Knock Out Roses Look Fabulous in Pots

By LarryR
May 30, 2012

In the past several years, the Knock Out series of roses has enjoyed great popularity among gardeners. These roses grow well under all kinds of garden conditions, but did you know that they do well in pots too?

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May 30, 2012 11:21 AM CST
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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My Knockout Roses are over 5 feet tall. The article states thet only get 3 feet tall. I have the Double pink, red, and yellow. All are very huge! I guess you could prune them often and keep them small.
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May 30, 2012 2:07 PM CST
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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I tried that one year, Clint. Trying to keep them at 3' meant no blooms that year. I do know some people who prune them clear to the ground each winter, so the following year they only grow to 4' or so. People just need to be aware that they will get large and plant them in the appropriate place.
In my opinion, their best use is for color in a low maintenance area where they are viewed from a distance. They make a great hedge.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
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May 30, 2012 4:27 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener Tip Photographer Composter
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Thanks for your comments, Clint and Cindi. The tallest Knockouts n our Iowa gardens grow to about four feet. The difference may be in the climate. A longer growing season may well produce a taller rose.

When choosing a Knockout for potting, it is important to take into account the size of the container. The larger the container, the taller the rose can grow without seeming out of proportion to the other plants in the pot. Knockout roses--and roses in general-- should be pruned in spring. They will bloom for you yet that season, ofter with more blooms than if they hadn't been pruned. Here's a helpful site for pruning your Knockout: http://www.conard-pyle.com/ind...

Note what the gardener in the video uses for a pruner. It's fast and it's effective. The old notion that one must prune carefully, just above a bud does not always hold true, especially with Knockouts. I would add one other pointer. Do get out your pruning shears if there is any dead wood in the bush and cut it out. Be sure to clean up all the debris when you're done.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
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May 30, 2012 4:46 PM CST
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
Beekeeper Garden Art Hellebores Heucheras Hummingbirder Garden Procrastinator
Sedums Sempervivums Region: Tennessee Region: United States of America Ferns Echinacea
I don't think Knockouts are popular with gardeners. They seem to be more popular with the general public who don't want to garden at all. They just want something they can toss in a hole and it will grow. A true gardener doesn't mind buying a variety that looks more like a real rose with the extra care it requires.

An alternative Rose that I have been growing is "Easy Does It." It is smaller than Knockout and seems to bloom more. The blooms have more fragrance and they look more like a rose. They also stay free of black spot even better than the Knockouts do here.
Last edited by clintbrown May 30, 2012 4:52 PM Icon for preview
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May 30, 2012 4:48 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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Larry thank you so much for the idea of using roses in containers. I really had never thought of that before.
Great video on pruning.
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May 30, 2012 8:26 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener Tip Photographer Composter
Organic Gardener Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Houseplants Hybridizer Cat Lover
Clint, I'm sorry to learn that I'm not a true gardener. Dang! All those 50 years I've spent in the garden don't count, the listing of our gardens in the Smithsonian's Archive of American Gardens doesn't count, and the article on our gardens in Country Gardens magazine was for naught. Forever cursed be the Knock Out rose. I am bereft of true gardenership. Alas and alack! Crying
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
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May 30, 2012 8:27 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener Tip Photographer Composter
Organic Gardener Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Houseplants Hybridizer Cat Lover
Many thanks for your kind comments, Lynn.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
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May 30, 2012 8:44 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
Thumbs up
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May 30, 2012 8:55 PM CST
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
Beekeeper Garden Art Hellebores Heucheras Hummingbirder Garden Procrastinator
Sedums Sempervivums Region: Tennessee Region: United States of America Ferns Echinacea
I didn't mean it that way. It just seems everybody has them here. I have them too though. Rolling on the floor laughing
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May 30, 2012 9:14 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener Tip Photographer Composter
Organic Gardener Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Houseplants Hybridizer Cat Lover
I knew you had them, but I didn't want to rub it in. Thanks for the fun. Smiling
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Image
May 30, 2012 9:36 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
Rolling on the floor laughing You two are so funny. Group hug
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May 30, 2012 9:46 PM CST
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
Beekeeper Garden Art Hellebores Heucheras Hummingbirder Garden Procrastinator
Sedums Sempervivums Region: Tennessee Region: United States of America Ferns Echinacea
Thanks, Lynn! I think what I typed didn't come out right. I had a very bad day today. Sorry if I offended anyone at all. I need to come to terms with my Knockout Rose issues. Rolling on the floor laughing
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May 30, 2012 10:00 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener Tip Photographer Composter
Organic Gardener Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Houseplants Hybridizer Cat Lover
Rolling on the floor laughing

