The Care of Knock Out Roses

Double Knock Out Rose image by H.B. Dean


Knock Out roses are a popular choice in flower gardens, due to their being extremely disease resistant and almost carefree. Once they are established in the garden, they require water, food and weeding. Pruning and deadheading are optional. "The Knock Out Family of Roses don't really need standard rose pruning," according to the Conrad-Pyle Co., a wholesale container nursery located in West Grove, Pennsylvania.

Step 1

Water the Knock Out rose once a week to a depth of 1 inch, directing the water toward the base of the plant. This forces the roots to grow deep, which strengthens the plant to survive droughts. Water in the morning; watering roses in midday heat can scorch the plant.

Step 2

Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch around the base of the rose. A layer of mulch retains soil moisture, enriches the soil and reduces weeds.

Step 3

Remove weeds that are growing around the Knock Out rose. Use an herbicide on weeds that are not near the rose. For weeds growing close to the plant, use a tool that is designed to remove the weeds' roots.

Step 4

Sprinkle a time-released rose food in the spring. It might need to be reapplied later in the season, depending upon the strength of the rose food.

Step 5

Deadhead faded blooms on the Knock Out rose only to keep the garden looking clean. Pruning is only necessary to shape the rose and not for the plant's health.

Step 6

Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch or decomposing leaves around the base of the rose in the late fall. This retains warmth and moisture in the soil throughout the winter.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Herbicide (optional)
  • Weeding tool
  • Time-released rose food
  • Pruning shears (optional)
  • Gardening gloves
  • Lawn fabric (optional)


  • Ortho's All About Roses: Dr. Tommy Cairns; 1999

Who Can Help

  • Conrad-Pyle: The Knock Out Family of Roses
Keywords: roses, Knock Out rose, growing bushes

About this Author

After attending Hardin Simmons University, Kay Dean finished her formal education with the Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1995, Dean has written for such publications as "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s NY Times bestselling "Resolve." An avid gardener for 25 years, her experience includes organic food gardening, ornamental plants, shrubs and trees, with a special love for roses.

Photo by: H.B. Dean