Knockout Rose Pruning

Asked December 19, 2018, 3:38 PM EST

I viewed your publication #108 about pruning rose bushes. It indicated to cut them back to 30 inches before winter. Given that the first day of winter is tomorrow am I too late? It I am not too late how much longer do I have to prune them? If I am too late then should I just prune them in late winter/early spring? Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Baltimore County Maryland shrubs plant care

1 Response

Since Knock Out roses only reach a maximum height of 4 feet and a width of about the same they do not require much pruning. Simply cut the canes back every year in late winter or early spring to approximately 24 inches. North Carolina State Extension and Clemson University suggest pruning in late February - early March. Cutting them back very severely, like a hybrid tea rose is not recommended. They won’t die but will require a long time to recover. Periodically, older, declining, and broken canes will need to be removed. This can be done at any time of the year.