When do you trim back knockout roses - live in SC

Bonnie Mike
by Bonnie Mike
My knockout rose bushes are getting so lanky and big that I'd like to cut them back. When should I trim them?
  5 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Nov 11, 2014
    You should prune them back significantly in late winter/early spring, just before the new foliage flushes out. If you prune them now, it will encourage new foliage just when temperatures are falling.
  • Ginger Littrell Ginger Littrell on Nov 11, 2014
    You can't hurt those things! Trim whenever your clippers are sharp
  • Carolyn Carlson Carolyn Carlson on Nov 11, 2014
    If you prune them back late fall before they've gone dormant they will sprout new shoots which could leave your bush vulnerable this winter. While they are quite hardy and can handle pruning nearly anytime, in order to give them their best shot at surviving winter wait until late winter/early spring. One other advantage to waiting until early spring is by then you can usually see by the blackness of the stems which ones have died as well as how far back they've died to. Look for new buds forming on the outward side of the stem. The new branch will grow from that bud and will grow outward which is what you want. Otherwise the branch will grow inwards and you'll have a big knot of a rose bush. Good luck...you'll do fine. They are very tough rose bushes.
  • Bonnie Mike Bonnie Mike on Nov 15, 2014
    Thank all of you for your replies - much appreciated. Will wait until late winter to prune.
  • Mary Vangeloff-Anderson Mary Vangeloff-Anderson on Mar 08, 2021

    I live on the coast of SC and have always trimmed them in late Feb or early March.......