Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Landscape - Pruning Knock Out Roses

Knock Out low maintenance free blooming shrub roses have been big hits in the nursery and landscape industry. I was recently asked about pruning knock out roses once planted in the landscape. This was my response:

In the year after planting, no pruning is really necessary if they are not too tall for the area planted in. As they grow in the landscape in future years, if they are taller than you like then head back in spring as low as 2 feet. You can practice renewal pruning with Knock Out roses but they will bloom well on old and new canes After 2 years you can start renewal pruning by removing a few of the oldest canes pruned to the ground level. Each year thereafter remove some of the oldest canes to the ground, keeping the newest ones. Again, this type of renewal pruning is not required for them to perform well. As always, remove any dead canes. You should do some heading back at least every 3 years but the amount that you prune back is not critical, 1/3 of the growth would be fine. Any extra tall, straight growth should be cut back by about 1/2. They should normally not get any higher than 5 feet unless in very fertile soil. For many areas you may not need to head back at all and may not need much pruning for several years. Pruning is done in spring although light pruning can be done also during the growing season.

Gordon Johnson, Extension Horticulture Agent, UD, Kent County

No comments: