How to trim Knockout Roses in Central Texas
Wondering how to trim roses in Central Texas? The first question you should ask: What are knockout roses? They are hybrid roses developed to resist common rose diseases and produce prolific blooms. They are common in landscapes across Central Texas. It is important you ensure you are dealing with knockout roses rather than an antique or climbing rose because they are maintained very differently.
So how should you actually trim roses in Central Texas?
- Start with a dance or pump up song – We recommend you start here with just about anything in life. Here is a good Rocky motivational video.
- Is the season right? In Central Texas you want to trim them back in January or February. An easy way to remember this: Get it done before Valentine’s Day!
- Proper tools – Gather the proper equipment. We use hedge trimmers (they are sharp and powerful creating a quick, clean cut). But you can use a set of sharp hand pruners or loppers. Just make sure they have a set of “bypass blades” meaning they create a clean cut, not a smash or pinch. Also…be safe and use gloves and other protective stuff. Roses are nasty and can do some damage to exposed skin.
- Be aggressive on your cut back. Typically we recommend 1/3 to a 1/2 of the plant be removed. Cut it to 12 – 24 inches. The precise height depends on a few things:
- Age of the plant – Older Roses should be cut back less (taller).
- Your landscape goals – If this is in front of a window, you may want it to be shorter (or taller if you like to hide).
- The alignment of the moon, Mars and Venus. Kidding. This doesn’t matter.
- Location of the plant – Roses bloom most in the sun.
Why do we cut them so aggressively?
Many people let their roses grow without a significant cut back resulting in “leggy” roses. Why? Blooms only grow on the first year’s growth. The old canes will not produce new blooms, so if you want to keep the overall size of the shrub in check while still seeing blooms, you need to cut it back hard (preferably around valentine’s day).
How fast do they grow back?
At Top Choice Lawn Care we cut back knock-out roses substantially…very substantially. At first it looks extreme, and we have to have conversations with customers explaining the reasoning and reassuring them that they will come back strong. To show how rapidly the roses grow, we took some pictures to show how quickly they grow.