How to Grow Knock Out Roses


Knock Out roses are a cultivar first introduced in 2000 and have since become the most popular species of rose in North America. Knock Out roses are similar to other varieties but are more drought and disease tolerant, making them an ideal choice for amateur gardeners. Knock Out rose plants produce bright red flowers in late spring, though they are not as fragrant as other species of rose. They require little care and thrive in most temperate regions.

Step 1

Spread a 2-inch layer of organic compost over the planting site. Use a garden hoe to incorporate the compost into the soil. Space rose plants 36 inches apart. Plant your Knock Out roses in a location that receives six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day.

Step 2

Dig a hole in the soil. Use a shovel to dig a hole of equal depth and twice as wide as the plant's root ball. Set the root ball in the hole and refill it with soil. Water the plant thoroughly to bring moisture into contact with the roots and to compact the soil.

Step 3

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch over the soil. Surround each Knock Out rose plant with mulch to suppress weeds and reduce the evaporation of moisture. Begin the layer at least 2 inches from the base of the plant to allow adequate air circulation.

Step 4

Water the Knock Out roses. You should water the roses once every five days during the first two months of growth. Reduce watering frequency thereafter to once a week. Apply the water to the soil surrounding the plant to avoid splashing moisture on the foliage, which increases the chance of disease.

Step 5

Feed the Knock Out roses. Use a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer once a month. Water the roses immediately after applying the fertilizer to release the nutrients into the soil. Follow the fertilizer manufacturer's directions for dosage and application information.

Step 6

Prune your Knock Out rose plants. Prune the roses once a year in late winter, just before new growth begins in spring. Use pruning shears to remove limbs that are diseased, damaged or unkempt to improve the health and appearance of the roses.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Garden hoe
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: Knock Out Roses
  • The Conard-Pyle Company: How to Care for a Knock Out Rose
  • The Conard-Pyle Company: How to Plant a Knock Out Rose
Keywords: Knockout roses, Knockout rose, Knockout rose plants

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including