Plant of the Month: Knockout Roses

Everyone loves roses (it’s true, they’re one of the most popular shrubs around the world) but they can be a bit fussy. Luckily, for those of us who prefer a lower maintenance garden, Knockout Roses are here to make things a whole lot easier.

Looking to create a rose that was more disease resistant and drought tolerant than the traditional hybrid teas, rose grower William Radler began developing the first Knockout Rose in 1989 in his basement and released his first cultivar (aptly named Knock Out) in 1999. Since then, the entire line of Knockouts has spread to 11 varieties, the most recent of which is a miniature rose called Petite that made its debut in 2020.

Since their initial release, Knockouts have been a beloved addition to millions of gardens due in no small part to their disease resistance, drought tolerance, longer bloom period, self-deadheading and compact form. They’re perfect for borders, mass plantings and even do well in containers!


Full Sun, at least 6 hours per day.

While they prefer moist, well-draining soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, Knockouts are considered drought tolerant once established.

Prune your Knockouts in late winter/early spring, before they’ve emerged from dormancy. Knockouts do not require deadheading but you can remove spent flowers to create a cleaner look without harming the shrub.

Fertilize beginning in spring with a fertilizer for flowers like Happy Frog Fruit and Flower.

Some of our Favorite Knockouts

Double Red

Double Red – The variation on the original Knock Out more closely resembles traditional hybrid tea roses. Shrubs average 3-4′ tall and wide.


Sunny – New flowers emerge bright yellow before fading into a pale cream color. One of the most fragrant varieties of Knockout roses. Shrubs average 3-4′ tall and wide.

Double Pink

Double Pink – Another variety bred to resemble hybrid teas, this time in a delightful shade of pink. Also averages 3-4′ tall and wide.


Petite – The newest member of the Knockout family. Averaging 18-24″ tall and wide at maturity, Petite is an adorable petite duplicate of the Double Red. Perfect for containers and garden borders.