Many gardeners, particularly beginners, stay away from growing roses as they perceive them to be too difficult to cultivate and maintain. In the past this very well may have been true but over the past decade the gardening industry has risen to this challenge and there is now a rose that is both beautiful as well as easy to maintain. This rose is known as a Knock Out Rose. It won an All-American Rose award in the first year it was introduced to the marketplace and it has been among the most popular roses ever since.
So what makes the Knock-Out Rose the answer to a rose gardener’s prayers? These roses have been bred to specifically address certain challenges that historically have come with growing roses. The most important of these has to be its resistance to fungal diseases. Most roses are susceptible to fungal diseases such as black spot and powdery mildew and while Knock Out Roses are not totally immune from these diseases I have found from personal experience that they are highly resistant to them. I include them as part of a regular spraying program I have for all of my roses and in the five plus years that I have grown them I can say I have never had more than a leaf or two on a Knock Out Rose impacted by these diseases.
Another significant advantage that Knock Out Roses have is their vigorous blooming habit. Knock Out Roses start blooming in many places in the United States in May and keep blooming into October and even November in some areas of the country. They have been bred to be self-cleaning which means that you don’t have to remove the flowers when they die as they will just fall off on their own and the plant will keep blooming. However, if you do remove the dead flowers it will speed up the next wave of flowers.
Knock Out Roses can be used for a variety of purposes ranging from hedges to border plants. They benefit from monthly fertilization and like most roses they require at least six hours of sun each day. In garden zones 8 and 9 they can benefit from some shade in the afternoon. They have been found to be very winter hardy, requiring only a good layer of mulch for winter protection and have survived quite well as far north as garden zone 4.
Perhaps the only drawback is that Knock Out Roses have a limited number of colors to choose from. Red and Pink are the most common colors but a yellow variety was introduced a few years ago and this color actually has a fragrance that the others don’t. Every garden has room for a Knock Out Rose so why not add one to your garden today.