Roald Dahl rose review and growing guide 2

Imagine a rose that not only has stunning peach-colored blooms but also carries the name of one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time. The Roald Dahl rose is precisely that – a beautiful and fragrant tribute to the literary genius behind James and the Giant Peach. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the fascinating history of this unique rose, its captivating features, and the essential steps to grow and care for this plant in your garden.

The ‘Roald Dahl’ rose plant is an English shrub rose bred by David Austin Roses. This variety is known for its apricot-colored orange flowers that have a cupped rosette shape and a medium-strength tea fragrance. The plant is known for being quite healthy in the garden and having few thorns. This cultivar can be grown in Zones 5-11.

Read on to learn all about the Roald Dahl rose plant!

Introduction to Roald Dahl roses

The Roald Dahl rose is an English shrub rose that boasts large, fragrant blooms in shades of pink and yellow. Its peach hue and lovely fruity tea scent make it a standout addition to any garden. This medium-sized, bushy shrub has few thorns, making it an attractive and low-maintenance choice for gardeners.

Developed by renowned English rose breeder David Austin, the Roald Dahl rose pays homage to the author’s enchanting storytelling, with its coloring reminiscent of the eponymous peach from James and the Giant Peach. With its medium-sized cupped rosettes and extremely robust foliage, this rose is a true testament to Roald Dahl’s captivating imagination.

About the flowers

Roald Dahl flowers are delicate orange-red buds that bloom to medium-sized, cupped rosettes of impeccable apricot coloring. The average diameter of a flower in bloom is about 2.6 inches (6.5 cm). The blooms are cupped when they open and then the outer petals start to curl back. Each flower has approximately 55 petals, creating a full and luxurious bloom that will catch the eye.

In addition to their stunning appearance, the flowers have a medium-intensity tea fragrance, accompanied by leafy nuances and dark fruit undertones. This scent adds an extra layer of charm to these captivating blooms. Clip of the spent flowers to encourage repeat flowering.

About the plant

The plant itself reaches about 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It has a spherical form, with branched stems and relatively low thorns. This makes it an appealing choice for gardeners who want the beauty of a rose without the hassle of dealing with sharp thorns.

Not only is the plant stunning, but it is also resistant to pests and diseases (like powdery mildew and blackspot). This hardy nature makes it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. This variety can be planted in containers, borders, hedges, and even slightly shaded locations.

History of the cultivar

The Roald Dahl rose cultivar (‘AUSowlish’) was bred by David Austin Roses and introduced in 2016. The rose was named to honor 100 years since Roald Dahl’s birth (with the approval of his wife Liccy Dahl). The hue of the rose immediately evoked the eponymous peach from James and the Giant Peach, one of Roald Dahl’s most popular novels.

This captivating rose cultivar is a fitting tribute to Roald Dahl, capturing the beauty and whimsy of his beloved stories. A perfect addition to any garden, the Roald Dahl rose cultivar will delight gardeners and readers alike, inspiring a sense of wonder and enchantment. You likely will find the coloring reminiscent of a peach!

Tag for roald dahl - orange david austin rose shrub

Caring for Your Roald Dahl Rose

To ensure your Roald Dahl rose thrives, it is essential to provide the proper care. This includes meeting its sunlight and drainage needs, maintaining the optimal soil composition and pH, and following recommended fertilization and pruning practices.

Sunlight is essential for the rose to grow and bloom. It should receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. If the rose is planted in a shaded area, it will thrive.

Sunlight and Drainage

The Roald Dahl rose cultivar necessitates full sun, which means it requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to grow and bloom to its full potential. This is vital for the plant’s overall health and vigor, as sufficient sunlight ensures robust growth and plentiful blooms.

In addition to sunlight, the Roald Dahl rose cultivar requires soil with adequate drainage. Proper drainage is crucial to prevent root rot and other moisture-related issues that can harm the plant. When planting, ensure that the soil is well-drained, and avoid planting in areas prone to waterlogging.

Soil Composition and pH

The right soil composition and pH are essential for the Roald Dahl rose cultivar, as they influence the plant’s capacity to absorb nutrients and water. While this plant is tolerant of most soil types, inadequate soil composition and pH can result in poor growth and plant health. The Roald Dahl rose cultivar necessitates soil with good drainage and fertility, with sandy soil being preferable to heavy clay soil.

The optimal pH for the Roald Dahl rose cultivar is between 6.0 and 7.0. It is imperative to consistently evaluate the soil and modify the pH as required. Additionally, incorporating organic matter into the soil can assist in improving the soil composition and pH.

