Is there a such thing as purple knockout roses?

Jessy Helbing
by Jessy Helbing
A couple of volunteers and I are in the process of planning a memorial bench that we are going to build to place at the library for a little girl who was killed by her step father. We are trying to figure out what plants and flowers we want. The little girl's favorite color was purple, so it was suggested to look for purple knockouts due to their long bloom time. I cannot find a such thing. Does anyone know if these exist or have any other suggestions? I live in zone 5 and have very cold winters and do not want to place any plants or flowers that will need a lot of maintenance (as in digging bulbs up every fall). THANKS IN ADVANCE!!
  14 answers
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Dec 11, 2013
    No purple Knockouts as yet. They come in pink, yellow and several shades of red, You might want to consider some of the antique or rugosa type roses. Also easy to care for but some of them do come in shades of purple. Try the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas. The older roses types are easy to care for, most are quite disease resistant and tough, they grow well in many types of environments.
  • Amy Baer Amy Baer on Dec 11, 2013
    I simply adore purple roses. The prettiest, most fragrant one is called Sterling Silver lavender. check with you local nursery that specializes in roses. We have one here in Ohio called Oakland nursery.
  • Tammy Tammy on Dec 11, 2013
    I personally love the blue boy rose and the smell is great also.
  • Vicky Slone Vicky Slone on Dec 11, 2013
  • Mansetomboy Mansetomboy on Dec 11, 2013
    I have had two Blue Girls in Zone 6, but they have not wintered well. However, their colour is more lavender, they bloom several at a time and the fragrance is to die for! I came across hybrids such as Ebb Tide, Rotesmeer and Reine des Violettes recommended for your zone. A very showy rugosa hybrid that is both hardy and gorgeous is Basye's Purple. I would also suggest you include in your design some great purple perennials such as purple alliums or crocus for spring and salvia, lavender, amsonia, bee balm, bellflower, lupines, liatris or phlox for summer perennials, some osteospermum for summer annuals, and purple asters for fall to keep that colour purple happening the whole season through! Best of luck with the lovely memorial.
  • Judy4justice Judy4justice on Dec 12, 2013
    I have seen purple roses, I believe you might find them at Cottage Farms online Nursery,Or try Gurneys, Brecks,White Flower Farms.?Hope you find them.They are out there, just can't remember exactly where I saw them.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Dec 12, 2013
    The purple that was the little girl's favorite color is a challenging color to find in a rose, knockout or otherwise. The closest you would probably get might be a lavender. I don't think you should write off bulbs and other perennials so quickly. Alliums like "Purple Sensation" come back year after year, require no work, and really are purple. So is the catmint "Walker's Low," which blooms for a very long time. The perennial geranium "Rozanne" basically blooms none-stop. Add some purple iris, some salvia like "May Night" and some asters like "Purple Dome" and you will have a long-blooming, easy-care garden that truly celebrates her favorite color. For a final touch, add an arbor or trellis with a purple clematis like "Jackmanii."
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Dec 12, 2013
    You were asking for more carefree roses, so I didn't mention either the Blue Girl or Lavender as they are both Tea rose variety. Beautiful, but required regular care. Agree with Douglas, perhaps use a different color rose in a bed of bulbs, many of which come in purple of all shades.
  • Jessy Helbing Jessy Helbing on Dec 12, 2013
    Thank you all so much for the advice, I am attaching a picture of the "plan" of the bench. The flowers and plants in the pic were added by the designer just for show but we decided to go with a similar plan. Due to there being no such thing as purple knockouts does anyone have any ideas of what kind of bush or dwarf tree that can be placed behind the bench that would have long blooming purple flowers? I thing where the fountain grass is it would be pretty to place Alliums instead or even keeping the grass and incorporating the Alliums. I agree that a trellis or arbor with clematis would also be really pretty to! There are so many different types of plants and flowers that I am getting overwhelmed searching for what to put behind the bench! So THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the advice!
    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Dec 13, 2013
      @Jessy Helbing I would substitute a small lilac like "Miss Kim" for the fountain grass and plant the alliums amidst the lower plants in front. The back I think is going to be the biggest challenge because you really need some height there. Tall garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) might work and does bloom for a long time. Look for cultivars like "Common Purple" or "Dusterlohe." You might also consider including a smokebush like "Royal Purple."
  • BeazerBea BeazerBea on Dec 12, 2013
    Have never heard of a Purple Knock Out Roses- the only lasting blooming blast would be the Blue Hygrangea.
  • Jane Staude Jane Staude on Dec 13, 2013
    I wouldn't put Roses in because they all take some care, there are no purple knock out roses. The Miss Kim lilac also take a bit of trimming to stay small, I have them and they also take care. A good suggestion is bulbs and fountain grass, easy to take care of.
  • For many years Growers have been trying to create a deeppurple & a black rose. I think it will be a long time in the making, ifever. Many flowers labeled purple is not what most people think of as purple. You may want to look at a Barbara Streisand Rose from Weeks Roses. It may be the closest you will find to purple. I don't know where you live but it will not be a real hardy zone 4 rose
  • Ann S Ann S on Dec 22, 2013
    Illinois still gets to cold for them, look what I did hoping they just get threw our winter here in Michigan & if there was purple I would have them being favorite color. I agree with Douglas a small purple lilac would do much better!
  • Twighlight Zone is a great deep purple rose with a delicious fragrance.