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When & How Much Should You Prune Knock Out Roses in Georgia?

garden shears closed image by Kathy Burns from

Knock Out Roses are favorites with gardeners for their easy maintenance and long blooming season. In Georgia, they are versatile enough to thrive in all areas of the state. One of the only tasks needed to keep Knock Out Roses looking great year after year is an annual pruning.

When to Prune

Prune Knock Out Roses in late February, recommends the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. The last hard frost typically has occurred by this time, making pruning safe, according to the rose's developer, The Conard-Pyle Company.

How Much to Prune

Prune no more than one-third of the plant at one time, warns University of Georgia extension experts. Remove all damaged limbs or sections of the plant damaged by cold temperatures.

Touch-Up Pruning

Knock Out Roses eventually shed their wilted blooms, but some gardeners prefer to snip those away promptly at mid-season for aesthetic reasons. It's also acceptable to lightly shape the plants during the year, if desired.

Prune Double Knock Out Roses

Once Double Knock Out gets established, its enthusiastic growth quickly forms a shrub-like mound of colorful foliage and flowers. Double Knock Out was bred to come back strong each year, even after damaging winters in cold zones. While having the biggest Double Knock Out in the neighborhood may be tempting, lack of pruning eventually yields a less-attractive rose. When the plant is healthy, the quality and the abundance of foliage and flowers improve. Pruning stimulates new growth and leaves the plant vulnerable to frost damage. To prune Double Knock Out, arm yourself with gloves and long sleeves. Remove any remaining dead or damaged wood. To prevent disease from spreading, disinfect your blades with household disinfectant periodically as you prune.

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