWER Hello! I have actually devoted a whole page for pruning knockout roses.
That page will give you the pruning information about knock out rose bushes.
I garden in Los Angeles, and I find that rose bushes grow larger in warm climates, such as Florida and Southern California.
Therefore I prune my knockouts down by a third.
I also recommend you deadhead them, the bush looks better without dead blooms on it.
It will re-bloom without deadheading, so it's up to you.
After pruning, wait about three weeks or so, before feeding the roses.
Wait until you see new growth sprouting.
The aphids are active when new growth is coming in so inspect your roses every day, and knock off the aphids with your water nozzle.
If you don't,they will really do a bad number on your knock out roses.