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Pruning Knockout Roses #158840 - Ask Extension


Pruning Knockout Roses #158840

Asked October 29, 2013, 9:35 AM EDT

Can I prune back and shape my Knockout Roses now (Oct-Nov)or do I have to wait until very early spring?

Westmoreland County Pennsylvania

Expert Response

Here is a good reply from an OSU Master Gardener:
You can trim knockout roses from now to when the buds begin swell in spring. Trimming and pruning for knockout roses is same method used for other varieties of roses.
" Q. — When and how do I prune roses? A. The best time to prune roses is in late winter or early spring just before growth begins, typically early March through early April. Pruning needs to be done every year and should be followed by deadheading and clean-up throughout the growing season. There are two exceptions: • Old heirloom roses and some climbers produce blooms on the previous year’s wood, so wait to prune these until after they bloom. • Diseased plants are often cut back severely in the fall. Steps in Pruning • Remove dead, diseased, or damaged canes. Cut stems 1 inch below darkened areas, cutting back to green wood (the center of the stem will be white, not tan). Make the cut at a 45-degree angle, 1/4 inch above an outward facing bud. Remove all canes that are 1/4 inch or smaller in diameter. • Remove canes that are growing toward the center of the plant, as well as any crossing canes. • Hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas can be pruned to 12 to 24 inches in height with 9 to 12 large, Healthy canes remaining. Old, shrub, and species roses should be pruned lightly, removing no more than a third of the growth. • Climbing roses are shaped only after they have established long, sturdy canes, usually after two to three years. Select the sturdiest canes as horizontal supports. The shoots from this basic structure, called laterals, will flower. The laterals are pruned back to four or five buds."
From Go to this web site at Ohio State and search for pruning knockout roses. Once you are on the web site, you will be there all day. Ohioline has 1000s of answers to gardening and agriculture problems, all research based.
Also read Pam Corle-Bennet's Gardening article in Saturday's Springfield News-Sun (Jan. 12, 2013). She writes about knockout roses.
I hope this will be of some help to you. Rick

Richard McKinstry - MGV

And, here is our PSU pruning booklet:


Gregory Martin Replied October 29, 2013, 7:27 PM EDT

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