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'Cause we all want to be unique? "Cause we are "gardeners" and we want to garden and these are too easy? "cause you see them at gas stations? Me, it is because I got burnt on the landscape roase thing with the meidiland(sp). They lied to me about them. They got twice as tall and four times as wide and took over the world. They were the worse thing to rip out.

I sell plants for a living, and I have found that one of the first plants new gardeners want is a rose. I know if I can steer these novices to a Knockout they will not be disappointed and may come back for other things. So put me in the "like" column.

Tibs, I'm with ya on the Meidilands. The one I bought was advertised as a "groundcover" and grew to 5' tall, fer crissakes.

If they smelled as good as they look, I'd get one right away. As it is, I'll probably wait a while longer. There are plenty around to look at in other people's yards and public plantings. And they always look good.

I attended the seminar with Gene yesterday also... and I definately could listen again and again. Lots of info there. My garden has knockout roses, weigelas and cherry laurels too. Hey... I like them.

Because they are usually stuck in traffic islands in parking lots, just the rose bush and ugly mulch in a sea of pavement. What single plant could look beautiful like that?

Poor things...

Once-blooming Old European roses. Just as easy, ten thousand times as beautiful, plus scent.

You just have to be satisfied with one rose binge between late May and mid-June.

I'm thinking of giving these a try.

What about Japanese beetles--don't they eat all roses--buds, flowers, leaves? Just asking.

I grew up with dog roses and I adore them. They is something delicate about their blooms, something soft, they peek at you with those golden stamens and make you want to bury your nose right in the flowers. The hips arguably even more gorgeous, almost red, and they're tasty. There is such subtle variety of color for dog roses, but it's the open shape of the flowers that is so inviting:

http://tinyurl.com/6h8yt7c


Knockouts? Are nothing like that. They look exhausted. They look excessive. There is such a thing as too much, too bright, too loud. I know they're easy to grow and I don't mind them where appropriate: parking lots, along highways, softened with grasses or other plantings. I hate them in parks, they seem to fix time into some extended, unnatural June, so much that they tire me out. Give me seasons, give me some evidence that plants aren't made of plastic.

But then again, I hate daylilies too, so take all I say with a grain of salt.

I'm with Michele on this: I'd rather binge once a year on fabulously beautiful, scented OGRs than spend a summer looking at those shapeless, scentless landscape roses.

The dog rose itself is beautiful. It makes me sad to think it's been bred into those nondescript so-called Knockouts.

Patricia, I don't know about other locations but here in Maryland, my landscape roses don't attract Japanese beetles.

Could be their marketing push - where they promote Knockout roses in regions where they don't grow that well. Course all plant breeders do that - fudge a little on performance.

My beef with Knockouts is that I don't know if it's an issue of poor info on the tags or what, but these are another tiger cub plant for homeowners: looks cute and innocent when you first get it, then you turn around and it's eating antelopes on your front walk. 7'x7'. It'll fill it.

Other than that, if I have a homeowner that geeks out on plants and wants something exciting, I steer them to old-fashioned roses. Actually, now I steer them to an heirloom rose grower in Fredericksburg who I think is awesome. If it's the usual homeowner story of "we commute to a 60 hour a week job in DC then have to shuttle kids to hockey, choir, dance, and ukelele vespers so we need low maintenance" - we may look at Knockouts, is they're the right plant for what I'm trying to achieve. It's the difference between doing it for yourself (failure is part of the experience) and doing it for others (most folks want bulletproof).

Sorry, it definitely is about the scent for me. That is the reason I will choose a rose, really. The David Austin roses I had at my old house really struggled, because I don't baby anything, but when there was one, and only one fantastic bloom, the smell would waft across the lawn, and I would go hunting for what smelled so wonderful. At my new house there is one, yup only one hyacinth that survived the previous owner. I had no idea that I had a hyacinth, but one day I was working out in the front garden and I knew there was one somewhere, I found the tired old thing next to the foundation, but it scented my front walk for a couple weeks. I scattered about a dozen around my property for next spring.

RE: the smell - the yellow Knockout rose Sunny IS scented in my garden. When the blooms are out I can't walk by but be hit by the sweet rose scent...I resisted them for years because of the lack of 'nose happiness', but these are winners! I've heard complaints that the yellow color on these fades, but I like the variety of color myself.

I'm with you Katie, I find the scent of the Sunny knockout quite pleasant, especially on warm days when the scent will waft across the yard. The "fading" of the yellow color is quite pretty too, as the petals turn more lemony and blushed with pink. I also have the more typical pink/red knockouts, that were here when we purchased the house - three, 3-gallon pots in an 8'L x 4W' space (plants maybe 2'H x 2'W at the time) - that 3 years later are 6'H x 8'L x 6'W, LESS one plant that I transplanted to another location because they were growing out of their allocated space.
I can understand the opinions that these aren't "desired" plants for home landscapes because they're over-used in commercial landscapes - most home owners, plant lovers or not, want something "unique," not what they see along newly constructed D.O.T. roadsides or in parking lot islands. But we must realize the reason these plants are selected for commercial landscapes is that they CAN take their tough, environmentally stressed and often neglected conditions.
If you don't like them, and don't want to experiment with what they can provide your landscape(s), don't plant them. Thank goodness for plant breeders who bring us a variety of plants to choose and learn from.

