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9 Captivating Ideas For Landscaping With Knock Out Roses

9 Captivating Ideas For Landscaping With Knock Out Roses

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Roses are red… and white, and pink, purple, yellow, orange, or even multicolor! They add elegance and grace to any garden, and their thorny stems just make them more desirable.

And that leads us to knock out roses. This low-maintenance species doesn’t require deadheading, unlike many other species which need it to produce more blossoms later in the season.

You only need to prune them annually, and your whole job is done.

If you desire an easy-to-care-for garden, here are some tips for landscaping with knock out roses to get you started!

But First, What Are Knock Out Roses?

Amateur breeder William Radler developed knock out roses in his basement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1989. Once he presented them to US growers in 2000, they were an immediate success.

This species is self-cleaning, which means you don’t have to deadhead them. They also bloom from April to November, are drought and disease-resistant, and are hardy in zones 5-11 (some down to zone 4). Pretty amazing, huh?

This shrub rose comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. While some critics claim they lack that signature rose fragrance, they’ll still fill your yard with a delicate, fruity, and sweet scent.

If you’re considering these knock outs for your landscape, here are your choices:

• Knock Out (Rosa ‘Radrazz’) — blood red and hot pink shades; 3-4 feet tall

• Double Knock Out (Rosa ‘Radtko’) — blood red tones; 3-4 feet tall

• Pink Knock Out (Rosa ‘Radcon’) — bright pink blossoms; 3-4 feet tall

• Pink Double Knock Out (Rosa ‘Radtkopink’) — pink blooms; 3-4 feet tall

• Blushing Knock Out (Rosa ‘Radyod’) — light pink shades; 3-4 feet tall

• Rainbow Knock Out (Rosa ‘Radcor’) — coral pink petals and a yellow center; 3-4 feet tall

• Peachy Knock Out (Rosa ‘Radgor’) — peachy pink petals and a yellow center; 3 feet tall

• Sunny Knock Out (Rosa ‘Radsunny’) — creamy and yellow shades; 3-4 feet tall

• Coral Knock Out (Rosa ‘Radral’) — red-orange and coral hues; 3-4 feet tall

• Petite Knock Out (Rosa ‘Meibenbino’) — fire engine red flowers; 1.5 feet tall

• White Knock Out (Rosa ‘Radwhite’) — white blossoms; 3.5 feet tall

Landscaping With Knock Out Roses

The first thing about decorating your outdoors with knock out roses is choosing the perfect location.

Once that’s done, all that’s left is to find a way to plant them.

Here are some ideas!

1. Location, Location, Location

The main thing about growing roses is giving them enough sunlight to thrive, and the same goes for knock outs.

These shrubs need plenty of sunlight to exhibit their best features, but they can also tolerate some shade. Just make sure they get 6-8 hours of light per day, and they’ll flower in no time.

Another thing to watch out for is spacing. Plant all species, except the petite knock out, approximately three feet apart so that they have good air circulation and room to spread.

2. Border Your Garden

These varieties are ideal border plants, brightening up your garden with their colorful blossoms all season long.

Plant them around your flower beds, along fences, or on island beds. If you live in a rural area, you have a great option of creating a naturalized border where the edge of your garden meets the forest.

Add it to your sunny border, where it’ll be a true statement piece.

3. Or Hedge It Instead

I’ve dreamed of a flowering hedge for so long, so imagine my joy after I discovered knock out roses!

I planted a bunch of them, creating a unique hedge which blooms almost all year long in Florida.

You can use a single color and some boxwood to create a privacy screen, or you can go bold and incorporate various cultivars.

Also, these roses are welcoming hosts, so plant the hedge along your pathways or driveway, patio, or even around your entire garden. 

Your guests will love it!

4. Knock Out Roses And Perennial Beds

These roses are perfect for perennial beds as they’ll hide gaps in between spring and summer-blooming plants.

Get a couple of different varieties to ensure a riot of color throughout the season, or choose one or two similar cultivars if you’re going for a monochromatic look.

The best thing about them is that they fit into almost any landscaping design, from formal European gardens and woodland yards to pollinator beds.

Just prune them in early spring (or even in late winter if you live in a warmer climate), and they’ll shower you with blossoms until late in the fall.

Here are a couple of trimming tips:

5. Foundation Planting Is The New Old Trend

Part of scented garden design is incorporating roses here and there, and what better way to do it than by planting them all around your house foundations? That way, you’ll be able to enjoy their delightful scent every time you open your windows.

You can also use them to frame your doorways, patio, or stairs.

Combine them with evergreen bushes, plant them on their own, or add some foliage plants in front of them to add more depth to your landscape. Don’t be afraid to add some petunias or pansies; they go great together!

And if you really want to make everything pop, understanding some basic color theory could help you. Decorate the white walls with brighter shades, and use lighter ones for brick and dark siding.

6. Knock It Out With A Cottage Garden

Cottage gardens seem really informal, so adding some roses will up their game. Knock outs are perfect for this role as they’re low-maintenance and won’t disturb the harmony.

You have two options: trim them down and keep them in place, or let them spread as much as they want. Pair them with wildflower plants such as coneflowers, shasta daisies, yarrow, and other cottage flowers for a splash of color, depth, and texture.

7. Choose One And Make It A Focal Point

Find the prettiest knock out rose and make it a prime focus of your garden.

Use a taller variety, place it on an island bed in the center of your yard, and surround it with low-growing foliage plants to make it the belle of the ball.

8. Don’t Think I Forgot About Containers

These roses are perfect for planters, although you have to make sure to use a pot with drainage holes and that’s two sizes larger than the one in which you got your knock out.

You can even turn them into a statement piece by making a thriller-filler-spiller arrangement and letting them take the spotlight.

When deciding which cultivar to grow in containers, keep in mind that the petite is the best option as it doesn’t get taller than a foot and a half and bears gorgeous flowers. Any variety will blend in nicely, but you might have to prune them more frequently.

If you want your patio to smell incredible, then white or sunny knock outs are perfect choices.

9. Companion Planting

Knock out roses get along with almost any plant, so don’t be afraid to grow them alongside your favorite species.

In a more formal setting, you can’t go wrong with roses and boxwoods, while cottage gardens demand knock outs and wildflowers.

And if you’re more into container gardening, know that they grow well with blue star creeper, bacopa, sweet potato vine, calibrachoa, and licorice.

As you can see, landscaping with knock out roses is a delight from start to finish, whether you’ve just heard of them or have been a fan for years. Exploring new ideas and renewing your garden will keep it up-to-date.

Knock out roses will shower your yard with color well into the frosty season without demanding much care.

Happy landscaping, and until next time!