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English Rose Roald Dahl. David Austin. Photo credit: Rose review: Comments
'Rose Review' Series Color: Apricot & Orange David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: medium Highest rated roses by gardeners worldwide Ideal: Front of border Ideal: Poor Soil Ideal: Pots & Containers Ideal: Shady areas Ideal: Very few thorns Rose: Shrub rose

Roald Dahl Rose Review | David Austin 2016

Roald Dahl rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerance of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Beautiful and upright blooms
  • Extremely floriferous
  • Best for health
  • Best for pots and containers
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Tolerant of poor soil
  • Attractive shrub


  • "Medium" fragrance: not strong
  • "Medium" bloom size: (2 – 3.5’’ or 5 – 9 cm)



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin

David Austin

Soft orange-red buds open to medium-sized, cupped rosettes of perfect apricot colouring. They are extremely robust and have a lovely fruity Tea scent. Very healthy; it matures into an attractive, rounded, bushy shrub with few thorns. Named to mark the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth, with the approval of his wife, Liccy Dahl – the colouring reminiscent of the eponymous peach in James and the Giant Peach. £2.50 from the sale of each rose will be donated to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity. David Austin, 2016.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Roald Dahl for the UK in 2016. He named this rose after Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990), a famous British novelist. His books have sold more than 250 million copies all over the world. He published his most famous book, James and the Giant Peach in 1961. Interestingly, Roald Dahl rose also produces the same gorgeous peach (apricot) color as it is in the name of his famous book, James and the Giant Peach.

Roald Dahl is an incredible David Austin rose. He certainly has a couple of weaknesses. However, extremely few David Austin roses can compete with Roald Dahl in terms of the number of positive traits. David Austin rated him as among the best at staggeringly 11 dimensions. To the best of my memory, the closest David Austin rose, which can be proud of her own large number of positive traits, is Olivia Rose Austin. She is best at only 9 dimensions.


… extremely few David Austin roses can compete with Roald Dahl in terms of the number of positive traits. David Austin rated him as among the best at staggeringly 11 dimensions”.

The Right Roses |


Roald Dahl rose: The pros

  • Best for health
  • Best for flowering
  • Best for smaller shrubs
  • Best for rose borders
  • Best for mixed borders
  • Best for pots & containers
  • Best for smaller hedges
  • Best for cutting
  • Best for shady areas
  • Best for poor soil
  • Best for windy, wet & exposed

The first positive trait of Roald Dahl rose is his incredibly charming blooms. The flower color is perfectly and beautifully peach. His blooms are just so delicate and elegant. The cupped rosette is ringed by soft outer petals that seem to glow when backlit by sunlight.

Roald Dahl’s blooms are quite upright. Certainly, he does not nod like Royal Jubilee or Jubilee Celebration. He lasts quite well in vase. Therefore, he is one of the best for cutting.

His next best characteristic is that he is incredibly floriferous. He is just so productive, if I need to make it clearer to you. As a bare root in your garden, he really can compete with any David Austin roses in term of productivity. When you see his first ever flush, you may not really believe in your bare eyes that he was just a bare root a couple of months ago. If you planted him in February/March, he would already be rewarding you with a huge flush at the middle of May (first flush, about 11 – 15 blooms, can you believe that????).

In addition to his productivity, David Austin mentioned that Roald Dahl rose is really a major breakthrough in terms of health. And, I truly believe that. For the last few years (2016 – ), David Austin has introduced exceptionally healthy roses. Most of his recent introductions are “excellent” disease resistant. This is a great help for all gardeners. We all love our roses. And, we love seeing them in the best condition. Just seeing black spot, rust, or a few aphids would annoy us for the whole morning. I am sorry for being too fussy! But I really love my roses.

Furthermore, he can tolerate of shade. This is a valuable characteristic to most gardeners in the UK. Given the (in)famous climate in the UK, we just cannot love shade-tolerant roses enough!

And, he can tolerate poor soil extremely well.

Finally, Roald Dahl will make an attractive, rounded, bushy shrub (3ft x 3.5ft) with few thorns in your garden. Therefore, he is an ideal rose for front of the border. For those of you, who have smaller garden or want a really neat garden, you really cannot look beyond Roald Dahl. Just a few can really compete with him in this aspect, such as Lady Emma Hamilton or Olivia Rose Austin.

Roald Dahl rose: The cons

Roald Dahl rose has only two little weaknesses.

First, his blooms are only “medium” (2 – 3.5’’ or 5 – 9 cm). Although his blooms are extremely charming, a larger bloom size would take him up several levels.

Second, his fragrance is only “medium”.

Roald Dahl rose: The similarities

Probably I am the only one who thinks this way. Roald Dahl rose reminds me a lot of Lady of Shalott. Their colors are slightly close, but not the same. One is apricot. The other one is orange. However, both Roald Dahl reblooms extremely well. They both produce only “medium” fragrance and extremely healthy. However, they have different growth habits. Lady of Shalott will make a much bigger and MESSIER shrub. Therefore, she cannot be one of the roses for front of the border. Roald Dahl is a very neat rose for front of the border.

In terms of the growth habit, Roald Dahl rose reminds me of Lady Emma Hamilton. Both Roald Dahl and Lady Emma Hamilton produces a similar shrub size (3ft x 3.5ft) and bloom size (medium). However, the fragrance of Lady Emma Hamilton is much stronger. However, Roald Dahl rose is much healthier. David Austin only rated Lady Emma Hamilton’s disease resistance as “good”, while it is “excellent” for Roald Dahl. Lady Emma Hamilton needs full sunlight, whereas Roald Dahl can tolerate shade very well.

Roald Dahl rose: The details

Height & Spread: 3ft x 3.5ft Color: Apricot Fragrance: Medium
Fragrance notes: Tea Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Partial sunlight Bloom size: Medium  (2 – 3.5’’ or 5 – 9 cm) Disease resistance: Excellent

Photo credit:

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1 year ago

Do you know what I should plant besides Roald DA roses to make them more outstanding?

9 months ago

I’d like to put a Roald Dhal in a pot on my balcony (sunlight in the morning till 2pm) but I live in north of italy (Hot and Humid summer and unstable weather conditions from cold to hot) does it tolerate heat well?
Thank you very much


9 months ago

Thank you very much! As you are so kind I also sent an email for some suggestions 🙂

My very best regards


7 months ago

I am in absolute LOVE with mine! I’m glad to hear all these positive attributes.

6 months ago

I am ordering this today! I have Boscobel and will be taking your advice and planting them side by side.

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