Q.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIMETO PRUNE KNOCKOUT ROSE BUSHES

Zone Wentzville MO | Grams126 added on October 7, 2018 | Answered

Everyones roses in this area suffered terribly this year. Many died completely, even the knockout roses. In addition, we had an overwhelming about of Japanese Beatles attacking our gardens. I was able to salvage my knockouts and nurse them back to life but they are smaller and more fragile looking then before. Each was established and very healthy prior to this year. I PREVIOUSLY pruned them in the late FALL. But I have been told its better to wait until SPRING. Please advise under the above circumstances if I should wait until Spring? And under normal circumstances when is the BEST time of year to prune my knockouts in this area? Thank you so much for your help! I look forward to seeing your reply.

A.
A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
MichiganDot
Answered on October 8, 2018

Roses are pruned annually in early spring before leaves emerge. You'll notice leaf buds starting to swell. On the other hand, right away is the best time to prune out dead, diseased or damaged canes. The double whammy of rose slugs early in summer followed by Japanese beetles in mid summer requires diligence on the homeowner's part. Rose slugs over-winter in soil below the roses. They emerge and start to chew the underside of leaves starting with those closest to the ground. They are small and green so are very hard to see. Watch out for canker in your canes and holes in the center of canes that have been pruned. I've linked to several articles that I hope are useful. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/.../knockout-roses/care-knockout-roses. htm
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/knockout-roses/prune-knockout-roses.htm
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/roses/rose-slugs.htm

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