Talkin’ Turf with Travis
Knockout Roses (Proper Care and Pruning)

***This column is offered by the City of Mesquite to help educate residents about landscaping and pruning tips. Please contact Travis Sales, Certified Arborist, 972-216-8121 or with any questions.

The “Knockout Rose” was first introduced in 2000 and hailed as a “breakthrough shrub rose” by All-American Rose Selections because of its exceptional disease resistance and hardiness.

Here are some basic tips for caring for this rose:
1. Whenever the soil is dry, water thoroughly in the root zone to a depth of one inch.

2. Watering established plants too frequently can promote root disease, especially in poorly drained soils.
3. Drip irrigation is a much better watering method for plant health and water conservation.

4. Remove dead, diseased or broken branches to help promote plant health.

5. Replenish the mulch as needed to maintain a three-inch layer. 6) Rose pruning should be done just as buds break dormancy, around late February or early March.

6. Knockouts grow vigorously, so trim them down two feet below the height you want them to reach during the growing season.

7. If you find that your rose bush has become too large and unruly, cut the entire bush down to about 1 or 2 feet high in the spring.

8. Bypass pruners, which cut like a pair of scissors, are much better for pruning roses than anvil-type pruners. Thrips (tiny, slender insects with fringed wings) can cause bud and flower distortion so use a general insecticide specifically labeled for Thrips.

Travis E. Sales

Manager of Park Services
Municipal Arborist
Golf Course Superintendent

About Travis

Travis has a big “yard” to care for. With help of his team, he is responsible for the maintenance of 1,600 acres of park land, 72 miles of medians and rights-of-way, 27,000 trees planted in the Urban Forestry Program, 35 baseball practice fields, 12 soccer practice fields, 33 lighted and unlighted baseball/softball games fields, 27 lighted and unlighted soccer game fields, seven lighted and unlighted football game fields.

Travis has a degree in Ornamental Horticulture and has various state and national certifications and licenses for irrigation, argronomy, arboriculture and landscaping. he enjoys serving on the Texas Turfgrass Association Executive Board and being active in the Mesquite Fire Corps and Mesquite Citizens Police Alumni associations.


Office: 972-216-8121