How to Plant a Knockout Rose


The Knock Out family of roses are patented varieties prized for their disease resistance and low-maintenance requirements. Knock Out roses grow from 3 to 4 feet in height with an equal spread and bloom from spring until the first hard frost. Hardy to USDA Zone 5, plant your Knock Out rose in the spring, in an area that receives full sun, all day.

Step 1

Soak the bareroot Knock Out rose in a bucket of water for 5 hours, prior to planting.

Step 2

Aerate the soil in the planting area by using the gardening fork to dig it up to a depth of 12 inches. Crush any large clumps of soil, and remove any roots and rocks.

Step 3

Add a 3-inch layer of compost to the soil, and dig it down to a depth of 8 inches. Level the soil with a rake.

Step 4

Dig a planting hole the same depth and three times the width of the pot in which the Knock Out rose is growing. If the rose is bare root, look for the soil ring, toward the bottom portion of the plant, indicating the depth at which it was previously planted. The width of the planting hole for the bare root Knock Out rose should be three times the width of the rootball.

Step 5

Create a mound of soil in the middle of the hole. The mound should be high enough so that when the rootball is set on top of it, the roots will hang over the side and touch, but not lay on, the soil at the bottom of the hole.

Step 6

Place the rootball on the mound in the hole, and spread the roots around it so that they hang down over the mound. Make sure that the Knock Out rose is standing straight and that the graft union (swollen area toward the lower part of the plant indicating where the rose was grafted onto the stock) is 1 inch below the soil for USDA Zone 5 gardeners and 1 inch above the soil for those in Zones 6 and higher.

Step 7

Fill the hole halfway with soil. Using the hose or a bucket, fill the hole with water. When it drains, finish filling the hole with soil, tamping around the base of the Knock Out rose with your feet.

Step 8

Water the Knock Out rose until the water puddles. Add more soil if it settled 1 inch or more after watering. Keep the soil moist, not soggy.

Step 9

Add mulch to the soil at the base of the Knockout, and mound it over the bottom of the plant until one-third of the exposed canes, or stems, are covered. This will keep the Knock Out rose from drying out while it becomes established.

Step 10

Remove the mulch when shoots begin growing through it. Pull it back until it is 2 inches from the base of the plant and spread out in a 1-foot radius around it. The Knock Out rose should bloom within two months, at which time it is safe to fertilize with a rose food at the rate recommended on the package.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Gardening fork
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Rose food


  • Conard-Pyle Company: How to Plant a Knock Out Rose
  • University of Florida: Knock Out Roses
Keywords: plant Knock Outs, Knock Out roses, plant rose bushes

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.