Called by a variety of names, “Knockouts”, “Knockouts Roses“, “Knock Out Roses”, “Rose Knockouts”, the plant is designed for the beginner rosarian. Growing roses for some people presents a task greater than they want to get involved with. Quite honestly, growing roses is not as difficult as some would lead you to believe. Nevertheless, a rose plant has been bred that eliminates many of the growing difficulties perceived.
Enter the “Knockout Rose”. Knockout Roses were bred by rose breeder Bill Radler and won him the All-American Roses Selection award in 2000.
What makes the Knockout Rose a good rose for beginners is its characteristics:
- It is easy to grow
- Disease Resistant
- Requires little pruning
- Blooms the first year
- Cold Hardy
- Heat Tolerant
- Long Blooming – blooms up to 7 months
- Grows in full sun or partial shade
- Fast Growing
- Pest Resistant
What more could a gardener want? A plant with all those qualities and a wide growing range from Zones 3-9.
The Knockout is considered by many to be a landscape plant, that is, to be used as hedges and such. They are very well suited as hedges because they blossom for such a long time and require no deadheading. Deadheading is the process of removing the dead flowers in order to spur on growth of new flowers. In a landscape plant like the Knockout Rose, if you had to deadhead 40-50 feet of bushes you could be in for quite a task on a routine basis. So, “no deadheading needed” is a strong plus for the Knockout.
Disease resistance is also a strong plus for the Knockout, which is highly resistant to blackspot disease. Blackspot disease is a fungus that grows on the leaves, and is normally the result of the leaf being damp at night. At its worst blackspot can completely defoliate a bush. So again, being resistant to blackspot is a great plus.
If any rose could be called “no maintenance” the Knockout Rose would be the one, although “low maintenance” would be better terminology.
When first introduced, the plant was greeted with great excitement and have quickly spread throughout the country and appear in many landscape plans. The bushes are available in a number of colors including red, pink, white and yellow. By itself the Knockout Rose is a hit among gardeners, but no sooner was the Knockout being planted, then here comes the Double Knockout Rose.
The “Double” describes the fact that the Double Knockout Rose has double the petals on the blossom, giving them a richer, fuller look. The colors, varieties, and richness of the Knockout Roses and Double Knockout Roses can only be fully appreciated by seeing them in bloom.
To learn more about rose gardening and care for roses, the therosegardeningcenter.com is a great resource.