Don't judge the quality of this rose variety by where it is sometimes planted... gas stations, parking lots and the like are places these roses are obviously planted and soon forgotten. I have generous plantings of the Knockout Rosa Carumba on the outside edges of my landscape and they are exactly that... a Knock Out! The delicious red-orange blooms last all through the Summer and into the Fall. These groundcover roses are a great addition to my gardens.

If I were going to grow roses for the sake of growing roses, knockouts wouldn't be my first choice. But I am trying to sell my house and needed to do something with a bedraggled corner bed that would be low maintenance and have curb appeal (having a front yard at all is not something I enjoy but our HOA won't let me turn it into an edible garden, soo..) and knockouts were the perfect choice.

I haven't tried the Knockout roses, but I have to say first that I just don't see the point of a rose with no fragrance. Then I have to say that I have had several hybrid teas for many years, and I don't do any spraying at all! As far as insect pests go, aphids are the worst, and a jet of spray from the hose takes care of that. If you want to cut down on Japanese beetles, plant peonies by your roses. You won't eliminate the beetles completely, but they won't be nearly the pest that they usually are. As far as black spot goes, if you live in a humid summer climate, you have to expect a certain amount of black spot. However, if you religiously clean up the diseased leaves during the season, and put down fresh mulch around the plant spring and fall, you'll cut it down to almost nothing. Hybrid teas really aren't the fussy prima donnas that they're made out to be - it's just a matter of elbow grease! I mean, sure, if you're growing roses for the show bench then I guess you'll need to spray. But how many of us are growing to show?

Hey Susan, I think they are great as are all the other suggestions in the other comments. For tough situations, you need tough plants.

Knockout roses tough, needing little extra care. What a crock. Plant them in a thin layer of saprolite subsoil over the real soil, give them fifteen minutes less than full sun and they just sit there. I mulched them, fertilized them, weeded them and nothing. I assume the dead parts come spring are winter kill, but it could be some other issue. All I can say for them is that they are clinging to life.

Amen and amen. I love my Double Knock-Outs. When July-August comes to North Texas--with its God-awful heat and humidity--I always have something worth looking at in the garden because of these shrub roses.

I see the comments here about these Knockout roses defying the natural order of seasons, with color that lasts too long... Probably the same people who resent Californian gardens with the similar effect of bougainvillea's massive color that can last up to 9 months of the year. Different strokes for different folks; I won't try to convince a "seasons" fan that "year round color" is another valid approach to gardening design. I personally don't much like roses, never have, but see the value of these rose types for covering large areas with tough growing plants with a long season of bloom. On the other hand, I seek out plants that seem to "defy" the seasons with extra long period of showy bloom, and wouldn't want to garden without them. Plants that fit that category include both flowering ones such as the hybrid Kangaroo Paws, Limonium perezii, Calandrinia grandiflora, Distictis buccinatorius and foliage color from the various hybrid New Zealand Flaxes(Phormiums), succulents such as Senecio mandraliscae, Crassula erosula, Euphorbia tirucallii 'Sticks on Fire', etc.

I happen to feel that year round color, or at least color over a very long season, is one of the glories of Mediterranean Climate and Subtropical/Tropical gardening. The extra clarity of light and often cloudless deep blue skies here on the Pacific Coast just seems to naturally complement vibrant saturated colors.

There must be a lot of fellow believers out there across the country, or how else to explain the popularity of "Tropicana" Cannas, Cotinus coggygria 'Purple Smoke', and things like Cortaderia pumila 'Gold Band' or Red Fountain Grass?

I wouldn't try to force the year round color and "endlessly blooming summer" look on those who don't like it, but there is a market for it, and it is just one of many approaches to garden design. Knockout roses are just catering to that trend, and can look good if used in combination with other plants to complement them. After all, Agapanthus are a "gas station" plant here in California, but people in climates where they don't grow as easily would kill for those tall spikes of deep blue in summer. Here in California, most people consider them almost a weed, similar to Calla lilies.

The few roses I ever actually design with, are all repeat blooming climbers, such as Rosa chinensis mutabilis, R. 'Altissimo' or R. 'Joseph's Coat'. I also think part of my aversion to roses is that I am allergic to them as a cut flower, and hate getting snagged by them when working in the garden. Go figure, as I don't mind getting scratched up by bromeliad spines or cactus at all...

What's not to appreciate about a flowering disease free shrub that provides color, texture and form 6 to 7 months (in Nor Cal ) out of the year ?
In general I dislike roses. Too much maintenance, ruined clothing and punctured skin for the reward.
The only good thing I can say about maintaining a rose garden to exhibition quality is that the pay is good.
At least with the knock outs you can take a pair of electric hedge shears and whack them back if need be and they come back just as hardy and disease free.

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