Dahlias are a beautiful companion plant for the rose shrub. In this post, we discuss roses vs. dahlias in the autumn home garden.
In The Autumn Home Garden
Chances are if you grew up in the Midwest like I did your grandmother grew dahlias with her roses in the home garden. Dahlias are a beautiful companion plant for the rose shrub. Both roses and dahlias obvious require a little maintenance. If you live and grow in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8-11 the dahlia grows as a perennial. My garden is in zone 5b and the dahlia tubers must be dug up for winter storage. The roses get a nice fresh layer of mulch, remove all the dead leaves and pruned back to about 2 feet tall by October 1. Removing all the dead foliage on the roses will help prevent fungus and bad bugs from moving in.
After The First Autumn Frost Video
I made this video after the first frost advisory.
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The roses and the dahlia take turns showing off ( adding color) to the landscape. In early spring the dahlia is just starting to show green after being planted as an annual while most of the roses are forming buds and starting to bloom. The dahlias seem to take the temperature change better then the roses in late Autumn so they make perfect companions. In the photo below I show the Fireworks Gomphrena blooming in the background. with a gold dahlia.
Growing tips for both the roses and dahlias are very similar. They do require a little time in order to get the results I share in this post. Below I’ve shared a few growing tips that are important to remember.
Please don’t forget the tubers of the dahlia need dug up and moved into a warm location before a hard freeze occurs in garden zone 3-7. I have had a few tubers left behind and they surprisingly survived a mild winter. Wait until after the first or second hard frost to dig up the tubers. As long as the ground isn’t frozen during this time the tuber will be fine. Store in a cool dry location for the winter. I have a post about how to store the dahlias on my website.
Try to prune the rose shrubs back about 3 weeks before the first frost date. You can check the USDA website for details on when your date is. I like to prune mine back to about 3 feet tall (or less) and add new mulch to the landscape. Remove all dead leaves and any signs of black spot or disease. If you are lucky you will get a few blooms before the hard cold arrives. These blooms will turn to rose hips that are wonderful for wildlife to enjoy during the colder season. If you grow organically you can use the rose hips on teas. My rose hips are left for winter wildlife.
Do you grow dahlias or roses in your home garden? I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment so we can connect. I’d also love it if you left me a message on my contact page. I can’t wait to share more about dahlias and roses with you.
Happy Autumn Gardening,