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Knock Out Roses or the customer?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Steiner, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    Zone 5 Central NY:

    Back in May I ripped out some overgrown sand cherry bushes and installed some:

    1. Knock out Roses
    2. Yellow Mop Cypress
    3. Grasses

    A few weeks after I installed they called back and said that the annuals had died which I suspected was watering neglect. They also wanted to have a rose bush removed and a new one installed because it had lost some of its blooms. I went and checked and a few blooms had browned out but there were a ton of new blooms ready to emerge. I chuckled it up to planting stress and cutting up the roots to encourage them to root into native soil.

    Now they called back and want all of the roses replaced and I am not really sure why. I think they are expecting them to be full of blooms in the first year.

    Now I have a few questions:

    1. What about the picture looks wrong or off? I have used roses in gravel beds before and they have thrived.

    2. When you tear up the roots with a knife or your hand can this cause some blooms to drop as the plant does not have root structure to support the blooms?

    3. Did I not manage my customers expectations the first year, maybe I talked to highly of the roses and how profuse the blooming is, and they think they are underperforming?

    Any other advice?


  2. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    No problem here. Looks good.
  3. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    i wouldn't replace them, they look good.
  4. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Pull back the rocks from the base of the Roses a bit as that can stress a plant.

    Roses have to be deadheaded and watered properly on a regular basis. Isn't this up to their maintenance person to do?

    Get some slow release Rose food and throw a handfull around the root balls.
  5. RedSox4Life

    RedSox4Life LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,739

    Knockouts are supposed to flower pretty much the entire season, but each individual bloom doesnt last that long. They come and go, its normal.

    Also, if I remember correctly knockouts DO NOT need to be deadheaded like other roses. You might want to double check that though.
  6. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    They bloom much better if deadheaded and fertilized lightly on a regular basis. I also cut all of mine down to 2' in the early spring and they are all around 5' this time of year
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. macgyver_GA

    macgyver_GA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 826

    Those look perfectly normal to me.

    I have knockouts in my yard at home and I do not deadhead them because based on all I've read about them, you don't HAVE to deadhead them. I prune them back by about 1/3 of their size in the spring. Mine are already twice the size they were in the spring when I cut them back. I fertilize them with a little sprinke of miracle gro shake-n-feed every other month. Mine bloom from April-October

    It seems they go through cycles where sometimes they bloom like crazy and sometimes they look a little puny (in terms of blooms) then all of a sudden two days later, they are blooming like crazy.

    I will also note that the first year I put mine in (last year) they looked similar to your customers, and didn't bloom as much, also grew kinda odd. However, this year they filled out very nicely and I'm happy with the blooming this year.
  8. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    The knock out rose info page says they are "self cleaning" and don't require dead heading. Perhaps this is a moot point, when the roses are planted in small numbers and in a high profile location.

    They will bloom prolifically every 5 or six weeks until the frost.

    Also, They appear healthy in the pictures.
  9. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    our knockouts here are not performing "ideally" (blooms don't last long) because of the excessive heat but still doing O.K. yours look O.K. too.(.not sure if your setting records for heat up there)
  10. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,744

    Same here.

    I planted mine from a 1 gallon pot, and by the end of year one, it had doubled in size, but the blooms were like yours. A bunch at a time, but there were moments without flowers.

    Have patience.

    On year three, I had to transplant it when I moved, and in doing that, I cut it back by almost 2/3rds.

    I've now had that plant for about 7 years. It is now about 7' tall, and is just as wide. In the growing season, there are always dozens of flowers visible (probably over 100 at most times). Some times it has as much color visible as my azaleas. When my other roses have been defoliated by black spot (when I wasn't as vigilant with spraying as I should be), this one was still doing fine (just losing a few leaves here and there).
    The smell of the flowers is as sweet as candy, and you can easily notice it from several steps away. No need to stick you nose in a flower.

    The only problem, is if you grow it like mine, the one on the left (by itself) will take over that tree in a few years.

    Just give it enough time for those to start to grow together, and by then, they will bloom as expected. Then prune to the shape that you like.
    It's just the transplant process that is leaving them in more of a growing phase, rather than a blooming one.

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