How to Care for Knockout Rose Bushes


This shrub rose is the most carefree rose on the market. Developed by rose breeder Bill Radler and introduced by Conard Pyle Company in 2000, it was an instant success. The Knock Out rose is low maintenance; tolerates both heat and drought; resists diseases like black spot and powdery mildew; and offers abundant, self-cleaning blooms. Since the introductory single red rose Knock Out won one of three All-American Rose Selections in 2000 for outstanding garden performance, double red, single and double pink, blush pink, yellow and rainbow have become gardener favorites as well.

Step 1

Plant your Knock Out rose bush in a location that receives six to eight hours of full sun in a hole twice as wide as the rose container and just as deep, adding plenty of organic matter for good drainage.

Step 2

Water, as needed, using drip or soaker hose irrigation to avoid getting water on the leaves of the bush.

Step 3

Add 3 to 4 inches of mulch around the rose bush to retain moisture.

Step 4

Feed every four to six weeks using a slow-release fertilizer.

Step 5

Prune in the spring following the last hard frost. Simply use hedge clippers to take the bush down to 12 to 18 inches above the ground.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid planting Knock Out roses under eaves or gutters where they could be damaged by water. While Knock Out roses are very resistant to any disease, you will still want to examine them occasionally for any indications of black spot, powdery mildew and insects.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic matter
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Hedge trimmers


  • Texas A&M University--Horticulture Department: Knock Out Roses
  • Mississippi State University--Southern Gardening: "Knock Out Rose Lives Up to Its Name"
  • North Carolina State University--Cooperative Extension Service: Knock Out Roses
  • Conard Pyle: How to Care for a Knock Out Rose
  • Conard Pyle: How to Prune a Knock Out Rose

Who Can Help

  • Conard Pyle: Where to Buy Knock Out Roses
  • Conard Pyle: How to Plant a Knock Out Rose
Keywords: carefree rose shrubs, Knock Out roses, low-maintenance roses, disease-resistant roses, drought-resistant roses

About this Author

Linda Marie was first published in 1969 while a feature news writer for the "Selfridge Flyer". She has held positions in broadcast copywriting, trade magazine publications, retail advertising and medical marketing. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oakland University, Rochester, Mich.