When do you cut back knock out roses?

  9 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Dec 11, 2011
    You can tidy them up now, Stan, but the main pruning should be done in late winter/early spring. See this recent discussion on knockouts for plenty of tips: http://www.hometalk.com/activity/105176

  • Erica Glasener Erica Glasener on Dec 11, 2011
    Stan, as Douglas says wait until late winter or early spring but don't cut them back hard, this is one of the reasons to grow a shrub like the Knockouts is that you don't need to prune them much at all unless they are getting too large for the area that you have them planted in.

  • SawHorse Design Build SawHorse Design Build on Dec 11, 2011
    What about the other roses that are not knockouts? What should we prune them and how far done should we trim them?

  • Erica Glasener Erica Glasener on Dec 11, 2011
    pruning depends on the type of rose, hybrid teas (classic rose) can be pruned back hard also in late winter/early spring, to about a height of 12 to 15 inches but climbers should be pruned selectively, removing 1/3 of the oldest canes and just tipping back any wild long canes. Shrub roses (certain species roses like Rosa rugosa) don't need much pruning at all, just any dead wood again in late winter/early spring.

  • SawHorse Design Build SawHorse Design Build on Dec 11, 2011
    Thanks- so it sounds like Feb/ March is just the right time

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Dec 12, 2011
    Late winter/early spring is definitely the time to sharpen your pruners, for roses and many other things.

  • Natalie W Natalie W on Dec 12, 2011
    Another thing for these is to keep them dead headed well during the growing season....this is your main pruning need for knock outs.

  • Mike and Anne Mike and Anne on Dec 12, 2011
    Stan, Anne thinks Knock Outs need more frequent pruning than some of the other Hometalk folks. In our humid NC summers they need thinning from the center once a month to improve air circulation through the plant. We left several plants in the back of the Arboretum unpruned and they are now over 10 feet tall. I keep them thinned from the center and shaped during the summer then cut them back severly in late February. We have also noticed some developing Rose Rosette disease this summer and removed the plants from the farden. We think thinning them from the center of the plant and using a miticide may help that problem.

  • Lynn Hood Knowles Lynn Hood Knowles on Jun 19, 2015
    In Texas we prune back twice a year, around February & October. The best was to remember is is after Valentines Day (Feb 14) and after Sweethearts Day (Oct 16).