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Interesting Facts

Contrary to popular belief, roses do not have thorns. The thorn-like protrusions on the stems of roses are actually called prickles. A thorn would be an entire stem or branch that has been modified to be hard and sharp. Prickles are extensions of the epidermis of the rose stem that has hardened. The difference is that thorns are entire stems, while the prickle is only part of the stem.

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Rose   Knock Out® (Rosa)

The name speaks for itself! Rosa Knock Out® is an absolute KO in the garden! Deep cherry-red flowers up to 3 1/2" across are produces non-stop from early summer until frost. The compact mounding habit makes 'Knock Out' an excellent choice for a neat hedge. This has excellent disease resistant foliage! This is not one of your grandmother's fussy, chemically-dependent roses. Knock Out® is the result of extensive breeding and selection that has led to excellent self sufficient landscape shrubs such as this one.

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Plant Types: Groundcover, Perennial, Shrub
Light: Full Sun
Height: 3 feet to 4 feet
Width: 3 feet to 4 feet
Zones: 5a to 9b
Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Seasons: Early summer, Mid summer, Late summer, Early fall, Mid fall, Late fall
Fertilizer: Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble Rose Plant Food
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Plant Care

The most important thing to know when planning a rose garden is to know how much space is required for your roses. Plentiful spacing between roses promotes good air circulation, which roses benefit from. To promote optimal growth, dig a deep hole for your rose and mix in a complete fertilizer into the soil. Roses come in many different ways: bare-root, budded, container grown, etc.


For roses that are grown for cut-flowers, cut the stem above the first leaf that has at least 5 leaflets. This will also promote more blooms to grow.

Plant Growth:

Roses include members of the genus Rosa that are deciduous and evergreen shrubs. The "deciduous" species are actually semi-deciduous and is dependent on the temperature. If the temperature dips too low, roses will drop their leaves. There are many types of growing patterns in the rose genus. There are climbing roses, miniature roses groundcovers, "tree" roses and your typical shrub or bush. Roses are extremely diverse in their growing patterns, but they generally thrive with full sun to light shade. Although many roses can survive in colder climates, they grow best and have more blooms in warmer temperatures. Since roses are such a diverse group of plants, there are varieties that can accommodate most climates.

Roses may require winter protection.  This may include pruning the height of tall stems in late fall to reduce damage from being whipped about in strong winter winds.  Hybrid Tea and Grandiflora roses are a bit more tender when it comes to cold temperatures.  To provide basic protection for the rose crown, mound soil up around the crown and lower branches (generally to a depth of 8 to 12").  This should be done in late-fall after the first major freeze of the season.  It's important not scrape soil from around the base of the rose to from a mound.  Bring soil in from another part of the yard or purchase some extra soil.  Winter protection can be as extreme as mounding soil around the base, packing the canes with straw or leaves, tying them together and then wrapping the whole top of the rose with burlap.


Rose generally flower in flushes. Some roses will have continuous flushes throughout the growing season (or even year depending on the species and climate). There are many types of flowers in this genus too. The hybrid tea rose is the rose in the classical sense. They have pointed buds that open in a spiral manner at the end of a single stem. Grandiflora roses are taller than the hybrid tea roses, sometimes reaching up to 10 ft. tall. Grandifloras are good for barrier plants. Floribunda roses are smaller than hybrid tea roses both in overall stature of the plant and flower size. Polyantha roses have many small flowers bundled together.

Soil and Irrigation:

Once established roses require little water; however, some of the old garden roses are exceptions to this rule. When you do water your rose, make sure to water deeply to moisten the entire root system. Some roses are susceptible to the stresses of over watering, whereas some roses (specifically some of the hybrid tea roses) do not show any ill effects even in the most water saturated soils.


Roses are notorious for being heavy feeders, but their feeding needs vary greatly from variety to variety. In the mild winter climates, fertilize with a complete fertilizer in February. Elsewhere, the first feed should occur as new growth begins. Roses thrive on regular feedings (generally right after flowering has ended for roses that continuously flower). In cold climates where roses will drop their leaves, stop feeding in early fall to prevent over fertilizing.

There are countless ways to fertilize a rose: slow-release, liquid fertilizer and organic fertilizers are just a few.

Interesting tip: try completely wetting the soil around your roses the day before you fertilize.  This will promote more efficient absorption of nutrients in the soil when you fertilize.  As always follow the instructions for any fertilizer you use.


It is important to wait until the last frost of the season before you prune your roses. It is better to prune roses a bit too late rather than too early. Cut back to the base any stems or canes that are dead. Dead stems appear to be gray or brown, whereas healthy stems will be green or red. Prune off suckers, especially those from the rootstock as they can weaken and reduce the productivity of the rose.


Many roses are susceptible to foliage diseases. To prevent this, plant roses in an area that has plenty of air circulation. Different varieties of roses have different susceptibilities and resistances to various pests. The best way to generally prevent pest infestations is to properly prepare the soil and feed with appropriate nutrients. Some varieties of roses are susceptible to aphids, black spot, powdery mildew, rust, mealy bugs and thrips. At the first sign of disease, remove the affected stems.

Unfortunately, deer love young roses and will kill your plants if they are not protected. Established roses have a better chance of survival.