9 Great Companion Plants for Roses (And 6 Types To Avoid)

Problems with pests and the weather might hinder your efforts to cultivate a beautiful rose garden.

Did you know that you can extend the blooming season, improve the look of your garden, and discourage pests using companion planting?

In this article, I’ll share a wide range of outstanding companion plants for roses that not only improve their aesthetic value but also their health and longevity.

Keep reading because I have the secret to making your rose garden amazing!

Key Takeaways

  • Companion planting enhances the beauty and health of your rose garden by repelling pests like rabbits and deer, attracting beneficial pollinators, and serving as a natural line of defense against aphids.
  • Foxgloves add color and character to any rose garden while attracting pollinators like hummingbirds.
  • Shasta daisies provide a stunning contrast to roses with their white petals and yellow centers, creating a cheerful floral display that brightens up the garden throughout the blooming season.

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Understanding Companion Planting for Roses

companion plants for roses

Gardeners use companion planting for roses as a strategy to maximize the potential of their rose garden.

It involves pairing roses with plants that either improve each other’s growth, help control pests, or enhance one another’s beauty.

Think of it as creating a symbiotic community in your garden where each plant helps the others thrive.

Roses are heavy feeders and love soil that drains well. Some companion plants excel at delivering this, like Alyssum, which enjoys similar conditions and adds ground cover to prevent wet roots and root rot.

Conversely, certain companion species attract beneficial insects that take care of pesky aphids and beetles, which could impact rose health.

For instance, Parsley attracts hoverflies, natural predators of sap-sucking aphids, thus lessening the burden on your stunning flowering shrubs.

So selecting appropriate companions isn’t just about aesthetics or enhancing fragrance; it can also be an effective strategy against diseases and pests affecting your cherished miniature or long-stemmed roses.

However, not all foliage makes good partners for these beloved blooms.

Discerning what benefits and harms your favorite flower is key to successful rose companion planting—an exciting endeavor considering how many potential companions there are, from Marigolds to Alliums!

Characteristics Of Roses

Plant Family
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil, keep soil consistently moist
Mature Size
Varies by variety; typically 1-8 feet tall and wide
Soil Requirements
Well-draining soil with good drainage; pH 6.0-7.0
Sunlight Needs
Full sun
Temperature Tolerance
Depends on the variety; generally hardy in USDA zones 3-11
Growth Habit
Perennial shrub or climbing vine, depending on variety
Flowering Period
Spring to fall, depending on variety
Flower Color
Varies by variety; wide range of colors available
Foliage Characteristics
Green leaves, often with serrated edges
Propagation Methods
Cuttings, grafting, or budding
Pruning and Maintenance
Regular pruning to remove dead or diseased wood; remove spent flowers to encourage reblooming
Common Pests and Diseases
Aphids, thrips, black spot, powdery mildew, rust, and more
Companion Planting
Companion planting varies by variety; marigolds, lavender, and other herbs may deter pests
Edible Parts
Some rose petals are edible and can be used in culinary dishes and teas
Wildlife Attraction
Roses can attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds
Special Care Instructions
Provide regular fertilization and proper pruning for healthy growth; protect from harsh winters

Best Companion Plants For Roses That Look Good

rose companion plants

Roses aren’t the only flowers that complement other blooms. The following are some of my preferred companion plants for roses:

1. Lavender

Renowned as a classic companion plant for roses, lavender has multiple benefits that make it an excellent choice.

Thriving in full sun and well-draining soils—conditions similar to what roses prefer—lavender contributes significantly to the aesthetics of your roses with its stunning purple blossoms and silver-green foliage.

More than just being visually appealing, Lavender serves practical purposes such as repelling larger pests like rabbits and deer while attracting beneficial pollinators such as bees.

A particularly interesting feature of planting lavender and roses together is their pest-repelling properties.

This aromatic herb serves as a natural defense against aphids, which are well-known for wreaking havoc on roses.

Combine this with the added layer of protection from deer and rabbits thanks to lavender’s pungent fragrance, and you have an effective deterrent strategy right among your beautiful blooms.

2. Foxgloves

Foxgloves are a gardener’s delight, injecting color and character next to your roses.

These tall, striking plants with their tubular flowers offer an array of hues from blush pink to deep purple, effortlessly complementing the classic beauty of roses.

Thriving in full sun or partial shade, foxgloves are versatile enough for almost all USDA hardiness zones.

Not just a visual treat, they attract pollinators as well—hummingbirds love them!

Whether planted as a vibrant background to your rose bed or spread among other companion plants like lady’s mantle, foxgloves enhance your garden’s aesthetic while ensuring it stays buzzing with life.

