Help with my knock out roses.

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These knockouts are 5-7 years old. Every year, they look worse. Here are my questions.

1. Are these salvageable?
2. Shall I prune the main (dead looking main stalks) to the ground and work with the spindly green branches?
3. Should I cut everything back to the ground next Spring to give it a fresh start?
4. Or get rid of them and start with new bushes?

Finally, what has happened to make them look this terrible? Thanks!
Christine




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It won't matter if you have too much wetness. I see a leaky drainpipe and hose. Are they in the full sun? Did you plant them originally? I am in Birmingham to your west and cannot get them to thrive in our shared clay. Up top, in compost and hardwood bark chips they go like gangbusters. If the horses and deer don't pinch them too hard they are pretty.
 
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Roses are incredibly resilient and versatile - you can grow them pretty much anywhere and almost any soil (they love the red marl clay soils around the Nottingham area - why there's so many rose nurseries there - but not so much grey dense clays without a lot of soil conditioning). I've grown them from cold wet climates in the UK to high dessert in the USA. I once got some from a friend who dug them up to put in a swimming pool and they had been laying out in the sun for several weeks. Planted them and coddled them a bit and they got right back down to business. I would first check the soil for any signs of bugs and use a soil bug killer anyway Not seeing any signs of mold or mildew, but giving them a treatment wouldn't hurt anything at this point. Give them a good dose of fertilzer, some garden lime and most important, Epson salts because I am seeing signs of magnesium deficiency. Keep up with a good fertilizer schedule and repeat the Epson salts every few weeks (a couple of tablespoons around the base of each plant). Prune them back to about 8 inches to 1 foot off the ground in the fall or spring after the frosts, keeping the mature and stronger stems and removing dead stems or parts of stems (like those hollow ones, for example) and all that busy cross growth in the middle - in fact do that bit right now. Careful with the mature stems so you don't crush them and let rot or disease in, since the are in bad shape at the moment. Good luck.
 
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The thing is those roots still have a way to go before dormancy. Ugly maybe, but I would leave everything until the natural leaf drop as even the green shoots have a chlorophyll to contribute. Hey did you clean your roof recently? They are in a chemical dripline it appears if so.
 
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Mmm! Not intending to offend,but what a mess. First and foremost. Neglect comes to mind.Reason for saying so,the thickness of the main stems. Whetherornot these roses are considered as being,'self catering' There is little evidence of new growth starting lower down. Might the woodchip be too thick a layer to allow new growth? Neglect again emphasized by the thickness of the main stems.
To cut to the chase. May I suggest. If you, like myself, hate to dispose of plants. Then let's get started.
Get in there and cut away all dead stuff. Now you can see the wood from the trees, so to speak. Next I would concentrate on those overthick stems (trunks). These could be cut back hard, almost to the base. In this case. All the hard work in the factory-the root system. All energy can now be channeled to producing new buds etc. Perhaps. So as to retain some upper stems for flowering, get rid of the mass of over thick ground level wood. Upper stems can be pruned. Rake away some of the woodchip close to the plant. Water well and perhaps apply a rose feed.
I look forward to your adventure.
 

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