The Knock Out rose is a hybrid (Carefree Beauty and Razzle Dazzle) shrub rose that blooms 3-inch red roses from spring until frost. Rosarians love the Knock Out for its disease resistance and ability to self-clean (no deadheading is necessary). California Master Gardeners advise not to prune your Knock Out rose until after its second year, just prior to bloom, in late winter or early spring.
Place the pruners into the plastic tub and pour enough Lysol over them to cover. Allow them to sit in the disinfectant for three minutes, remove and rinse under running water. Dry the pruners prior to using.
Rake back any old mulch, leaves, dead flowers and other detritus from around the base of the shrub and dispose of it.
Remove any dead flowers and wood and cut off any canes that aren't a healthy green color, but are black or mottled.
Cut off all long branches that extend beyond the rest of the plant. Cut them, at a 45-degree angle, 1/4 inch above a bud.
Prune the rest of the shrub into a round shape, 24 to 30 inches in height. You may have to stand back occasionally and make sure that it isn't lopsided.
Fertilize after pruning with rose food at the rate suggested on the fertilizer package.
Water the Knock Out rose until the water puddles. When it drains, add a 3-inch layer of fresh mulch to the soil around the shrub, keeping it 2 inches away from the bark.