Knockout roses were first discovered by a Wisconsin botanist named, William Radler. These are short shrubs that can grow up to a height of three to four feet. These shrubs bear beautiful flowers that are red and dark pink in color. Pruning is essential to keep your rose shrubs in a proper shape. Pruning them helps in encouraging new blooms and improves the air circulation of the plant. This shrub does not need much trimming, as they are self-cleaning trees.
When to Prune
Pruning these plants in the dormant stage can prove fatal for them. Late winter and early spring are the favorable times, for shaping them. Mostly early spring is preferred, as during this time buds start to expand, but there is no new growth. You can also trim them in the summer, but the disadvantage of doing this is that there will be reduced growth. For high and vigorous growth of your bushes, avoid pruning them in the first year after you have planted them. Allow the shrub to grow as it is, but prune them in the coming year. Each year, trim the shrubs to get rid of the diseased and decayed parts. Dead and damaged stems can be removed any time.
How to Prune
If you prune this bush properly, you will see good blooms, every year. Shaping your bush, the wrong way, can adversely affect their growth. This shrub does not require standard rose pruning. Here are some instructions that you need to follow.
- Use a hand-held shear or a hedge trimmer to cut down the shrub to about half of its present height. So, you can cut down the bush up to twelve inches from the base of the plant.
- This bush grows rapidly, so shape them down around two feet beneath the height. This helps getting the blooms in the right season.
- Keep your trimmer sterilized by dipping it in an alcoholic solution.
- Prune in such a way, that light and air circulation can reach to the plant.
- Make sure that you shape them at a forty-five degree angle, slanted towards the bush.
- First, you can remove the dead wood, followed by long and lean canes arising from the base of the plant.
- Frequent watering of the bushes in dry weather leads to a healthy and thriving plant. Do not water overhead the flowers, as it may cause leaf spot disease.
- Clean the planting area, by removing all dead and diseased woods that have become dried and black in color.
- You can apply a protective covering or mulch of three inches thickness surrounding the bush. This aids the prevention of evaporation and soil erosion.
- Plant your bush in a well-drained area and a sunny place.
- Do not forget to feed them with special fertilizers that are specifically meant for this bush.
Pruning knockout roses is not challenging work. It takes just some experience and practice. Apart from the correct pruning methods one also has to take care to prevent diseases, give proper nutrition, etc. Prevent your rose bushes from cane borer damage, by pouring a few drops of Elmer's glue on the end of the trimmed cane. These well-pruned shrubs will surely enhance the beauty of your garden.