Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011...12:00 am

Caring for Knockout Roses Down South

Raindrops on Double Pink Knock Out rose in November garden by pawightm

TheGardenLady received several questions about Knock Out roses.

Here’s a question from Dan about caring for Knock Out roses in the winter.

How do you care for Knock Out roses in the winter in Tallahassee, Florida. Can I put hay around and cover the up with trash can or do they need sun light in the winter? They got new buds on them now.  How do you keep them looking good for next summer?

According to Conard-Pyle, a company that specializes in Knock Out Roses, Knock Out® Roses shouldn’t need much protection at all in winter in the south. There is no need to cover them up with a trash can. They would benefit from a hard trim once every two to three years. They should be trimmed ½ to 1/3 of the way back just before they begin to leaf out – this would probably be around mid February in the Tallahassee region.

John and Carl have concerns with their Knock Out roses losing almost all of their leaves but the roses still keep on blooming. They write that they don’t know if they are poorly drained, too dry, or have an insect problem.

Carl adds that it is winter here in SC, and he’s not sure what remedial action to take.

Knock-Out Roses has their own website where they answer many Knock-Out rose questions. Always check their site first to see if they have answered your specific question on line.

This is the answer Conard-Pyle has for these questions:

The Knock Out® Roses will go into a dormant to semi-dormancy state as far south as Florida so this seems pretty natural –I’ve seen Knock Out® in their dormancy state in Florida in February and sometimes they will even have a few blooms despite the lack of foliage. Don’t fret – come spring it will get nice new green growth again.

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