Introduction to Caring for Knockout Roses:
Knockout roses are the creation of William Radler, a rose breeder who began his fascination with roses at a very early age when he would visit his grandparents and pass the time browsing through various rose catalogs they had laying around. He bought his first rose for 49 cents when he was only 9 years old and planted it in his backyard. Not only did the plant survive, but it flourished when everyone told him it wouldn't survive the first winter.
With the first bloom of this rose, William was hooked and so began his early career breeding roses. Being a costly hobby, William quickly learned how to propagate his roses through bud grafting and cuttings and he eventually turned his parents' backyard into a beautiful and overwhelming display of wonderful roses. One of the first lessons he learned was how much time and work was involved in caring for roses. So he began his efforts to start breeding the more maintenance intensive traits out of his roses, so he wouldn't have to cut back on his hobby.
Site Selection - Caring for Knockout Roses:
By all accounts, William far exceeded his goals in creating a family of roses that requires little maintenance at all. Caring for knockout roses is unarguably far easier than the vast number of varieties out there on the market today. Knockout roses are intense bloomers, and as such, they require a lot of sun light to really perform well. Many growers, depending on their climate, will have success growing these roses in locations that get partial shade, but if you truly want the best performance possible, you should find them a location where they will get at least 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light.
Knockout roses are some of the most versatile roses you could choose to grow in your garden. They do well when mixed with just about any other type of plant and can serve in a wide variety of landscaping ideas. Plant them in mixed beds, use them as rose hedges, or plant them individually to bring color to an otherwise drab section of your garden. You should try to make sure the location you select has soil that drains well as roses in general are not terribly tolerant of soil that stays constantly damp for long periods of time.
Planting Instructions - Caring for Knockout Roses:
Planting Knockout roses is really easy and you only need a few basic hand tools to make the job easy. The first thing you should do is take a trip to the local garden center and pick up a bag of organic compost. I have found this stuff does wonders for any plant, and roses especially really establish themselves well if you mix this into the hole. What I do when I dig the hole is throw the soil into a wheelbarrow, and then mix the compost in there at a ratio of 1 part compost to every 2 parts soil.
Caring for knockout roses starts with proper planting. How you plant your roses depends in part on how you received them. If you picked up the rose locally, then it was probably already established in a container and these are the easiest to plant. Start by digging yourself a hole that is at least twice the diameter of the container, and equally as deep. This allows ample room for the new soil mix, but also keeps the bud union at the same depth it was planted it in the container.
If you ordered your rose online, then it was most likely shipped to you as a bareroot plant. You should first soak these overnight in a bucket of lukewarm water to rehydrate the plant. Then dig yourself a hole that is wide enough to fit all of the roots, and deep enough to allow you to set the plant on top of a mound of soil, and keep the bud union about an inch or two below the surface.
Back fill the hole about halfway and then take the garden hose and water the loose soil until it flows around the roots like mud. Go ahead and fill the hole the rest of the way and give it one more heavy watering to fully settle the soil. This should ensure that no air pockets have formed around the roots. Lastly, mound up soil or mulch around the canes above the soil, to prevent them from drying out. You will want to remove this mound once the shoots start to form.
Daily Caring for Knockout Roses:
Because of their exceptional breeding, caring for knockout roses is so easy you can almost just let them grow on their own and not have to worry about them…almost! Knockouts are self-cleaning, so there is no need to deadhead these roses. What a relief that is! You should make sure that you give them about one deep watering each week of Mother Nature isn't already doing the job for you.
Knockouts are among the most disease resistant roses available, but should they ever become infected, you can follow standard procedures for addressing the particular disease. Usually it amounts to simply removing the infected parts and disposing of them. You can also give your knockouts an all-purpose, granular fertilizer in the early spring when the leaves start to form.
Caring for Knockout Roses - Pruning:
You should always prune your knockouts in the early spring after the last big frost has passed. The breeder recommends that you should cut them back each year to about 12 or 18 inches off the ground. If left unchecked, you can expect them to grow just over 4 feet tall or so, and equally as wide. This makes these roses uniquely suited as hedge roses also.
Caring for knockout roses starts with proper techniques and as long as you follow these general guidelines, you should not have many problems and these roses will provide you with repeated blooms throughout the entire growing season.
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