Petite Knock Out Rose®

By Richard Flowers, ACCNP-Green Thumb Nursery-Ventura

If you are looking for an easy care and low maintenance shrub rose for your garden, then Petite Knock Out® is the plant for you. The Knock Out family of roses have been a smash hit since they came onto the gardening scene nearly 20 years ago, and for good reason. These beauties don’t need dead-heading like other roses and they’re disease-resistant. They are hardy and dependable roses that come in different colors ranging from: coral, red, white, yellow, pink, and double flowers. All members grow roughly 3 to 4 feet high. Today I want to introduce you a relatively new rose that is the first ever petite growing Knock Out® rose.

This rose only grows 1 – 1/2 feet tall and as wide. Petite only gets 18 inches tall and grows compact and bushy which is perfect in decorative containers for your patio or planted in mass for a dramatic pop of color. It is fabulous in a mixed container planting. Apply named, Petite Knock Out Rose® is perfect for Mothers Day and is extremely versatile miniature rose that will make mom smile year after year with its constant, bright red blooms and adorable size.
Petite Knock Out Rose® provides you with an abundant, continuous, re blooming, and bold fire engine red flowers that does not fade. The flower itself is not large and has small petals that number 10- 15 but the floral display that covers the plant is a show stopper especially when planted in groupings. They will repeat-bloom from spring to frost regardless of deadheading, however deadheading does offer a cleaner, tidier look.

Often people choose to deadhead to remove the faded blooms but it is not a requirement because they are self-cleaning. An added benefit for this plant is that it comes with handsome foliage that is neat, fresh looking, dark, and glossy green. The ideal environment for your plant to stay happy and healthy is an area that receives all day, full sun ( 6 hours or more of direct sunlight). Please remember to provide good air circulation for the plant to grow at its best. It does not like to be crowded amongst other plants or objects. These roses are not like your typical everyday rose because they will perform beautifully even without fertilizing. If you choose to give them an additional boost, it is very important not to fertilize until after the roses are established and go through one bloom cycle. Feed before new growth begins in spring; repeat mid-season. Use a balanced fertilizer or fertilizer formulated for roses and apply after the
first wave of flowering (be sure to follow the specified rates and method of application provided on the product label). These beautiful plants are in bud and bloom right now and it’s the first bloom of the year. When fertilizing, make sure the soil is moist before you fertilize to avoid burning the roots. Do not fertilize late in the summer as this is the time the rose should be preparing themselves for dormancy and you do not want to create additional, unnecessary new growth that will likely die back if their is a first hard frost. The typical flowering cycle is as follows; the first wave of flowers will be abundant, after that a growth cycle occurs, then the roses will typically have scattered blooms until another wave of heavy flowering occurs. This will repeat until the first hard frost. In some climates where it is mild and warm this rose can produce blooms into December.

This mighty rose grows well in USDA Zones 4- 10 meaning it is very adaptable and can survive near the coast, inland valleys , and desert. It withstands any climate from the desert southwest to the Northeast. They are at there best with long, hot, sunny days but can tolerate overcast days with high humidity and mild temperatures. This easy to grow rose is meant for everyday, everyone, and everywhere. Petite Knock Out Rose® works well when planted in the garden amongst other plants or just roses. You can use it as a low border or as a filler plant with other annuals or perennials to have a garden bustling with color. For something out of the ordinary, try mass planting to form a low hedge. Make sure you plant each rose 18 inches away from the center of the one next to it to allow for good air circulation and room to grow.

Prune in the spring to maintain the desired height. Another way to be inspired with this knock out rose is to plant them in large groups to create a stunning focal point. Other design ideas is to integrate them into shrub or mixed borders for solid, long-season color without too much additional care. It makes a fine addition to south and west facing foundation beds. Use in the front of taller perennials to intensify season long color. Plant in irregular groupings for a large scale cover that blocks weeds. It works great in pairs to flank an entry, steps or gate.

Plant en masse to to dress up unattractive paving edges around porches and patios. Some great companion plants that look good and are a nice match with Petite Knock Out Rose® are: Lavender, Dusty Miller, Penstemon, Catmint, Salvia, Agastache, Day Lilly, Yarrow, and so much more.

If powdery mildew becomes an issue from overcast days with high humidity, and mild temperatures there are a couple of options to help correct the problem. An application of horticultural oil should smother the spores and reduce spread of the problem. It is best to try this as soon as possible upon visible symptoms. An early sign of powdery mildew is a slight curling upwards of the foliage. Another option is to try trimming back the worst affected areas and wait for new, clean growth to flush out then apply the oil spray as a preventative. If you are unsure whether or not you have an issue with your plants be sure to bring in a fresh sample ( sealed in a plastic bag) into your favorite Green Thumb Nursery and we could provide you the best option of control. To help mitigate any foliar, stem or flower diseases, it is advisable that you water at the base of the plant and not over the tops i.e. overhead watering because this is an invitation for fungal diseases to develop. When watering, it is recommended to provide slow, deep watering instead of frequent, shallow waterings. This type of watering allows the roots to go deeper into the soil where it would have better anchorage and become a stronger plant. Plants with deeper roots are able to withstand drought and heat better where as plants with shallow roots dry out quicker. For new plants, water deeply, regularly in first growing season to establish the root system, water thoroughly around the base of the plant, allowing it to soak in. Repeat as necessary. For the next couple of weeks, check in and water the plant as needed to ensure it stays healthy. Regardless if the plant is new or well
established water well when the plant needs it. To determine if the plants need water or not, simply probe the soil half way down the root ball on all sides, if the soil moisture sticks to the probe it doe snot need water at that time, if the opposite occurs then watering is needed. Knock Out Roses thrives in enriched, loamy, well-drained soil.

When planting, I suggest to use an acid based planting mix or a rose planting mix. Don’t forget to mulch to keep roots cool, reduce water evaporation, keep down competing weeds, and improve soil structure as it breaks down. Prune in late winter or early spring after threat of frost is gone to promote vigorous new growth.

These marvelous, eye-catching , and stunning roses are available at select Green Thumb Nurseries while supplies last. I encourage you to give Petite Knock Out Rose® a shot in your garden you won’t be disappointed.

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