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I Have Not Had Time To Prune My Knock Out…

Angela Asked

I have not had time to prune my Knock out roses or my moon flowers and we received snow yesterday. Is it too late to prune them now? Thank you.

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi Angela: Snow may have come early for us this year but it is actually a great insulator for our hardy landscape plants. Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) is not hardy but considered an annual for Kentucky gardeners or anyone not living in USDA hardiness zone 10-11. The plant you had growing in your garden will not come back next year but new seeds can be planted next May after our average frost-free date passes. These vines are fast growers so the fragrant, night-blooming flowers can be enjoyed for much of the growing season. For now, you can remove the dead growth. As for your roses, why do you need to prune them?  If it is to remove dead or diseased canes then go ahead and get your pruners out but if you are pruning to control size it is best to wait until late winter/early spring. Pruning while the roses are dormant and before new growth begins will prevent potential winter injury. As a general rule, it is best not to remove more than one-third of the size of the rose during a pruning session. Keep this in mind if you are pruning to control size. If you have not mulched or cleaned up fallen plant debris around your roses, this would be the time to do so.

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