How to Plant Knock Out Roses in Alabama
Knock Out Roses are ideal shrub roses for Alabama due to their tolerance for summer heat and humidity and a resistance to the diseases common to these climactic conditions. Alabama is covered by USDA hardiness zones 7a through 8b and as such, temperatures can dip to below freezing during winter across the state. Knock Out roses will benefit from being planted in the spring or early fall in Alabama and mulched lightly for winter once established.
Excavate a planting hole in a full sun location that is twice the diameter and twice the depth of the rose root ball or current container.
Amend the hole and the excavated soil with generous amounts of compost and well-aged livestock manure to enrich the soil. Mix the amendments into the garden soil to combine well.
Pull the rose plant from the container while tilting it on its side. Inspect the root mass and loosen the roots gently to get some of them to face outward into the new soil. If the roots are in a thick mass girdling the root ball, be more aggressive by breaking the edge of the root mass apart in just a few spots.
Set the Knock Out rose in the hole adding or subtracting amended soil from beneath the root mass to bring the top of the root ball roughly level with the surrounding soil. Ensure that the bud union comes to rest approximately 1 inch above the surface of the soil.
Back fill the remaining, amended soil around the root ball pressing down lightly with your palm or foot to secure the rose in place and upright in the soil.
Water in well until the soil is drenched but not sopping wet. Maintain evenly most to slight wet soil at all times in the weeks after planting and never allow the soil to become dry. Water deeply and slowly, only at the root level and refrain from wetting the leaves or splashing soil up onto the plant by heavy streams of water.
Mulch around the base of the rose plant with several inches of an organic material such as compost, cocoa bean hulls, shredded bark or leaf mold. This will hold moisture in the soil, insulate the roots from temperature fluctuations and keep weeds at from cropping up.