CookieCrisp
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Anyone have knockout roses here?

I have 8 going around my house. They are very hardy and very easy to grow. However, my question is this, I'm wanting to plant them down the back of my fence. It says they grow on average 4 feet high and 4 feet wide. I want them to big and bushy. Would it matter if I planted them 2 feet off the back of my fence so it makes them even bushy?
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imafan26
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

There are knockouts in the rose garden. If this is a solid fence you are talking about, I would give it a little more room. You still need to go in and prune the roses and dead head and you will have better circulation to fend off the diseases.

I have a knockout rose that is short at about three feet. I forgot the name but it is white with a lime green edge on the petal. The flower is small around 3 inches and it has no scent. I replace about two roses every couple of years. I have been lucky though, some of my roses have lasted a long time. I have a red simplicity from 1991 and many of my hybrid teas are at least 8 years old.

The knockouts are good bloomers and supposed to be disease resistant. I did get a Robert Strauss and it had very poor resistance to black spot so it is now gone and I have a geranium planted in its place. So not all knockouts are disease resistant and there are some taller varieties.

I prefer the 5-6 ft tea roses myself. I don't really care for floribundas. I like the longer stems and bud forms of the larger roses like pristine, first prize, and the sturdiness of Peace. I do like Sterling Silver although it is a weak rose because of the color. Right now, I have three extra roses. The one I mentioned and Mr. Lincoln which is one that I had years ago. Unfortunately, or maybe it was fortunate, I did not have any roses die so none were replaced. I did have to take out one simplicity rose because it was growing too close to the sidewalk and I had to prune it constantly so it could not bloom.
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applestar
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

I don't have knockout roses but I agree that it's better not to rely on a structure to keep plants narrower than they normally grow. With thorny shrubs and rough shrubs even more so because they will scratch whatever they are rubbing against.

If you are willing to work at it, you can prune off every branch that is growing in a direction you don't want it to grow, or cut them shorter (which will cause most plants to grow side branches and get bushier) but that's a lot of work, and I think the whole point of knockout roses is to reduce work. :wink:

What kind of fence is it? Are there other landscaping roses (or other sub cultivars of the knockout roses) that have more suitable growth pattern than the 4x4?
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CookieCrisp
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

It's a privacy fence. After thinking about it I might do it. My fence is about 2 acres long. I would need a lot KO to line it up.

Thank for the advice. You're right, I love the KO for the low maintenance.
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applestar
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

Wow. I have no experience with such a huge project, but I like the idea of planting a wildlife border. Food and shelter trees, shrubs, perennial and self seeding annuals, and ground covers.
Hmmm?

I planted a live hedge row of Rose of Sharon along one property line to a neighbor before I knew better. I'm slowly replacing that with native shrubs and small trees. Right now, I have inkberry, native azaleas, red osier dogwood, and ostrich fern and maidenhair fern along the shady border; mulberry, willow, Virginia sweetspire, American highbush cranberry, and blackberry along the drier sunny border; and more red osier dogwood, Joe pye weed, Royal fern, blue flag iris, marshmallow hibiscus, ditch daylily and sweet autumn clematis in the low boggy area.

...Do you know about this book? It completely changed my idea of gardening. :o
Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Douglas W. Tallamy et al. Link: https://amzn.com/0881929921
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CookieCrisp
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

That sounds like a lot of planting. Lol are they all low maintenance? I'm all about that and shrubs/ vines that come back every year. Lol

I've never heard of that book.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

A book with very similar points to make, but a bit more approachable read is Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards, by Sara Stein.

But I absolutely agree with applestar. 200 running feet or so* of fence line planted as a monoculture in roses is dead. Nothing can use it. 200 feet planted in a mixed border of things that provide nectar for honeybees, beneficial insects, hummingbirds, butterflies; things that provide seed or fruit for songbirds, things that provide shade and shelter is an oasis, that will make your yard a beautiful wildlife haven.

The mixed border of native plants takes more thought to plan and to find your plants (look for your local native plant nursery) and it may take a little more care in the planting and getting established. Once established, the native plants are way more low-maintenance than any rose bush (even the KO's require regular fertilizing, pruning, etc). The native plants are adapted to your area and belong there and once established need nothing. Everything applestar mentioned will thrive and multiply year after year on its own.

Tell us what the conditions of your fence line are (full sun, part sun, moisture, etc) and we can make some plant suggestions for you, for your TX area.


*(just to be picky, you can't have an acre of fence, since acre is a square footage measure. Fence line is linear feet. If your acre is square it is a little more than 200' by 200')
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

P.S. monocultures are also dangerous. KO roses are bred to be disease resistant, but nothing is perfect. If some disease or pest does come along that they are vulnerable to, then your whole fence line is wiped out instantly. California planted miles and miles and miles of oleanders down the freeway medians. Now there is a disease called oleander leaf scorch that is wiping them all out. Because the oleanders are all contiguous, it is spreading like wildfire and costing the state millions and millions to try to replace them. If you have a mixed border, diseases and pests don't spread so fast/ easily (since the organisms have to try to find the next thing they like and may even get stopped in the process) and even if every individual of one kind of thing gets wiped out, you have a lot of others.
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CookieCrisp
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

I have two acres of land filled with oak trees and privacy fences running on three sides of it. My other side my neighbor has a chain link fence with bobwire. (With horses and goats)

So it's not two acres if fencing. I just didn't know the right way to describe it. :()

I love oleanders. I have 4 of the pink flowering ones.

