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Roses/Pruning Knockout roses in Missouri


I live in St. Louis, MO and have a row of 7 knockout roses in front of my house. They grew large, even though this is only their second year. My husband wants to trim them back now so the Christmas lights can be seen on the bushes behind them. Is it too late to trim them this year?

Hello Eve,

I would say that it is too late to prune them hard now.  If it was only several inches,I would say that would be fine.  You may want to prune them really hard (cut to 12 -18 tall) in the spring.  That will keep them from getting so big come the fall/winter.

Hope that helps.



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Jay Hiers


Since I work with roses professionally and as a hobby, I am comfortable answering most rose growing/ culture questions. I am knowledgeable in both issues most rose growers face: to spray or not to spray roses. I am familiar with all insect and diseases that can afflict roses. If there is any question that I may not be comfortable with, it would be roses grown in extreme cold climates.


My experience involves 12 years plus of growing roses for both a city-owned rose garden (approx. 4,800 plants) as well as a home rose garden (approx 200 plants). This includes daily maintenance and care to keep these plants doing what they are bred to do- produce roses. Besides being in the garden, I lecture to different rose societies about choosing the correct roses to grow in their area and general information about rose care. Most of my lectures are in the Southeast but I will be speaking at the American Rose Society’s convention in Los Angeles this October. I even go to schools to talk to students about the scientific process of hybridizing roses in hopes of getting them interested in roses and gardening in general.

I belong to the American Rose Society, the Carolina District Rose Society, and the South Carolina Rose Society. I am Co-Editor of ARS Kidz n Roses newsletter. I also serve on the American Rose Society Board of Directors and the ARS Audit Committee.

I received a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University in 1991.

Awards and Honors
I have been elected to the following offices: President of the South Carolina Rose Society (2009-2011), Carolina District Director (2009- current) and 2nd. Vice President for the Augusta Rose Society (2008-2009).

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