Are Knock Out Roses ugly in the winter? Debating whether to use

nicole007April 30, 2013

Hi, I'm debating whether to use them for a front flowerbed close to the street. I was wanting something evergreen and I'm worried about what they will look like when they're not in bloom. IF you were to pair Knock Outs with another evergreen bush, what would it be?

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Do you know what zone you are in? Gardenia, rosemary, camellia. Camellia would probably win though, offering blooms at the opposite time of year.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 2:57PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I sure wouldn't use them in an important front bed. Not only do they get scrawny in the winter but are very prone to the dreaded rose rosette virus. I had to yank and destroy all of the ones in my front bed two years after planting.

What size plants do you want for the area?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 6:37PM
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Bridget Helm

I'm in South Louisiana and my knock outs bloom in the winter. I give them a good pruning in January to shape them and prepare them for new growth. They look good all year in Louisiana if pruned and fertilized properly. They take up a lot of space which I like. I have 2 in my back beds. I agree that they aren't front bed plants unless you are going for the cottage garden look.

I have shi shi camellias, encore azaleas, and dwarf Indian Hawthorne grouped with them.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 9:31PM
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Knockouts are also very susceptible to chili thrips. I think most of the ones used in public landscapings will be dead in a few years because it's so hard to treat.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 3:58PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Please don't buy Knockout Roses!! I work for Bayer Advanced chemicals. We were told a few weeks ago that they get a rose mite that will kill them. You can spray to try and stop them from spreading, but nothing will kill them. Sorry to have to tell you this. They sure are beautiful.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 5:21PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Appreciate the sharing of info, but my opinion is completely opposite. That's not at all a reason to not buy a particular plant to me, just because a chemical company can't make a chemical that kills a particular bug without harming the plant that may or may not get bugged by that bug. There are pests that can kill any plant. I certainly don't base my plant choices on what chemicals are available for treatment should pests arrive since I don't own any chemicals of this type and wouldn't be interested in trying to coddle a plant with them. It's just throwing good money after bad, IMHO. No interest in growing anything that can't thrive naturally or trying to be Mother Nature or a mad amateur scientist.

To everything, there is a season. Plants aren't meant to live forever.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 5:32PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I'm not insisting you use chemicals!!!!! I just want people to know what is going on with the mites!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 8:17PM
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My experience in Raleigh is EXCELLENT. I have had red knockouts for 4 years and no insect problem. Like all roses they go dormant around Dec - Feb and have no leaves.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 11:53AM
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ApprenticeGardener(7b or 8)

Rose rosette disease (RRD), a virus spread by a microscopic mite, has been around since at least the early '40s (some sources indicate earlier). When 'Knock-out' roses were first introduced, they were thought to be resistance to most common rose diseases. In the last several years, they have been found susceptible (as are all other roses) to RRD. The only thing new is that 'Knock-Outs' are not Superrose.

It's interesting that a chemical company would announce to its employees that a chemical it makes won't kill an insect that hasn't been able to be killed by any chemical in the last 70 years.

I'll keep enjoying my Knock-Outs until they die (as all things in Nature eventually do), then find something else beautiful to plant in their place.

Best Wishes--Carl
Atlanta, GA

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 4:53PM
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I'm about 3 hours south of Raleigh NC and my knockouts do fine, I wouldn't say they are ugly in the winter, just branches and pretty much matches everything else. They are my first to come out in the spring. I stick dusty millers around all my roses because they don't seem to die here, they stop growing. I also grow ornamental kale and ornamental cabbage in the fall when the knock out i going to go dormant and it will hide it great and i pull it up in the spring

I don't know what evergreen i would plant, depends on the knockout you get.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 10:54PM
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Hi, my zone is 7b. Thanks for everyone's input! And rhizo... you asked what kinds of bushes I'd be interested in... everyone in my area plants azaleas but I wanted something that would be green in the winter. So, I looked for flowering bushes that are evergreen. I came up with Knock Outs, Endless Summer Hydrangea and Indian Hawthorn. My yard has non stop sun and I read something about Endless Summer not being able to take heavy heat and sun. Is that right?? I've also heard the Indian Hawthorn get a disease on their leaves ... I'm thinking I'm going to have to go with an evergreen with no flowers. Any suggestions? I want something with bigger leaves than the boxwood. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 11:23PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I'm not rhizo, more's the pity, but I can say that Indian Hawthornes sound like just what you want. Make sure you give them proper spacing and full sun. The spotting problem should be minimal. It seems to be aggravated by too much shade, high humidity and crowded conditions.

