Asked on Oct 19, 2017

Knockout roses pruning/bugs

Csr16200510LynnHillela G.


I know the worst time to prune rose bushes is in the fall, but want to know what I can do, short of cutting them back to make them look presentable! We were gone for a couple weeks and the bugs chewed on them the whole time it seems! They look very scraggly and would just like to snip them down to the ground. But, I know that's not good for them in the long run. Any ideas? Thanks!

7 answers
  • Janet Pizaro
    on Oct 19, 2017

    Pruning should not be done until late winter or early spring,so the only thing to do now is apply a systemic insect control for roses
  • Ngs31265230
    on Oct 20, 2017

    Who said the worst time to prune them was in the Fall?? Depending on your geographical situation would determine the best time to prune, but usually late Fall is the best time to prune them back so their root system can strengthen for spring growth. Remember they only flower on new growth. I wouldn't cut back more than one third of its height, though, as you may need to prune more in the spring from winter freeze damage (if your area has it). Nancy G - NC
  • Roxaneg
    on Oct 20, 2017

    Pruning them now can lead to winterkill. Knockout roses are best pruned when they are just beginning to break out of dormancy, late winter, early spring.

    I'd leave them be.
  • Hillela G.
    on Oct 20, 2017

    Late winter is best
  • Lynn
    on Oct 20, 2017

    Thank you all for the input! Sounds like I'll just have to have scraggly rose buses till spring, I guess!
  • Csr16200510
    on Oct 20, 2017

    the stink bugs evidently hit my knock out roses too --- not one single leaf left --- but --- I cut mine back the other day to approx. a foot from the ground up --- I don't think it matters when you cut them
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