I wanted to warn you that there are a few sentences in this post that may seem weird. Actually, I know there are sentences that sound funny, I’ve just been having considerable difficulty with word order and recall this week so I can’t figure out how to fix them. Please bear with me and hopefully this symptom will be gone soon so I can go back to writing things that make sense the first time you read them.
Last week we learned what a Knock Out® rose was, this week we’ll learn how to care for them.
But first, a little history: Fossil evidence indicates that roses have been around for 35 million years. The first time roses were grown in a garden is thought to be some 5,000 years ago in China. They became grown extensively in the Middle East and were very popular with Roman nobility who used them in celebrations, as perfume and for medicinal purposes. In the fifteenth century the houses of York and Lancaster, who were fighting for control of England, used roses (white and red respectively) as symbols leading the conflict to be known as “War of the Roses”.
The use of the rose as a garden plant has waxed and waned throughout history and seems to be enjoying a current surge in popularity. There are many different types of roses available including shrub roses, tea roses, and climbing roses. It is possible to find roses that bloom in seemingly every color of the rainbow. The Knock Out® rose is just one variety of a plant with a long and storied history (a more detailed version of which be found here).
Size: This variety of rose bushes can grow to be 2- 4ft (60-120cm) tall and 3-4 ft (90-120cm) wide.
Water Requirements: It is a good idea to use a drip or soaker hose for watering. If your rose is in a location with good drainage it will be very hard to over-water, although it can be done. After becoming established, Knock Out® roses are very drought tolerant.
Soil Requirements: Like all roses, Knock Outs need good drainage.
Light Requirements: Knock Out® roses prefer full sun but are shade tolerant.
Temperature Requirements: Knock Out® roses do well in any USDA Zones between 4b and 9b.
Nutrient Requirements: A standard rose fertilizer will be just fine if you wish to feed your rose.
Bloom: Knock Out® roses start blooming in the spring and will continue to bloom until the autumn frost. Spent blooms can be deadheaded if you wish to speed up new blossom formation, but it is not necessary.
Pests: These plants are very blackspot resistant but are susceptible to mildew.
Container: Knock Out® roses can be grown in containers but will require extra protection in the winter.
Interesting tidbit: Knock Out® roses are triploid, meaning they have three sets of chromosomes. While this would be extremely detrimental in humans, it occurs regularly in plants, with some having up to eight sets of chromosomes (octaploid).
Rose Gardening Made Easy – Knock Out Rose Care
Texas A&M Horticulture – Knock Out® Roses
University of Illinois Extension – History of Roses
This post was done in the style of my Plants in my Apartment Series.
To view posts in the Plants in my Apartment series please click here.