Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don't knock Knockout Roses!

You know I have to admit that I never wanted to own a single knockout rose...ever! Maybe I felt that no lover of antique roses should ever stoop to the level of this modern rose now becoming so widely popular in commerce. Maybe it because they were EVERYWHERE you looked! I mean they really were everywhere and I refused to buy something that everyone and their mother and their mothers mother and their mothers mothers mother had. Ok maybe that's going a bit far but seriously they were all over the place and I had just made up my mind that I was not going to own one never ever never......

 Then low and behold I up and purchase not one, not two, but 5 of them! Yup I gave in I just gave in. Well see I ripped out some pathetic teeny tiny little azaleas that the builder just stuck on some clay soil and threw some pine straw down. So 2 years ago I ripped  everything out and tilled in some manure and planned to plant roses in its place. Well I had a very tough time choosing a row of roses that I knew for certain would look and perform good year round. So I happened along another local nursery that had all there shrubs 40% off. I had heard so much about knockouts and their outstanding disease resistance and long bloom time not to mention how little attention they needed. So I bought 5 large 3 gal. pink knockouts for $60 and you can't beat that!

So I did it I was still in a little shock that I actually bought them. That quickly wore off in no time though! I love my knockouts I actually love them...not like I do my antique roses no I wouldn't say that but still I do admit I love them. They seriously have like a suit of armor against any disease. They are super fast growers and non stop bloomers from spring through the first  hard frost. They keep most of their leaves through winter here in the SE. Require very little care. Pruning if you require or desire a certain size. Excellent landscape rose for just about any area or trouble spot. Their color almost glows at night! The flowers are bright and slowly fade to a lighter shade of pink as you see in the first picture at the top of the post. I also give them very little fertilizer if any and that doesn't seem to stop them. They are perfect for the foundation.
I have Shata Daisy 'Becky' planted in between them and they are so pretty in combination with the pinks in summer. I also have purple nepta planted in front of the middle three and together the soft purple, the pink and the white just looks so lovely together. The shasta dasies are nice too as they winter very well and keep their green color with just a little die back and then burst forth as soon as it begins to warm. They spread on there own to fill in without becoming invasive.

So if you haven't already given the Knockout roses a try I encourage you to do so. They have the single and the double in the Red (which really isn't a true red) and Pink. They have Sunny (a pretty yellow), Blushing (a lighter pink), and the Rainbow (pink petals with a yellow center). They are winter harder to USDA zone 5 and very heat tolerant.


  1. My sister has been telling me about the Knockout roses and after reading your blog, I have to get one (or maybe two...) I've never grown roses because they require so much care but these sound like they're right for me.

    Also, I love the pictures of your hollyhocks.

  2. Oh, yes I joined the knockout bandwagon this year too! I am totally a antique rose garden in teh landscape and hybrid teas in the cutting kind of girl but I needed a row of killer roses that would look great all summer so knockouts I bought. They are already blooming even though they are babies! I am loving them. I would still rather buy a antique but knockouts are available when you need something guaranteed in a pinch. Great post!

  3. I have the very same variety/shade of knock out roses in the back yard of this old house.. I LOVE THEM!!!! They are exactly what you've said, and exactly why they are so popular.

  4. I feel like you, Meghan, why get Knock Outs when there are lovely, disease resistant (and less thorny) Old Garden Roses. Though you made a great case for them, I won't be buying any. My garden is stuffed full.

  5. Sherry is absolutely right! There are lots of old garden roses that are disease resistant! What often makes people think that they are fussy are the hybrid teas. Please if anyone wanting to grow roses but are afraid too please check out my post "Myth-Roses are Fussy and Difficult to Grow" because they are anything but! Knockouts are great and are a good beginner rose but so are many antique roses. Besides knockouts cannot even begin to compare with old garden roses on beauty, and fragrance!

  6. Very pretty. I've been wanting a rose bush for a couple years now, but I have the horrible childhood memory of the roses always being full of earwigs, ugh! Yours are so beautiful though, I just might have to try one.

  7. How much spacing did you leave between roses bushes to make room for the daisies? I would like to plant the same at my house but am not sure about spacing. Thanks!