Seriously, I'm sorry you had a bad day, Clint. I hope tomorrow goes better.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
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May 30, 2012 10:06 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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It's this rain we aren't getting. Clint is only about an hour and a half south of me, I'll bet it's dry down there, too.

Makes us very very edgy. Big Grin
Makes our days pretty bad, too. Sad

Maybe tomorrow, Clint!
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May 30, 2012 10:12 PM CST
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
Beekeeper Garden Art Hellebores Heucheras Hummingbirder Garden Procrastinator
Sedums Sempervivums Region: Tennessee Region: United States of America Ferns Echinacea
Thanks, Sharon! The Japanese Beetles aren't helping much either. When I saw the word Knockout, I was reminded of them. LOL.
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May 30, 2012 10:17 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
Group hug Things will get better. Bad doesn't last forever. Hurray!
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Oct 7, 2013 2:13 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
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I think many people have Knockout Rose "issues".

The thread "I Hate Knock Out Roses" in Roses forum

I just want the blooms to look more like fussier roses' blooms, and maybe last longer after being cut. Now I cut them as unopened or barley opening buds, and they do last longer indoors.

I need to move a really huge KO rose this fall or winter, and it just put on a surge of new groiwth (after a mild pruning), and produced yet another flush of buds.

I assume that I have to wait until it's dormant before I dig it up, and that I should prune it very heavily before moving it to its new, poorer-soil, site. So I'm planning to let it get colder, then prune very heavily, then move it. And maybe split it into two smaller plants at that time.

However, then I would be violating this principle:
>> Knockout roses--and roses in general-- should be pruned in spring.

I think that moving the huge bush is impossible (it won't fit in the van), and also I won't get enough roots to support that much foliage in poorer soil. I am guessing that "pruning in late fall" won't be as bad for it as letting the foliage get totally out of balance with the roots.

Any advice?


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Oct 7, 2013 2:21 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
P.S.

I hope to get some left-behind roots and suckers at the same time. And move those into some large containers next year, after they recover. Is 5 gallons too small for a KO Rose to last several years? Which is better, shallow like less than 12" deep, or deep like a 5 gallon Home depot bucket?

Or maybe I'll be able to root some of the prunings (although Fall wood will be pretty dormant and might not root). I assume I would have to treat them like hard wood cuttings?

P.P.S.

I have zero experience with cuttings or any kind, or at least zero successful experience.
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Oct 8, 2013 12:00 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Foliage Fan Cottage Gardener Tip Photographer Composter
Organic Gardener Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Houseplants Hybridizer Cat Lover
Hi Rick--Yes, you can transplant your rose now, but it would be better to wait until early spring, after the last frost, when the rose is still dormant. This will cause less stress and shock to the plant. When you move it (or right before you do) cut the canes back to about a foot or so and remove any existing leaves.

A deeper container is better. You can just use any regular potting soil.

Unfortunately, I'm not a good resource for starting roses from cuttings. I've tried several times, following instructions, but the cuttings have never rooted. Try googling "growing roses from cuttings."

Good luck with your rose projects.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Image
Oct 8, 2013 12:15 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
Thanks! I'll see if my SO is willing to wait until Spring. I think she's afraid that I'll change my mind.

When i think of it as a bush or hedge, it's gorgeous. But when I think of it as a ROSE, it isn't what I want.

I always figured that they picked the word "rooting" cuttings because it is so close to "rotting".

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