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The Ultimate Guide for Planting Knockout Roses in Zone 8a

Knockout Roses have become one of the best selling plants in history, and they’re perfect for beginners.

What Are Knockout Roses?

Knockout Roses are the easiest types of roses to take care of, which make them perfect for anyone new to gardening. They were bred to be disease resistant, drought tolerant, cold tolerant, and self-cleaning with a continuous bloom, so maintenance is a breeze.

Why You Should Plant Knockout Roses

Are you looking to add some color to your landscape or discourage someone from breaking into a ground-level window?

Knockout Roses maintain their blooms nine months out of the year, and their sharp thorns aren’t likely to be ignored by potential intruders.

Don’t worry about pests or the black spots and powdery mildew that plague other types of rose bushes and plants. There’s no need for mixing chemicals thanks to their resistance to disease and pests.

You’ll never have to deadhead your Knockout Roses either because they shed their flowers naturally so new blooms can take their place.

Are you ready to purchase some Knockout Roses for your garden or landscape? 

Keep reading to learn about the types and colors there are to choose from, how to plant them and get some tips for success if you’re planting in zone 8a.

Types of Knockout Roses You Can Plant

There are two types of Knockout Roses you can plant:

  1. Single Bloom Knockout Roses
  2. Double Bloom Knockout Rose

Single vs. Double Knockout Roses

Double Knockout Roses got their name because they have doubled blooms that appear like a second flower in the center vs. the single blooms of traditional Knockout Roses.

Knockout Rose Colors

Single bloom Knockout Roses come in many colors, including red, yellow, white, and blush pink. Double blooms come in a wide array of colors, too, including lavender, pink, coral, and white.

How to Plant Knockout Roses in 4 Simple Steps

Planting Knockout Roses is easy and doesn’t take much time to do. Just follow these four simple steps, and you’ll have your Knockout Roses planted in no time.

Step #1: Decide Where to Plant Your Knockout Roses

You can plant Knockout Roses along your foundation and in front of ground-level windows to discourage intruders.

You can also plant them in groups of 3 or more for an impressive pop of color in your garden or landscape.

Make sure to choose a location that gets a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight per day because Knockout Roses thrive in full sunlight.

Move your Knockout Roses around in their containers to test out locations until you have the perfect spot.

Once you know where you want to plant them, you’re ready to move on to step 2.

Step #2: Dig Holes for Your Knockout Roses

Use a shovel and dig a hole that is twice as wide as the size of the container your Knockout Roses come in and dig it 50% deeper than it is wide.

Step #3: Place Your Knockout Roses in the Holes

Now that you’ve dug your holes and you’re ready to plant, it’s time to remove the Knockout Roses from their containers carefully.

A healthy Knockout Rose Bush should have a good root mass with several white roots that go all the way down to the bottom of the container.

Gently loosen the roots with your hands being careful not to damage the roots as you do.

Place your Knockout Rose Bush into the hole and fill it up to the base of the plant with your soil

Step #4: Water Your Knockout Roses

Water your newly planted Knockout Roses by drowning them, allowing them to dry out, and then drowning them again.

Knockout Roses are drought-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about them dying on you as long as you water them often enough.

6 Tips for Planting Knockout Roses in Zone 8a

Planting Knockout Roses in Georgia is tricky. Georgia is known for its red clay soil.

Red clay is difficult to plant in, and it lacks vital nutrients that your Knockout Roses are going to need, so there are some extra steps you need to take when planting in clay-based soil.

Tip #1: Use a Pickaxe and Trenching Shovel

Use a pickaxe to break up the red clay soil before trying to remove it with a shovel. 

Use the ax end of the pickaxe for removing roots or rocks from your hole, and use the pick end for breaking up the red clay.

Use a trenching shovel to make it easier to remove the red clay soil once you’ve broken it up with the pickaxe.

Tip #2: Use Soil Amendments

Red clay soil lacks the proper nutrients your Knockout Roses need to thrive, so you’ll want to add some amendments to your soil, such as soil conditioner.

When using soil conditioner, mix it 50/50 with the red clay you removed to dig your hole and then use that mix to fill in the hole and cover the roots up to the base of the plant.

Our experts here at WindWood Bulk created the perfect planting mix to use for Georgia residents battling with red clay.

Stop by our location or give us a call and ask about our special planting mix.

Tip #3: Use Straw or Hardwood Mulch

Mulch protects your plants from frost by insulating the soil, and it keeps weeds from taking over.

Some gardeners love to use straw for mulch because it breathes well and doesn’t choke or drown the plants, but it’s been banned for use in some areas.

Straw poses a threat as a potential fire hazard, so you’ll need to check your local laws before using it.

A safer and more attractive solution is hardwood mulch. Hardwood mulch is great for protecting your plants and adding visual appeal.

We carry some of the best hardwood mulch you can get at WindWood Bulk. Click here to see our current pricing.

Tip #4: Don’t Over Fertilize Your Knockout Roses

Knockout Roses don’t require fertilizer, but if you want to use a slow-release fertilizer formulated for roses, you can.

It’s important to use a slow-release fertilizer in late winter if you’re going to use one at all. Doing so allows your Knockout Roses to go to sleep in the winter naturally.

Tip #5: Prune in Late Winter

Pruning your Knockout Rose Bushes once per year keeps them at the optimal 4 ft x 4 ft size.

Prune your bushes down to 18” in height in late winter, and you will be rewarded with three blooming cycles and perfectly sized bushes.

Your Knockout Roses will bloom in the Mid-Spring, early Summer, and mid to late Summer.

Tip #6: Protect From Deer

Do you have deer around your home? Deer love Knockout Roses and will eat them to the ground if you don’t protect them.

Scatter deer repellent granules on the ground around your Knockout Roses to keep the deer away.

Quick Recap

Knockout Roses are the easiest to take care of, which makes them perfect for gardening beginners looking to add a splash of color to their garden or landscape.

Plant them along your foundation in front of ground-level windows to discourage intruders from breaking in. 

Plant your Knockout Rose Bushes in 4 Simple Steps:

  1. Decide where you want to plant them.
  2. Dig holes that are twice as wide as the container they’re in and 50% deeper than they are wide.
  3. Pull your Knockout Rose Bush from the container gently and loosen the roots with your hands. Place it in the hole and fill the hole with soil up to the base of the plant.
  4. Drown your Knockout Roses with water, let them dry out, and then drown them again. Repeat to keep your roses watered.

If you are planting in zone 8a, you’re likely to have red clay. Red clay lacks the nutrients your Knockout Roses need, and it’s difficult to plant in. Follow these tips for the best results:

Get the Perfect Planting Mix and Mulch For Your Knockout Roses in Zone 8a

Planting in zone 8a comes with some challenges if you’re dealing with Georgia’s famous red clay.

At WindWood Bulk, we make the best planting mix around for combating this problem. 

We mix our unique blend of aged soil conditioner, mushroom compost, wheat straw, and leaves together to create our all-natural, organic planting mix.

Rock City Gardens and Erlanger uses our planting mix for all their landscaping needs, and we’re confident that you’ll love it just as much as they do.

Stop by our location today or give us a call to purchase the planting mix and hardwood mulch you need to plant Knockout Roses in your garden or landscape.