March 1, 2007


Since its introduction in 2000 the Knock Out Rose was hailed a "breakthrough shrub rose " by the All-American Rose Selections because of its exceptional disease resistance and hardiness. It was one of three roses that year to win the prestigious AARS award for outstanding garden performance.

I have been in love with the Knock Out rose since I discovered it growing in profusion in a client's garden. I could hardly believe my eyes because it was late October and the rose shrubs had a profusion of blooms in full flower. " That's nothing, " the resident gardener said, " It'll bloom right up until the hard freeze kills it. "

Texas A & M University conducted four years of research and found Knock Out to be one of the finest landscape roses that they had ever tested. No pesticides of any kind were used and it proved to be almost resistant to blackspot, the fungal disease that is the scourge of roses across much of the U.S. It is also resistant to powdery mildew and aphids and is cold-hardy and heat and drought-tolerate once established.

Knock Out was given the Texas Superstar designation by the horticultural experts at Texas A & M. "Only the best adapted, highest performing and most pest-resistant plant materials are designated Texas Superstars , " said Dr. Steve George , Texas Cooperative Extension horticulturist in Dallas A & M. He said they present that title to plants that have undergone rigorous field trial testing to demonstrate they add beauty to a landscape with minimal maintenance and maximum protection for the environment.

While most roses need 4-6 hours of sun a day, Knock Out can tolerate as little as 3 and thrive. Of course they will perform better when you give them more sun. And for the cold climate rose growers, Knock Out is hardy to -20 .

I have a Pink Knock Out in my garden, but it comes in shades of Light and deep pink, cherry red and there is a double specimen as well. A new introduction this year is called " Rainbow " and it has a mix of yellow and orange colors.

So for those who love roses and didn't think they had the time or expertise to grow them, Knock Outs are no-brainers.

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