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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Knock Out!!! (roses)

Shelia from Note Songs Has left this old gal a comment and a question! It just so happens that I know a little bit about her question....I repeat A LITTLE BIT....Remember guys...I am not a pro...and I have NO formal training. I am just a girl with a plant addiction and a love of gardening. I only know what I have read...or what I have learned by doing! I also want to remind you guys that Friday is just around the clock...get ready to link up for Fertilizer Friday and Flaunt your Flowers with me...The post will be up at midnight MST Friday moring. Now...that question...
Shelia said:
Hi Tootsie! ... Do you have any idea why my knockout roses aren't blooming? I thought they were supposed to be easy
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)
Well Sheila...I KNOW you are following the Fertilizer Friday regimen I have started right? lol...Well...since I cannot get my hot little hands on A Knock Out Rose here in Alberta...I am going to tell you what I know about them from trying to get myself one...and maybe add a few things that I have read in the past (not sure why some of this stuff stays with me...but hey...knowledge is never useless...One Day...Someone WILL ask...lol.
The Knock Out Rose will grow from 3-5 feet tall and be just as wide. It produces clusters of gorgeous blooms, that are very fragrant and come in red and Pink and a blushing pink. They will bloom from spring until frost, don't mind humidity and they are drought AND cold tolerant! They prefer to have at least 6 hours of full sun each day , are self cleaning (means you don't have to dead head) and are disease and pest resistant! This does not mean that they are disease and pest proof...just resistant. They are most commonly used in groupings or as hedges. Their leaves will change from a pretty green to a burgundy color int he fall...new leaves are also slightly burgundy. They are hardy from zones 4-9. This is why I cannot have them. I am in zone 3 (stupid climate restrictions) lol.
Now...for your problem!!!
You could check the soil for burrows (as in made by moles, but recolonized by voles that love the taste of Knockout roots. Maybe you have ants? Are there Aphids on it? The two seem to go hand in hand...If you have Aphids...you could just spray them off with water...or...I know of a gardener that will put a bit of flour (yes from the kitchen) on the leaves of the infected (with aphids) plant and leave it there for about an hour or so..and then wash it off with a strong spray of water...apparently the flour will stick to the bugs...smother them and the problem is gone! She swears by it-and has a beautiful garden.
Or it could be damage from cool weather that took out the buds on the warmer side of the rose that were just a bit more mature (and vulnerable to the cooler temps -if you had some...I think you are in Texas...maybe when you got that bit of snow?)
Knock Out roses are famous for prolific blooming and being disease resistant. Also, using a tomato fertilizer on a plant that doesn't boom well has proven to be useful. Just follow the directions on the package for a mature tomato plant.

Now...while I am talking about Knock Out Roses...I may as well go into a little bit of the pruning of them. They are not at all like other Rose bushes...they are super easy to clean up. They do not need standard style rose pruning. To ensure and encourage healthy growth and loads and loads of blooms...in the late winter (if it is not too cold outside) grab your hedge trimmers or shears to cut the plant down to about 1/3 or even 1/2 of the current height. In some cases this may make your plant only 12-18 inches tall...that's okay. This pruning will help with the blooming too. If you are using a hand held manual pruner, try to cut back the branches to an outward-facing dormant bud, because a new branch will pop out where it leads away from the center of the plant!

Man...I wish I could get my hands on one of these...regular roses are pretty...but they don't grow as fast, and they are not as easy or disease resistant!
Hope I helped Shelia! If you have not met Shelia yet...click on her name...slip over and say hi! You will not be disappointed.