I have Knockout Roses at the entrance to my potager. They are backed by a four foot high boxwood hedge. The roses are thickly underplanted with daffodils which come up and bloom among the semi-bare stems in late winter and early spring. Knockouts never seem to lose all their leaves here in east central Mississippi. You say you don't want boxwoods, but you might enjoy the daffodil underplantings.

Also, I can tell you that although my Endless Summers tolerate more sun than most hydrangeas, they don't really like it. And they are not evergreen.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 2:47PM
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My knockout roses, even the ones in pots thrive all year round. I am an original rose lover and I've purchased and planted many rose bushes with high hopes, have even had them on a regular spraying regime, but they just do not do well here for me, and admittedly, I'm a lazy gardener, so my best intentions don't always work out to keep spraying year after year (just too many other things always demanding my time). I have lost almost every regular rose I have planted, or they look like crap and have not lost ONE knockout. I also have NEVER sprayed my knockouts. I live in Middle Ga, zone 8.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 8:25AM
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I also live in zone 7, but I don't know if nicole lives in a humid or dry zone 7. I live in a dry (actually drought) area, and have knockout roses.

They've grown beautifully for the past four years in an extremely sunny bed. However, I wouldn't plant them in the front because they don't look so good while waiting for me to deadhead them. They're green year 'round.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 11:54AM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

Such ridiculous prattle. Any rose can get rose rosette disease,Knockouts aren't any more susceptible than any others. And any plant can get chili thrips too, even roses! Go figure! Let's all just burn our gardens down and prevent such evil things. Let's not be hysterical that the boogyman is coming down the street.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 1:09AM
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The major issue I have encountered with my knockouts is they grow much larger than listed. They are beautiful but difficult to relocate as I believe mine are growing back from the roots .If you plant them make sure its where you want them forever and give them lots of room. One of my originals is ten feet tall now and I am going to chainsaw it down this winter.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Sweet olive bush is perfect for your front. You can prune them in the spring after they bloom, they take pruning beautifully. You can even make a small tree shape of it, or even a mushroom if you want. They have flowers that smell heavenly in spring and then again in fall.
Then you can also plant Indian Hawthorne too! They are slow growing and rounded, beautiful evergreen foilage and white blooms in spring. Very nice evergreen that can be trimmed and shaped however you want. THey come in white and also pink.
One of my favorites for evergreen and color is albelia kaleidoscope. It is gold, bright green with new growth being pink, it is in the honeysuckle family, has beautiful small white flowers right in the middle of summer. It doesnt grow super fast, and takes a good pruning if you want to shape it. I have it out front, I rounded mine, it looks gorgeous in the winter.
Don't worry about diseases, worry about them when you get them.
All trees and plants and shrubs will suffer from something sooner or later so go ahead and enjoy what ever you decide to plant.
I don't have roses out front, I enjoy them in the back since I am out there more in the summer. I don't want to share them, so to speak. LOL

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 2:25PM
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I live In the South East Corner of Alabama in zone 8. I have have had knock out roses for over 5 years in front of my house. They look amazing and in fact are still blooming. I will be clipping some roses this afternoon for on the wife's kitchen table. I've never had a problem with them, I have 4 red and 2 yellow and they grow amazingly well. Mine usually stop blooming near the end of January or so depending on how cold it gets here. But usually from March or April until the end of the year I have large amazing roses, that even my Brown thumbed wife can't kill. HaHaHa!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 1:10PM
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