I have one fence that is partially sun and the other fence is more shade but 1/3 of it.
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luis_pr
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

Your long growing season could make the knockouts really grow even if they are supposed to be small. I bought one that was supposed to be around 3-5'. It loves were it is because when I failed to prune it one year, it reached almost 7' high. Taller than I am. LOL!!!

imafan26
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

Knock out roses are supposed to be lower maintenance than hybrid teas, but they are still roses and still require maintenance. To keep them blooming regularly, it is better to prune them and pruning helps keep them open in the vase shape that will reduce problems with disease as well.

I don't have a fence that long so I don't know how much time you want to spend maintaining it.

I would agree with Apple and Rainbow that if you are looking for low maintenance, there are probably natives that would do better. I myself prefer a mixed border not only to attract the beneficial insects but because it does offer more visual interest, texture and a longer bloom period.

Roses bloom in cycles so they are not always in bloom. My roses are underplanted with cuphea, allyssum, geraniums, gladiolas, and around February there will be nasturtiums. The allyssum and cuphea stay in bloom constantly and the geraniums help keep down weeds and deter some of the pests from the roses. The nasturtiums are filler but they are seasonal. They drop seeds when they are done for the year and will sprout again when the time is right, I usually don't have to replant them.

I don't prune or feed my roses as often as I should, so they tend to get smaller blooms over time until I get out there and cut them back and feed them again. The other plants require only pruning to keep them inside the bed and they keep on blooming even though I rarely water them. I do have a sprinkler system but the water pressure has gotten worse over the years and it no longer has the reach it once had. I had a plumber check it out and we checked the neighbors water pressure and it was about the same so he said the city is not delivering enough pressure to the house and there isn't much I can do about it. I have about 38 psi, he said I should have about 60 psi.

I have gradually had to change the plants in the border to plants that can survive pretty much on rain and very little additional water. I lost my new lavender this year because it did not get enough water. I will try again, it should survive if I can keep it watered at least until it gets established.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

Texas is blessed with a wealth of beautiful native shrubs. Here's a partial listing of some that like part sun to part shade conditions, are drought tolerant (meaning once established they should need very little watering), and are attractive to birds, hummingbirds, butterflies, etc.

prairie acacia, flame acanthus, wooly butterfly bush, ceanothus, Mexican orange/ fragrant starleaf, coral bean, apache plume, stretchberry, purple sage, spicebush, turk's cap, rose mallow, blue shrubby sage, coral berry, yellow bells/ yellow trumpet bush, viburnum

These are all more or less in the same size class as your roses. Some are evergreen, many have showy flowers. They are all listed as commercially available, but some would be easier to find than others. You will want a good native plant nursery. This has a listing of TX native plant nurseries: https://findnativeplants.com/southwest/t ... ve-plants/

Have fun! :) This could be so much prettier, more interesting, and livelier than your row of KO's!
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

If you call some local native plant nurseries and let them know about your hundreds of feet of fence line, in order to get that much business, I'm sure they would be glad to work with you on plant suggestions, design help, finding all the plants you need, etc.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

so Cookie, what do you think?!
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ElizabethB
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Re: Anyone have knockout roses here?

Cookie - DITTO RBG on incorporating native plants. Use your Knock Outs in clusters of an uneven number of plants. Even a privacy hedge is much more attractive if plantings are staggered and not in a straight line. Mother Nature does not do straight lines. Intersperse with random cluster of other native plants that will attract butterflies, hummingbirds and honey bees. Just because this is for privacy does not make it OK to crowd your plants. If the mature spread of a plant is 4' then center your plants 4' apart. Planting too close will encourage disease, insects and more work for you.

I love Oleanders for the beautiful, fragrant blooms, dense foliage and fast growth. Since your neighbors have livestock it is not suitable for that fence line. It is very toxic. Another toxic but stunning plant is Castor Bean. It is typically an annual but with very mild winters I kept them growing for 3 years. They got 15' tall. They do self seed and harvesting seeds guaranties new plants. They will grow 6' - 10' in a season. Take your breathe away beautiful.

My Sister's home is on 5 acres. It is a deep 5 acres. On the back half of the property she has a 1/2 acre pond and horses. In the front the right fence line has a narrow strip of wooded area dividing her property from her neighbor. She dumped many loads of city compost and composted horse manure from their horse farm along the fence line. She tosses out seeds and plants bulbs, rhizomes or plants cuttings of just about anything she can get her hands on. Her fence line is a riot of color, foliage, texture and fragrance. It is not planned and kind of crazy but there is always something in bloom or producing colorful foliage or berries. It is very wild and natural looking. You would not think that she actually planted it.

How about some pictures of your property?
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown



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