How to Prune a Knock Out Rose


Prune Knock Out roses for size control, not out of necessity. The Knock Out variety of roses does not require typical rose pruning. But pruning does encourage the plant to grow and produce more flowers. Wait until early spring, after any chance of frost has passed, before tackling the pruning chore.

Step 1

Select rose bushes larger in size than you would like or those that look unkempt. Leave Knock Outs unpruned for the first two years to allow for ample growth.

Step 2

Clip off the top of each cane with a pair of clean, sharp hedge trimmers to about half of the plant's current height. Focus on pruning the older canes primarily, and prune starting from the base of the plant and moving outward. Make each cut clean and at a 45-degree angle.

Step 3

Remove all broken, weak or dead branches by hand, or use a pair of garden shears, if not easily removed by hand.

Step 4

Throw the removed branches in an outside trash container.

Step 5

Water the bush well after pruning, but spray the water gently at soil level to avoid getting soil or water into the bush's open wounds.

Things You'll Need

  • Hedge trimmers
  • Garden gloves


  • The Conrad-Pyle Co.: How to Prune a Knock Out Rose
  • Pruning Knock Out Roses
  • Houston Chronicle: How to Prune a Rose Bush
Keywords: prune knock out, pruning roses, pruning knock outs

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.