Hi. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina and am very interested in planting (double) knock out roses. My question is what time of year is the best time to plant them, and do they require special soil and / or deep soil - I am replacing old boxwoods - the soil is good, but do I need to add more, - do I need to till up the existing soil (terminoligy?). I am obviously new to this, and would appreciate any and all advice. Thank you in advance.
I usually plant my new Knockout roses early spring. If you have clay soil I would amend with potting soil, organic mulch, and some sand would be good for drainage. The main thing with your soil is that it is loamy enough for the roses to have good drainage. When you pick the soil up in your hands it should feel fairly light and airy.
I would till up the area where you plan to plant them and have it ready for planting.
My knockout roses are the easiest roses to care for that I have in my gardens. I give them plenty of water during the hot summer and they thrive and bloom off and on all summer long. This year because we have had such a drought the deer munched on my roses. I pruned them a little and now since we got rain they are in full bloom again. The deer are leaving them alone for now. ;)
I would turn the soil in that area and add some soil conditioner (lowes brand $2.79 per bag) or compost, manure. Don't add sand by itself because sand will mess up the porosity (air holes) in the soil and raise the water table (level of water). Sandy is actually a pretty big particle and it plugs the air holes in the soil. For this reason check out what ever you buy to ammend the soil to see if it has a lot of sand, if it does don't buy it. Whenever you have the opportunity to to add stuff to beds go ahead and do it.You can plant now it's a good time, night time temperatures are down and remember to mulch them, add some slow release fertilizer to take the guess work out and don't plant them any deeper than where they are in the pot. Knockouts are really good at resisting black spot (fungal disease) and rusts.
I had given up on roses in my garden,I was tired of the disappoinments.Now though I have been bitten anew and am going to try knockouts.I also have a 5 petal pink rose that is tough as nails,and am planning to root some cuttings'that is how I originally got this one.It took easily one out of three cuttings,pretty good odds don't you think.
I have the red Knockout rose that I planted 6 years ago. It is doing great. My soil is amended clay. When I plant roses or shrubs, I dig the hole and the soil I put in my wheelbarrel and mix it with humus, manure, and peatmoss. I use the mix to fill in around the plant. Once settled, I use Miracle-Gro Quick Start, a starting solution that stimulates root growth and helps prevent transplanting shock. I use it on every plant I replant or plant, especially seedlings..
On roses, once planted I encircle the plant with a lawn edger (brown) that is a 4 or 5" high plastic in a roll I cut it to size and use nut and bolts overlapping edfes to hold it into a circle. I then place it so that it is buried 1" into the soil around the rose bush. It is then filled with the mulch wood chips up to the top to conserve moisture and keep weeds down. It will slowly break down and improve the soil. I add more every 2 years or so. The circle also keep water in a confined area, rather than run off.
The best time to plant anything anywhere is spring. The earlies depends on your growing zone. I plant roses in May in my zone 4. Roses and other plants don't do much growing, if any over the winter even in mild climates. This is the reason you DO NOT give plants fertilizer in the fall. They need to be in active growth to utilize food.
I'll have to disagree on spring being the best time to plant anything anywhere. In hot summer climates with milder winters, fall is typically an equally good if not better time to plant. In zone 4 I'm sure that's not the case, but in an area like Charlotte fall planting is definitely an option and could even be preferable. In warmer summer climates, if you plant things in spring it often gets hot too quickly before plants really have time to get established, but if you plant in fall they have more time to get established before that summer heat hits them. I have had MUCH better luck with things that I plant in fall vs spring.
You may be right as far planting in mild climates. I have never lived in any warmer climate than 5 and that was in NY and MA. There I planted in the fall. I owned and operated a commercial greenhouse in Nebraska and sold veggies and annuals in the spring, and seed sown perennials in the fall. I had built a large coldframe where the perennial seedlings spent the winter. Come spring, they were a good size plant ready to pot up and sell.
Wyoming's weather is much harsher with strong winds and -30 degrees sometimes.
I planted some small starts of knock-out roses about 4 years ago. Only two of them "took", but were growing heartily except for the Japanese beetle problem that they get every summer that dessimates the leaves and flowers for a while. They were at least 4-5 ft. high this summer and last summer which I don't like. Towards the end of the summer, I start pruning them down. They are about 3 ft. tall now and at least 3 ft. around. All of a sudden a year ago last summer it seemed like there was another one that finally got going that I didn't know was there and of course it is not as big yet. It has darker flowers that are redder. I do not like their size. I wonder how and when I can properly prune them to a decent size. I still have a number of flowers on them despite the pruning and being in the month of November!