Knockout roses are one of the the most popular 21st century shrub roses. Bred by William J Radler around 1995, it was introduced in United States by Conard-Pyle in the year 2000. The rose was awarded the AARS winner the same year and it broke all the sales records as an introductory rose.
The original variety is sparkling cherry red in color. Many new introductions have been made to the family. Conard-Pyle has also created several other cross-types, such as the Drift family of groundcovers and the Star. There are currently seven types available in the market:
The original standard variety were bred to be unbeatably disease resistant and easy to grow. The bloom is big size bearing 5 to 13 petals. The bloom may be single or semi double. It has a mild fragrance that resembles tea spice. It has very long blooming period with continuous heavy blooms from spring to fall. There are multiple blooms on a single stem. The shrub growth is compact in size. Typical knockout roses will attain a height of 2 to 4 feet and width of 3 to 4 feet. The plant is drought tolerant and requires very little maintenance. The foliage is dark green in color and is semi-glossy. One more interesting feature is that it is supposedly “self cleaning”. The rose is hardy for USDA zone 4b to 9b and can be grown at places of partial shade.
Double knockout rose: This is often considered the most beautiful rose representing the Knockout family. It attributes all the prominent features of the family like abundant blooms that are repetitive until fall, high disease resistance and low maintenance. In addition to these feature the rose is stunningly beautiful. The bloom is fully double and it resembles the classic double bloom red rose. It is even more cold weather hardy than the original.
Pink: The rose showcases the same features of the original except the color. Blooms of these are very lively with pink color deeply saturated on its petals. It can work wonders when planted in the garden, with other plants selected to compliment the rose it can showcase vibrant display of colors.
Pink Double: The rose is known for its stability. The rose has an elegant classic double bloom that will enhance the beauty of any landscape gardening. Pink Double Knockout Rose is as sturdy and disease resistant as the other members of the Knockout family. It has even higher draught resistance than others.
Rainbow: This member is very unique with coral pink color petals that are yellow towards the center. It possesses all the excellent features of the family. This rose has even more compact growth than other knockout roses. The plant is highly resistant to black spots. It looks extravagant with its deep burgundy colored new foliage that gradually turns to dark green.
Blushing: This rose exhibits light pink colored blooms. The rose has all the essential features of the Knockout family and will look ravishing in every landscaping. The bloom is medium sized with 5 to 7 petals.
Sunny: This rose is the latest addition to the family. The rose bears a sweet fragrance. The rose shrub is built upright and is little more compact than the other Knockout roses. The bloom of the flower displays cheerful yellow color. The yellow colored petals quickly change to cream as they grow thus making the bush look more exotic with different shades of yellow and cream colors. Knockout roses are the best solution for the landscaping requirements. Along with being very attractive, they perform excellently with low maintenance.
Pruning Your Knockout Rose
Pruning Knockout roses is usually quick and easy. After all, they are bred to be virtually maintenance free. Isn’t that why you plant and grow them?
According to Conard-Pyle, these actually don’t require pruning. You can do a cutback prior to spring blooms in the early spring. You can cut off about half of the current plant back. Conard says that you may be able to leave only about 12 inches of cane left.
After you first plant them though, its generally best to let them grow through uncut for a season. This will help them grow unchecked into a natural position and shape. Even though they are marketed heavily as being care free, some basic housekeeping will keep them packed with blooms and healthy. Aside from the springtime cutting, you should also always cut out any dead or diseased wood to protect the health of the rest of the plant.
While these plants are designed so that the spent petals and blooms fall away, some deadheading can help out and speed up the process. The result should be even more blooms, and quicker! Normally it might take four to six weeks but with the knockouts it tends to be quicker. Some Miracle Gro can help as well.