I'm Bummed!

Marshalltown, IA(Zone 5a)

I have never grown roses before, and being a real flower newbie (and I mean a newbie!), I planted 2 Knock Outs......disease resistant right? Well, they were in full sun, planted correctly (I really researched that), and watered well. They kept blooming all summer, and then I noticed some black spot starting. I sprayed every week with a fungus spray for roses (it said it would take care of black spot on roses).......then fall came, and I didn't cut anything back, but being in zone 5, I did cover them with pine needles.

We have had practically no snow or rain all winter, and my rose canes were covered with black spots!!

I admit to being disgusted as I babied them all last year.....I decided to cut them back this spring, and cut them down to about 1 foot...and carefully disposed of the cuts....

I figured if they die, they die.....

Would the carefree have been a better choice for a newbie? I did plant a John Davis beside my trellis last year, and while it did not bloom, it seemed to grow well.......

I just am not impressed with the Knock Outs..............Me, or the rose??

Richmond, TX

I have a lot of roses - mostly old garden roses - but I also have some Knockouts. Mine also get black spot, but I ignore it and they don't die, they just look bad. If you have space for it, why not just leave it alone for a year and see how it does? (I am obviously a rather laissez-faire gardener.)

Marshalltown, IA(Zone 5a)

That is interesting about your Knock outs getting black spot too.....

I thought they would be much more resistant than normal......I will let know how they turn out this spring....darn thlings!

Marshalltown, IA(Zone 5a)


We are having an unusually warm March.....in the 80's..........I was checking on the roses I whacked down, and they have shoots all over the bush! They look very healthy....the stems do have a few black spots....

Should I start spraying them with a fungicide for black spot now???

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I use sulphur for that in the spring, but the temperature must be below 80 to avoid burning the foliage. I find preventing black spot is easier than curing it.

And do make sure that you dispose of any old blackspotted leaves on the ground or plant, or the the condition will come right back!

Marshalltown, IA(Zone 5a)

Thanks Donna...I will try that....I'ts supposed to be in the 70's this week and next.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Safer makes a good one. It's organic, and effective. I've used it for years.

Do buy the concentrate if you can find it - I find it in hardware stores. You mix it with water and spray it, and it's very economical.

Marshalltown, IA(Zone 5a)

Thank you, Donna.....I will see if I can find it here.....

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

The "Home Run" Roses are supposed to be resistant to black spot:

Has anyone tried them? I just ordered 2 and will see how it goes, I'm
hoping to just plant, fertilize and put them on our drip system.

Richmond, TX

I have Home Run. Mine does seem fairly resistant to disease. It blooms a better red than Knock Out and more continuously, but I don't find it to be a particularly attractive plant and I feel it does need to be dead headed as otherwise it is cluttered with ugly spent flower nubs.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

Do you find it to be less attractive than the Knock Out? I prefer the better color for sure.
I'm new to this but aren't these types more of a landscape scrub type in contrast to the best looking?

I do plan to prune mine the first few years to get them better shaped.

This message was edited Jul 29, 2012 3:14 PM

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I take all "resistant to disease" promises with a huge grain of salt. Disease resistant where? In large cities you rarely see blackspot because there is so much sulphur in the air. It has nothing to do with the rose. I like to go to Botanic gardens and nurseries in August and look at their roses. I remember that Glamis Castle, at that time of year, was perfect, although David Austin had disavowed it because of disease. It's perfect in my yard. The same was true of Heritage. So I bought them both. I had gone there to acquire Evelyn, but changed my mind. Evelyn, which is very popular, was not only a little runt, but covered with blackspot and incredibly ugly. David Austin says that it is "not the most vigorous" and focuses on the scent of the flowers. And from comments I've read, it needs cold winters to bloom well and is stingy with its flowers.

I noticed that Chicago Botanic Garden, in particular, does not bother to deadhead roses, or give them any pampering. I remember very clearly that The Dark Lady, Benjamin Britten and Stanwell Perpetual managed to rebloom, which most of the roses had not. They also looked sensational.

If you can, and I realize that it is not always feasible, "visit" roses and have a look at them in August. I found it very educational. I do that and look at Joel's recommended roses on the Pickering website:


Or his list of disease resistent roses:


I've used these lists on several occasions, and he has never let me down.


Richmond, TX

I think Home Run is a more attractive rose than Knock Out: better color, denser bush, many more blooms.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

I agree that Home Run is probably better than Knock Out but I'm wondering about my Home Run shrubs. They produced a lot of flowers but they are in my opinion no where near as beautiful as our old Dr. Huey roses and they tended to drop petals quickly so there were many partial flowers. They just looked broken. These were 1' tall when I planted them in August of 2012 and they grew to about 3' tall in the 2013 season. I was busy last year and just pruned them back last week. Any suggestions to get better looking flowers, or for another shrub type that looks even better? I want to plant more but I don't think they'll be Home Runs.
I recently read that David Austin shrub type have "old-fashioned, double-petaled flowers and fragrance but with the extended bloom and disease resistance of modern shrub roses."
I think that this is what I want.
Here's a picture of our Dr. Huey and I've always loved the look but they only bloom once:

Thumbnail by PeteB7

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