How to Winterize Knock Out Roses


Knock Out roses are winter hardy to USDA Planting Zone 5, and heat-tolerant throughout most of the United States. They thrive almost everywhere in the country. These tough plants are well loved not only for their beauty, but for their durability and minimal care requirements as well. But even these sturdy roses do need a little winterization in the regions with cold winters.

Step 1

Remove any dropped foliage beneath your Knock Out roses following the first hard frost in late fall. This will help keep diseases at bay next year.

Step 2

Wait until sustained temperatures are under 20 degrees Fahrenheit and most of the plant's leaves have dropped.

Step 3

Use sharp, clean shears to prune your Knock Out roses back when they've gone completely dormant. Cut out any dead or damaged wood. Clip off long or rangy stems that could be damaged by the weight of snow and ice. Trim them flush with the rest of the plant's foliage.

Step 4

Apply 3 to 4 inches of straw mulch to protect the base and roots of the rose bushes.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp, clean pruning shears
  • Straw mulch


  • University of Illinois: What to Do with Roses in the Winter
  • All Experts: Roses -- Winterizing Knock-Out Roses
  • Botanical Journeys: Knock Out Roses -- Rosa 'Radrazz'

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  • American Plant Food Company: Winterizing Garden -- Pruning Knockouts
  • River Valley Landscapes: Winterizing Roses
  • Natorp's: Winterize Knock Out Roses
Keywords: rose bushes, knockout roses, winterize knockout roses

About this Author

Axl J. Amistaadt began as a part-time amateur freelance writer in 1985, turned professional in 2005, and became a full-time writer in 2007. Amistaadt’s major focus is publishing material for GardenGuides. Areas of expertise include home gardening, horticulture, alternative and home remedies, pets, wildlife, handcrafts, cooking, and juvenile science experiments.