Can I Prune a Knockout Rose Now?

roberta_nc(Zone 7 NC)March 6, 2009

Doesn't this springlike weather just make you want to get your hands dirty, as Rebecca Kolls says?

I have a double knockout rose that I'd like to prune to make it more bushy and less gangly. Can I do that now? I'm in Cary.

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We usually prune when the forsythia is blooming. It is blooming in my area now so I plan to prune my roses soon.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 8:07PM
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karen__w(z7 Durham, NC)

I pruned my knock out and other shrub roses back hard this morning. Seemed like the right thing to do, though mine take pruning well any time of year I (or the deer) get around to it.

Has anyone seen the new yellow KO, '(Rad)sunny'?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 12:38PM
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amyflora(7 NC)

Haven't seen it with my own eyes, but our girl Adele out at BB was telling me yesterday that it is really pretty. Can't wait to check it out.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 6:20PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

I've got a yellow one. I bought it in Delaware last summer. I stopped at a nursery on my way back home. I made a beeline for them. They have a slight fragrance, but nothing to get too worked up over.

It starts out really yellow and turns a creamy yellow after a couple days.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 6:24PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

How far back do you prune them, and I also heard some usually leave 2-3 canes alone. What's your thinking? I have a regular (can't remember name) yellow rose and a knock-out that have several canes about 2-3' right now.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 8:46AM
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karen__w(z7 Durham, NC)

I'm probably not the one to advise on how best to prune roses. My strategy was dictated primarily by the fact that we need to get over them with a ladder to clean the gutters this spring. That said, I cut the knock out back from >5 feet to ~3 feet, all canes included, but the oldest ones that were getting woody got pruned back farther to open up the shrub. I don't think I pruned it anywhere near that hard the first year or two, though.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 8:52AM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

I just read you can prune a rose shrub (Tea, etc) when the forsythia is blooming (now) by one-third to one-half down to an outward facing bud. I guess that could go for the knock-outs too.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 5:51AM
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odyssey3(7 noVA)

Leaving one or two canes is how you would prune a hybrid tea rose. Knockouts are shrub roses, so do not do that. Take out dead wood and then trim about 1/4 off the top.

Here's a great intro video from Paul Zimmerman of Ashdown:

P.S. yes, mid-March is a good time to prune here.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 1:12PM
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