Knockout Roses-cutting them back - Knowledgebase Question

Flower Mound, Te
Question by jimengel1
June 30, 2010
I ahve abot 15 knockout rose bushes that I bought @ HD in 2006. Several of them have gone wild and are 5' across & 5-6' high. I need to greatly reduce their footprint. Can I trim them back by 3/4 (& when to do that) or should I just rip them out and start over?

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010


Knock Out Roses can take any amount of pruning but summertime isn't the best time to prune them back so severely. Wait until late winter or early spring and prune them back and you can safely take them back by three quarters. If you can't wait that long to prune, prune them back gently - only about a third right now. They will take some time to recover but should develop healthy new growth in about a month. If they were mine, I'd wait until this winter and just take them back as far as needed to renovate the shrubs. This way you won't have to prune twice. Best wishes with your roses!

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