Cutting back Knock-out Roses

Asked December 9, 2015, 2:37 PM EST

We live in Kingsville, MD. Our knock outs still have blooms so we just left them as is to continue giving the yard a splash of color. In thinking about next spring, should we cut them back now? The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend (60*) so we thought we'd give it a shot. Would you recommend NOT doing this and just wait until April now...or would it be alright?

Baltimore County Maryland

2 Responses

We do not recommend pruning/cutting back roses in the fall, and that would also include early winter (December). Roses should be pruned in early spring, just as the leaf buds swell and begin to open.

One practical reason to wait is that one never knows how harsh the winter will be. If you prune now to the desired size/shape and we have a severe winter, there may be extensive dieback beyond that. Better to wait, and then you can take any dieback into your pruning calculations in the spring.


Thanks so much...and so shall we wait! Martha