Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chapter 27 - Roses That Will Knock You Out

"I desperately want a rose garden but bugs, black spot and hard clay soil are driving me crazy!"
Double blossom,  pink
Knock Out rose

 Get yourself a Knock Out Rose.

Knock Out roses are a new, gorgeous, shrub type rose that comes in red, a couple of shades of pink and a yellow/pink mix.  No bugs and no black spot so that means you don't have to spray plus they love our Virginia clay soil.

They were specifically bred to eliminate the typical problems gardeners have with roses.

Deep and pale pink Knock Out
roses in our front garden

I didn't believe it when a gardening pal told me about these roses but after years of struggling, I thought I'd give roses one more chance before throwing in the trowel.   I was shocked at how easy they are to grow and how lovely they look.

They don't have much, if any, fragrance and they don't make good cuttings for bouquets, but I don't care.  In the garden they are beautiful!

Single blossom, pink and yellow
Knock Out rose

The bushes grow to about 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide.  They like 6 hours or more of sun a day but we have quite a few that are doing just fine on less light.  They just grow more slowly.  

When planting, we add a couple of handfuls of compost to the hole, water the rose in well and press the dirt snuggly around the root. To finish, we mulch with more compost.  We never use rose food or synthetic fertilizers - just our home made, horse manure compost. 

The Knock Outs begin blooming in our area in May and continue blooming until frost.  We never have to dead head the spent flowers.  We don't prune our bushes either.

Our red Knock Outs

The only draw back is that deer will occasionally eat them.  Not always - just occasionally nibble at a few branches.  But that doesn't stop us from planting them.  To date, we have 37 Knock Out roses in our front garden in assorted colors.  

Knock Outs are available in garden center everywhere.

We finally have a lush garden full of roses and you can, too!

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