pruning knock out roses - Knowledgebase Question

Marion, Il
Question by darlenecedar
October 26, 2008
I live in southern ILLINOIS AND PURCHASED THE DOUBLE KNOCK OUT ROSES THIS PAST SPRING. I would like to know if they have to be pruned this fall or covered for winter. IF SO, HOW DO I PRUNE THEM? I HAVEN'NT HAD MUCH LUCK WITH ROSES IN THE PAST BUT THESE SEEMED TO BE DOING VERY WELL OVER THE SUMMER.


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Answer from NGA
October 26, 2008

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Double Knock Out roses are a good hardy groundcover rose that doesn't require extra special care for the winter in your area. Snow cover will insulate the plants, and a generous layer of organic mulch around but not over the plants will help moderate the soil temperature swings if there is no snow. If they are in a particularly windy location you might consider erecting a temporary windbreak or using an antidessicant spray according to the label instructions. Your fall clean up routine should include removing any diseased leaves or other "plant trash" to reduce spreading insect or disease problems into next year. Along with that, the best thing you can do is make sure the soil moisture is adequate up until the ground freezes. (Dig down an inch or so with your finger to see.) Next spring, prune out any damaged canes and so on, much as you would for shrub roses. Enjoy that easy care groundcover!

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