Do Knock Out Roses Have Thorns?

Over the past 20 years since being introduced to the market, Knock Out roses have rapidly become a favorite in many gardens. They are extremely disease resistant and come in a variety of gorgeous colors including red, white, pink, yellow, and orange. 

Their height and width are approximately four feet with the most common growing habit being bushy. There are people, however, who report much larger plants than 4×4 inches, especially when pruning is not done. 

Generally, blooms start out plentiful in spring, then come in intervals, and then become plentiful again. This cycle continues until the first frost hits and the plant goes dormant. 

Knock Out roses are able to grow in the majority of the United States. This means zones 5 to 11 for most varieties.

The planting of these roses should be done in the spring or fall. They thrive in full sun. The roses should be planted in a location that allows them to receive at least six hours of sun per day. Anything less than six hours will likely result in undesirable results in flowering.  

Do Knock Out Roses Have Thorns?

Okay, enough about the basics of Knock Out roses. Let’s answer the question regarding if they have thorns. Yes, Knock Out roses do have thorns. They are typically quite sharp except on new growth canes.

You should be cautious when pruning or working near them not to get injured. Always protect your skin by wearing long sleeve shirts, pants, and gloves when pruning. 

Keep in mind that despite the the thorny canes, deer will still eat roses. Just about every part of the rose plant is fair game for them to eat, even the thorns. This is especially true when food is scarce. 

Roses Without Thorns

Poison reminded us just about every time we turned on the radio in the late 1980’s that “every rose has its thorn”. While the hair bands like Poison quickly faded away as the 90s and grunge rock took over, the lyrics of all roses having thorns likely stuck with many people. Or maybe that was just me! 

But, do all roses really have thorns? The truth is that there are some roses that are considered thornless. Some may have an occasionally thorn pop up here and there but they certainly will not be bothersome to the gardener.

The following roses are just some of the roses cited as being thornless:

  • Bleu Magenta
  • Chloris
  • Cinderella
  • Goldfinch
  • Hippolyte
  • Irene Marie
  • Smooth Prince
  • Zephirine 
  • Lady Banks
  • Lykkefund