TheGardenLady received this concern from Cammi about her Knock Out Roses:
1. I live in middle of CT.
2. Soil is clay
3. I just planted knock out roses in mid to late May 2018
4. We added bone meal to soil and then planted bushes then, put weed mat and mulch over the Matt around each bush.
5. I just added Rose Tone fertilizer
6. Base of plant watered 5 minutes per day , twice per day. I put my finger in to make sure the soil around each Bush was moist.
7. Green parts look fine
8. Not blooming. The early flowers have almost disappeared
9. Old buds falling off
10. New buds look ok
11. I can send a photo if allowed
12. Overall, plants donâ€™t look perky. Appear a bit wilted due to no flowering.
Concerning your roses –
Your location in the middle of CT is fine for roses but not having your address I am not sure if you are in Temperature Zone 5 or 6. Knock Out Roses say they are hardy to Zone 5 .
TheGardenLady’s Knock Out Roses are planted in clay soil that had been amended with compost when the roses were planted. I hope you have planted your roses in a sunny location. Most roses need at least 6 hours of sun, though Knock Out Roses will tolerate some partial shade.
TheGardenLady never adds anything to new roses when I plant them and nothing but water for that first year. I have read that adding bone meal to the soil does not help and may hurt the new plants. See here.
TheGardenLady and her gardening friends uses the Espoma products that is the Rose Tone Fertilizer brand I believe you used. Though TheGardenLady does not add any fertilizer to a new rose, if you followed the directions on the bag of Rose Tone, TheGardenLady is assured that Espoma knows what they are telling you to do. Still, they are in business, so whether that initial fertilizing is necessary or not, I do not know. What a gardener should do, before planting anything, is to have a soil test done of the soil where one is planting a new plant. If the soil test is done through your Master Gardener office or agricultural extension office, it should ask what you want to plant in the location and recommend if any amendments to the soil are necessary before you plant. This way you may save money and will know exactly what is needed.