Fertilization and Pruning

The Roald Dahl rose cultivar benefits from the use of a slow-release fertilizer, which provides a steady supply of nutrients throughout the growing season. Apply 1oz of fertilizer per shrub rose and 2oz per climbing rose, spread evenly around the base of the plant to the width of the canopy. During late August to early September, use fertilizers containing phosphorus and potassium or potassium monophosphate.

Pruning is another essential aspect of caring for the Roald Dahl rose cultivar. The optimal time to prune is during the middle to end of winter before the plant begins its growth cycle. Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches, as well as any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. This will ensure the health and blooming of the plant.

Hardiness zone

This English shrub rose can be grown in USDA Zones 5-11. The plants are typically planted with the graft below ground in the coldest zones and the graft above ground in the hottest zones. Be sure to check your hardiness zone before planting. If you live in an area outside the defined range, you can plant this variety in a large container and then bring it indoors during overly hot or cold weather.

Planting and spacing for Roald Dahl

Whether you want to create a stunning hedge or feature this rose as a standalone specimen, proper planting and spacing are crucial for the plant’s success. This rose cultivar is also suitable for container gardening, offering its placement and display flexibility.

Hedge planting

To plant the Roald Dahl rose cultivar as a hedge, planting at least 5-10 plants of this variety in a single line, spacing them 3 to 4 feet apart. By overlapping them by half of their mature width, you can create a continuous, dense line that adds privacy and beauty to your garden.

When planting as a hedge, the recommended spacing is 3 feet apart. This distance is measured from the very center line of one shrub to the very center line of the next shrub. This allows the plants to grow and fill in the space, creating a lush and visually appealing hedge.

Standalone specimen

When planting the Roald Dahl rose as a standalone specimen, select a location with abundant direct sunlight and soil with excellent drainage capabilities. Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and deep enough so that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Gardeners in Zones 5-6 may wish to plant this variety a bit deep, with the graft an inch or two below the soil surface.

After placing the plant in the hole and filling it with soil, water thoroughly. Finally, apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to aid in retaining moisture and inhibiting the growth of weeds.

Container gardening

The Roald Dahl rose is a versatile cultivar that can also be grown in containers, offering the opportunity to enjoy its beauty in limited spaces. Container gardening allows for greater control over the plant’s environment and enables you to incorporate color and texture in confined areas.

Choose a container with a minimum 8 to 15 gallon capacity and 15 to 20 inch diameter. Bigger is generaly better when it comes to container gardening with shrubs. Make sure that the pot is large enough to give the plant enough space for healthy growth.

Fill the container with a mixture of high-quality potting soil and well-rotted manure, and position the rose roots on a mound of soil, with the bud union or base of the plant 1 to 2 inches beneath the container’s rim. Water the plant when the soil feels dry and fertilize with a slow-release granular rose fertilizer.

Material choices for the ideal container for the Roald Dahl rose include fiberglass, concrete, and metal, all of which demonstrate durability and can endure varying weather conditions. Fiberglass and concrete containers are both sturdy and can tolerate diverse climatic conditions, however, they can be costly and hard to move.

Metal planters are robust, yet they may be vulnerable to corrosion. When choosing a container material, consider factors such as your budget, the container’s weight, and its resistance to weather conditions. This will help you select a container that best suits your needs and the needs of your Roald Dahl rose.

Diseases and pests

The Roald Dahl rose plant is quite resistant to common rose diseases, and is naturally resistant to powdery mildew, downy mildew, blackspot, and rust.

In terms of pests, roses can attract aphids and other irritating bugs. And despite the odd thorn, they may be eaten by hungry deer.

Roald dahl rose

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of rose is the Roald Dahl rose?

The Roald Dahl rose is an English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin. This rose cultivar is named after the famous British writer, Roald Dahl, and was launched in 2016 to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday. It’s known for its beautiful apricot color, strong fragrance, and exceptional health.

How do I care for a Roald Dahl rose?

Like most roses, the Roald Dahl rose needs a lot of sunlight, so plant it in a location where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The soil should be well-draining, fertile, and rich in organic matter. Regular watering is crucial, but avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. In terms of feeding, use a rose-specific fertilizer in early spring and mid-summer to promote blooming. Pruning should be done in early spring to remove dead or damaged wood and to shape the plant.

How big does a Roald Dahl rose get?

The Roald Dahl rose plant typically grows to around 4 feet (1.2 meters) in height and spread. It’s perfect for borders or smaller gardens and can also be grown in a large pot.

Before you go…

The Roald Dahl rose offers a unique combination of enchanting beauty, delightful fragrance, and a captivating history that pays tribute to one of the most beloved children’s authors. With proper care, planting, and container selection, this stunning rose can become a cherished addition to your garden or patio. Embrace the magic of Roald Dahl’s imagination and embark on a gardening adventure filled with whimsy, wonder, and the enchanting beauty of the Roald Dahl rose.



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