Make Your Roses A Knockout

You want your knockout roses to look so good they actually live up to their name.

Well, not literally, but you can make them look amazing with proper care, and that includes occasional pruning.

The only problem is, your not sure when to prune knockout roses in Tennessee. If you’re afraid that pruning at the wrong time or in the wrong way may hurt your roses, you are not alone.

People ask us when the best time to prune all sorts of plants are, and knockout roses are no exception. Nobody wants to accidentally hurt them.

You don’t have to worry about this anymore.

Close up of knockout roses in Nashville

By pruning your knockout roses at these 3 times of the year, you can keep them alive and even more beautiful than before.

Let’s learn when to prune knockout roses in Tennessee.

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The 3 Best Times Of Year For When To Prune Knockout Roses In Tennessee

As for when to prune knockout roses in Tennessee, during spring the best time is late February to mid-March, or after the last hard frost. For summer, prune the spent blooms as needed to keep your roses neat. Winterizing your knockout roses should occur after the first fall freeze.

Spring Pruning Your Knockout Roses In Tennessee

You’re free to prune your knockout roses as soon as that last hard frost finishes thawing.

We recommend cutting back about ½ – ⅓ of the total growth, which is usually between 12 and 18 inches.

If you find that your rose bush is becoming too large and unruly, you can cut the entire bush down to about 1 – 2 feet high in the spring.

Yellow knockout roses

Tennessee Summer Trimming Of Your Knockout Roses

Summer is warm and wonderful, but roses tend to have a love/hate relationship with it.

Your knockout roses should bloom in 5-6 week cycles during the growing season. This leaves plenty of time for it to become overgrown and for dead blooms to pile up.

You don’t have to let this happen:

White knockout roses starting to wilt and turn brown, meaning they need pruning

Once the petals drop and new buds start forming, trim off any spent blooms before they form rose hips (the little fruit that appears after they’ve been pollinated).

After summer ends, you can leave some rose hips until it’s time to winterize your knockout roses.

Roses during the first hard frost of winter

Winterizing Your Tennessee Knockout Roses

Your sign to winterize your knockout roses comes in the form of the first hard frost.

Once that first frost melts, it’s time to start trimming. Completely remove any dead vegetation from your garden and cut the live roses back by about ⅓.

Now your roses are ready for winter!

Bonus: 3 Pruning Tips For Knockout Roses

  1. If you are pruning to control the shape of the bush, wait until the second season of growth. After that, you may only need to prune every 3 years or whenever you want to shape up the rose.
  2. The ideal time to prune bush or shrub type roses is when their buds are swelling but no new growth has appeared.
  3. Remember that Knockouts grow vigorously, so trim them down 2 feet below the height you want them to reach during the growing season.

Pruning With Love

Pruning is one of the most important parts of owning knockout roses. It allows the plant to grow back stronger and more beautiful, which is good for it and your garden.

What color rose is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

One of these 5 garden centers should answer any other questions >>