Roses: Knock Out®, Self-cleaning, What?

I tried to think of a witty introduction to this post but it didn’t work. Yes, I know I wrote about rose hips on Monday and I have two more rose-related posts in the works, but I find roses kind of intimidating. We had roses growing up so it’s not like I haven’t been around them before, I’ve just never been the one responsible for their care. There’s part of me that thinks I’ll mess up somehow and I really don’t want to kill the roses I just put in.

Anyways, the subjects of today’s short post are two terms I came across while rose shopping that I had never encountered of before. Since I ended up purchasing self-cleaning Knock Out® roses I figured I should learn just what those terms mean and what to expect from my plants.

The original Knock Out rose. Source Star Roses & Plants
The original Knock Out rose. Source: Star Roses & Plants 

What are Knock Out® roses?

Knock Out® roses are a variety of shrub roses that were bred by William J. Radler in 1989. They were introduced to the public in 2000 by Star Roses. Knock Out® roses are very hardy and resistant, though not immune, to diseases. They grow vigorously and have 4 or more bloom cycles (will bloom 4 or more times a year). The original Knock Out® rose was red, but the color options have expanded to include yellow, pink, and pale pink.

What are self-cleaning roses?

Self-cleaning roses are roses that drop their spent blooms instead of requiring deadheading. They will bloom multiple times on their own but won’t produce rose hips.



Rose Gardening Made Easy – Knockout Roses

Texas A&M Horticulture – Knock Out® Roses

Knock Out Rose Description

Allen Smith Garden Home – William Radler on Knock Out Roses 

LSU Ag Center – Knock Out roses do require pruning 

Walter Reeves – History of Knock Out® Rose 

High Plains/Midwest AG Journal – Self-cleaning plants are a bonus



4 thoughts on “Roses: Knock Out®, Self-cleaning, What?

  1. I love the sound of these roses, they sound so user friendly! Like you, I am a stranger to pruning and growing roses, so I always opt for the ones which you can just let go wild!


    1. Hi Karen,

      They definitely are marketed as being very low maintenance. I guess I’ll find out if they survive the winter. It’s always exciting to have a new plant to care for. What type of roses do you grow?


      1. Hi Jen,

        I grow three types- Rosa Rugosa, Climbing roses and several David Austen shrub roses. I love fragrance, so all the roses I have are scented. But the easiest of all to grow are the Rugosa which are very disease resistant. The air is very clean here on Dartmoor, but it is very wet. I have been told that roses thrive and are more disease resistant where there is air pollution. I do not use any chemicals in my garden so do not spray for black spot etc- so my roses are very hit and miss. My Dad was a rose grower……he would be ashamed of me!


        1. Karen,

          It sounds like you have quite the rose collection. My mother has some red climbing roses that seem to perfume the whole yard when they’re in bloom. Your garden must smell amazing, and without chemicals I bet the bees love it. I’ve never heard that about pollution and roses before. How interesting! Makes me wonder why.



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