Thursday, May 13, 2010

PLANT OF THE WEEK: Knock Out Roses

Knock Out Roses have changed the way we think about roses.
Not too long ago, growing roses meant maintenance; keeping diseases at bay and pruning regularly to keep new blooms coming. Bill Radler, the breeder of Knock Out Roses, has produced a new class of roses that will thrive in most of the country. Here in Maryland, they easily withstand the extremes of our cold winters and hot summers. They even put up with the humidity here in the mid-Atlantic area.
More importantly, Knock Outs look great. They provide the WOW power the garden is looking for. In our butterfly garden here at Valley View Farms, the roses engulf an old split rail fence and act as a backdrop for some of the other plants that attract the butterflies. In my own garden, I've learned to cut Knock Out Roses in early spring to keep them from getting too tall along the narrow pathway to my back yard. I wish I had more space so that I could plant a beautiful hedge in full sun along the property line somewhere.
Knock Out Roses are now available in many colors, including the original Cherry Red, Pink, Rainbow, Blush, Sunny (yellow), White and Double Knock Out Pink and Red.
Bill Radler is sure to continue breeding for more colors and disease resistance.

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