Many gardeners are interested in Knockout® Rose bushes because of their hardiness and almost effortless maintenance.
At first, the patented Knockout® Rose (introduced in 2000) was touted as being almost indestructible and disease resistant.
However, these claims have been challenged within the past few years with the discovery of Rose rosette disease running rampant on this once invincible plant.
Rose rosette is caused by a virus first discovered in the western U.S. around 1940
The virus is principally spread by tiny eriophyid mites-so tiny in fact, they literally blow into gardens on the wind. When they feed on a rose, they transmit the virus.
The plant patent law prohibits non-licensed growers, including homeowners, from propagating plants by any type of asexual method.
You can’t grow or divide the plants, nor can you layer stems or graft cuttings onto other bushes. You also cannot use root cuttings, tissue cultures or runners to make new plants.
In the photos you will notice the yellow plastic pot that the Knockout rose bush came in. This pot is the only acceptable container in which to sell a Knockout rose in accordance with their patent.
The Knockout rose is known for being an abundant bloomer. It flowers from late spring to first frost with fresh blooms every 6-7 weeks.
It needs a little pruning now and again and a well-balanced fertilizer monthly.
On my roses, I use Bayer All-in-One Advanced Rose and Flower Care. It contains an insecticide and disease control as well as fertilizer. The beauty of this product is that it is “systemic”, meaning it is absorbed through the roots and transported throughout the plant internally.
I had a plain, neglected area at the top of my driveway that has full sun and good drainage. This would be the perfect spot to show off this beauty!
My equipment included a pick axe and a shovel. I also had some soil amendments to lighten up the soil.
Although Knockout roses have few demands from the soil they are planted in, I knew this soil was heavy and I wanted to “lighten” it up with some compost.
Let’s Plant a Knockout Rose Bush!!
1. Dig a hole twice as wide as the pot the rose was in and just as deep.
I dug a little deeper and added the compost.
2. Place the rose in the hole to make sure the final depth is correct.3. Remove rose from it’s pot.4. Loosen up any compacted roots so they can spread out.5. Once the Knockout rose bush is positioned, fill in the hole making sure to pack the soil down firmly so there are no air pockets around the roots.6. Water the rose in. Regular watering will be required while the plant settles in and then once a week or so during the summer.
Here is the plant after two weeks. Look! I see new shoots appearing! Man this Knockout rose is a fast grower!
This plant is filling out nicely! Look! I see a yellow flower bud!