Knock Out® Roses for Fall Color
Most people associate roses with spring, but many of the repeat-blooming varieties are just as gorgeous in autumn. For instance, The Knock Out® Family of Roses are superstars in the fall landscape at the Garden Home Retreat, and play a major role both in the borders along the east lawn and in the new rose garden.
The Knock Out® Family of Roses are bred to bloom every five to six weeks from spring through the first hard frost, so putting on a beautiful fall show is natural for them. By taking a few steps I can time their peak bloom to coincide with other spectacular autumn favorites.
It usually takes three to four weeks for my Knock Out® Roses to go from freshly pruned to full bloom in my mid-south garden. It may take a more like five to six weeks where you garden. I count back from the time I want them to flower and cut them back about six inches. After the pruning I apply an organic fertilizer blended for roses and keep them watered. In a little over a month they'll be back in glorious bloom. If you live in a climate with an early frost be sure to give the new growth enough time to harden off before cold weather sets in.
Some of my favorite plants to pair with The Knock Out® Family of Roses in fall include Mexican sage, asters, ornamental grasses, caryopteris and coleus.
If you don't have Knock Out® Roses in your garden, autumn is also an excellent time to plant. The cool, moist weather is perfect for getting established and they'll be ready to go next spring.
In terms of timing it is best to give any shrub planted in fall three to four weeks to get established before the first hard freeze.
For the best bloom production and plant health select a spot in the garden with full sun and well-drained soil. Dig a hole that is twice the size of the nursery container. Mix the garden soil with compost and mound some in the bottom of the planting hole. Remove your Knock Out® Rose from its container and gently loosen the roots with your fingers. Place the rose in the planting hole with its soil level even with that of the flowerbed.
Back fill the planting hole with the soil and compost mix. Water in and add more soil if needed. Top with mulch, making sure to keep it away from the base.
Keep your Knock Out® Rose consistently moist right up to the first hard freeze. It's best to water deep every several days at the base of the plant rather than frequently with a sprinkler or other overhead water source.