Knock Out Roses – Alternatives
Q: My Knock Out roses have gotten rose rosette disease and I’ve had to remove them. What are some alternatives that I might replace them with?
A: Despite their boring ubiquity, there are lots of reasons to admire Knock Out roses. They bloom from spring until frost. They suffer few insect and fungal issues; they’re drought tolerant, versatile and easily pruned. But rose rosette disease lays them low. In your case, I can think of three good options. Dwarf crapemyrtle, like ‘Pokomoke’, ‘Chickasaw’, ‘Petite Red’ and various ‘Dazzle’ cultivars, ranges in size from three to five feet. Dwarf butterfly bush, like the “Lo & Behold” series, is another option that comes in a multitude of colors. Abelia (‘Kaleidoscope’, ‘Canyon Creek’, ‘Sunrise’, etc) has an incredibly long bloom time and comes in a variety of sizes. Surely one of these would fit your needs.