Posted by Brent Wilson on 8/31/2016 to Pruning Tips
Not only are Knock Out Roses the most disease-free roses in the world, they are easy to care for in every other way. Pruning Knock Out Roses is very easy.
Late Winter Pruning
Knock Out Roses should be pruned heavily in late winter or very early spring, when plants are dormant without leaves or just when new leaves begin to emerge. At this time, cut the shrub back to about 12-18" above the ground. This ensures that the plant will have a good habit and healthy blooms throughout the season.
When pruning, make your cut just above an outward-facing leaf bud. The leaf bud is not the thorn but a small protrusion from which will grow a new leaf or branch. I've found that pruning just above an outward-facing bud will promote a wider, bushier rose bush, rather than a taller, leggier plant when cuts are made above an inward facing bud.
You can prune Knock Out Roses lightly through the active growth season to deadhead spent blooms and shape plants. Knock Out Roses usually have several bloom cycles throughout the growing season. After each cycle simply snip off spend blooms. This will encourage new growth and blooms. If you want to trim the bush back a little at this time trace from the spent flower or flower cluster down the stem and make your cut just above the first five-leave leaf stem you come to.
Cease pruning about 45 to 60 days before the average first frost date in your area.
That's about it. See, that was easy!
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