Roses – Using Rose Waste

Q: Last year, when I pruned my Knockout roses I clipped the stems into short sections and used them as mulch under the plant. What would be the best method to incorporate rose waste back into the garden?

A: Since roses (even Knock Out) are so susceptible to leaf diseases, I think it’s better to remove leaves and branches from the area completely. Fewer fungi present when new growth begins results in less disease pressure. Use tree leaves, wood chips or pine needles for rose mulch instead. Compost the rose clippings in another part of your landscape.