For Bloom Day, Nothing Beats the Knockout



They're not the top-selling plant in the U.S. for nothing – still blooming strong on November 15 and displaying perfect, disease-free foliage.  The top photo shows a nice mass of reds in my neighborhood, and here's one lone pink Knockout in my front garden.IMG_7041

And below, going rogue on the official meaning of "blooming," I'm showing off a neighbor's maple that easily rivals any blooms for sheer impact.  Or, as they're constantly saying on HGTV, pop.


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Susan Harris

Susan’s a garden writer, teacher and activist in the Washington, D.C. area. Co-founder of GardenRant, she also wrote for national gardening magazines and independent garden centers before retiring in 2014. Now she has time for these projects:

  • Founding and now managing the pro-science educational nonprofit GOOD GARDENING VIDEOS that finds and promotes the best videos on YouTube for teaching people to garden.
  • Creating and managing DC GARDENS, the nonprofit campaign to promote the public gardens of the Washington, D.C. area, and gardening by locals.
  • Creating and editing the community website GREENBELT ONLINE to serve her adopted hometown of Greenbelt, Maryland (a “New Deal Utopia” founded in 1937).
  • Also in Greenbelt, MD, writing the e-newsletter and serving on the Board of Directors for the cooperatively-owned music and arts venue and restaurant called the NEW DEAL CAFE.

Contact Susan via email or by leaving a comment here.

Photo by Stephen Brown.


  1. I’ll take a beautiful foliage display over flowers any day. I love flowers, but there’s something about the transformation in a turning leaf…

  2. My husband and I have agreed that we think the fall foliage colours this year are more beautiful than usual here in zone 7. The crepe myrtles and ginkgos in particular have been flamboyant. The Japanese maples are just now turning into subtle blends of scarlet, orange, plum, and yellow, for the grand finale of a wonderful show. Why drive to the mountains (with everyone in the metro area) when there is such an exhibition right on our streets?

  3. The original Knockout is okay. The pink and doubles are so-so. The Rainbow Knockout is a horrible disease magnet. None of them are reliably winter hardy in zone 4. We will probably continue selling the original KO at our nursery for awhile, but we’re dropping the others.

    “Homerun” is actually a better performer than Knockout and has better cold hardiness in zone 4.

  4. Actually, I DON”T love the Knockout. I am somewhat amazed that it is accepted among people who despise (among other things) impatiens. Yes, (like impatiens) it blooms for a long time. Yes, it is disease-resistant, and yes, it makes a formidable hedge. But as roses go, it is insignificant in colour, scent and shape. Isn’t it rather the impatiens of the rose world?

  5. HGTV pops! Ugh! Can’t stand any more of it.

    Knockout roses have their place, I guess, but I agree – a rose with no scent won’t make the cut in my yard.

  6. i too have knock out roses – the standard pink (here when we moved in) and the new yellow ‘Sunny Knock Out.’ i know they’re considered the “landscapers” roses, but they are good for those who want a low maintenance rose option. i’ve also found that they DO have a slight fragrance when warmed by the sun, especially the yellow ones (see my nov gbbd post for an image).

  7. They are the easiest roses to grow, and if you are wanting low maintenance, long blooming plants they are great. I own more than one of each, and they hold the garden together throughout the long summer. They just aren’t that cool in a vase unless arranged with some other bloomers too. One more thing, they’re sustainable. They need no pesticides and no extra feeding.~~Dee

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