Dead-Heading Knock-Out Roses – Is it Necessary?


TheGardenLady received this question from Tracey.
The Knock-Out rose company says that it is not necessary to dead head the roses.  See here.

Deadheading means to remove dying flowers from a flowering plant. The reason for deadheading is to trick a plant into producing more flowers. Plants make flowers to make the seeds for reproduction and when there are seeds, the plant will stop producing flowers. Plants that don’t set seed will continue to bloom longer.  Most plants benefit from having their old, dying flowers removed but it is not necessary for Knock-Out roses that have been created to continue to bloom for much of the summer without any deadheading

The other reason for deadheading the flowers is to make the plant look neater. Though the Knock-Out rose petals fall off cleanly, TheGardenLady finds that the rose bush looks nicer when she dead-heads.  TheGardenLady only dead heads when lots of the flowers have fallen, like after a heavy rain.

So to answer Tracey’s question, No it is not necessary to dead head Knock-Out roses. Easy care is another advantage to raising this type of rose.

4 Replies to “Dead-Heading Knock-Out Roses – Is it Necessary?”

  1. Hello:)
    I have read some of your articles about roses but wonder if all the advise applies to knock-outs as well. My questions are 1) how do I prune them and 2) when should I fertilize them here in South Carolina? Thanks for your help!

  2. I have a question about planting KnockOut Roses in South Carolina. We have red clay mixed with sand, and I want to make sure I prepare the beds properly before planting. Any recommendations?
    Thank you!

  3. I live in Charlotte, NC and was told our red clay, similarly to Pat’s (in SC) requires some good topsoil or potting mix. We recently planted several double knock-out roses…with great success. We simply dug our holes just slightly bigger then the pots, filled the holes with a nice rich topsoil (enough to leave the rootball just barely above ground), put in some nice long release, general fertilizer pellets, then the plant and filled around the plant with more topsoil. We then sprinkled some more fertilizer around the plant in about an 8 inch ring and covered with mulch. Lots of watering for the first few weeks and VOILA! Beautiful, easy to care for Knock-outs!

  4. I am very upset with my knock out roses. They have small green worms covering the leafs and eating holes in them. They also get on the perennial hibiscus. Is there anyting I can use to get rid of the pest without using pesticides.
    Please help.

    Thank you,
    Nancy Williams

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