Pruning Knockout Roses After Frost Damage

by Eric Guziejka
(Austin Texas)


I live in Austin Texas and I cut back my knockout roses end of February like most everyone else. Then we had a couple of hard freezes with 80 degree days in between. Now my knockout roses look awful with a lot of dead looking leaves and branches. There are also a lot of new little red stems of little growth trying to pop out all over the branches. Should I just leave them alone and let nature takes it's course or should I cut them back a second time?

Thanks for your time,
Eric Guziejka

Hello Eric,
Sorry to hear about your frost damaged knockout roses.
I am sure it happened to a lot of people's roses this spring, because of one winter storm after another.
Ok. This what I recommend you do. Trim off all dead leaves and dead canes.
But don't do another big spring pruning now.
Your knockouts will recover as soon as the weather improves.

You should give the knockouts some rose food. Be sure to deep water before the feeding.

After your first flower flush is over, do a little pruning to improve the shape.

This will give a better 2nd flower show.

Then fertilize again for continuing flowering.

Here is my page about pruning knockout roses.
Best Regards,

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