3. Shasta Daisy

Shasta daisies are a wonderful choice as companion plants for roses in your garden.

With their white petals and sunny yellow centers, these cheerful flowers create a stunning contrast against the vibrant hues of roses.

Not only are Shasta daisies aesthetically pleasing, but they are also low-maintenance, making them an ideal choice for any rose garden.

These easy-to-grow perennials thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, which matches the growing requirements of roses perfectly.

By planting Shasta daisies alongside your roses, you can create a beautiful floral display that will brighten up your garden throughout the blooming season.

Top Ground Cover Companions for Roses

Discover the top-ground cover companions for roses that not only add beauty to your garden but also help with weed control and moisture retention.

1. Alyssum

Alyssum is the perfect companion plant for your roses, especially if you have shadier spots in your garden.

This low-growing plant not only adds a beautiful touch to your rose beds but also helps suppress weeds and retain moisture in the soil.

Alyssum thrives in high temperatures and is hence an ideal choice for warm regions. Its soft blossoms come in a range of purple, pink, and white tones that look great next to your roses.

Plus, Alyssum is known to attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings that help keep pests at bay.

It’s no wonder that it is considered one of the best ground cover companions for roses—it’s both practical and aesthetically pleasing!

2. Baby’s Breath

Baby’s Breath is a highly suitable companion plant for roses due to its drought-tolerant nature and its ability to beautifully complement the appearance of roses.

This delicate flowering plant thrives in well-drained soil and full sun, making it an ideal choice to grow alongside your prized rose bushes.

In addition to its visual appeal, Baby’s Breath also serves as a low-maintenance option that can enhance the overall aesthetics of your garden.

Its soft white blooms create a stunning contrast against the vibrant hues of roses, adding depth and elegance to any floral display.

So if you’re looking for a reliable and visually appealing companion for your roses, Baby’s Breath is definitely worth considering.

3. Marigolds

Marigolds are like the superheroes of rose gardens. These vibrant flowers not only add a pop of color to your rose beds but also provide essential protection against pests and diseases.

Marigolds are known for their ability to repel harmful nematodes, rabbits, and even deer that may threaten your precious roses.

By underplanting marigolds with your roses, you can create a natural defense system that reduces the need for harmful pesticides.

Plus, these low-maintenance plants attract valuable pollinators like bees, ensuring a blooming garden throughout the season.

With their pest-repelling properties and beautiful colors, marigolds are truly the perfect companion for any rose enthusiast’s garden.

Beneficial Companions That Help Your Roses

rose companion planting

Parsley, sage, and alliums are beneficial companions for healthy roses as they deter unwanted insects and enhance the overall health and fragrance of your rose garden.

1. Parsley

Parsley is not only a versatile herb for culinary use, but it also makes a great companion plant for roses.

Its delicate foliage and vibrant green color provide a beautiful contrast to the blooms of roses, adding visual interest to your garden beds.

But parsley’s benefits go beyond aesthetics. It serves as a natural deterrent to unwanted insects while enhancing the fragrance of your roses.

Plus, its dense growth helps fill gaps between rose bushes, creating a lush and cohesive look in your garden.

So next time you’re planning your rose garden, don’t forget to include some parsley plants for both their practicality and beauty.

2. Sage

Sage is a fantastic companion plant for roses in many ways. With its vibrant purple blooms and aromatic foliage, sage adds beauty and fragrance to the garden while also deterring pests that can harm your precious rose bushes.

This versatile herb attracts beneficial insects like butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds, which are essential for pollinating your roses and keeping them healthy.

By filling the gaps between rose bushes with sage plants, you not only create a visually appealing garden but also create a natural barrier against pests while attracting lovely pollinators to your space.

So let the alluring scent of sage enchant both you and your roses as you enjoy their flourishing beauty together.

3. Alliums

Alliums, members of the onion family, are fantastic companion plants for roses.

Not only do they add a stunning visual element to your garden with their unique spherical flower heads in various colors, but they also offer numerous benefits for your roses.

The strong scent of alliums acts as a natural deterrent to pests like aphids and weevils, keeping these nuisances away from your precious blooms.

Additionally, alliums can help prevent black spots on roses, a common fungal disease that affects their foliage.

By planting alliums at least 12 inches away from your rose bushes, you ensure that both plants have enough space and resources without competing with each other.

Plus, alliums attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies to your garden, further enhancing the health and vitality of your roses.

Avoid These Plants With roses

Some plants can have a detrimental effect on the growth and health of roses.

It’s important to avoid planting these near your beloved blooms. Here are six plants to steer clear of when planning your rose garden:

  1. Nightshade plants: Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants belong to the nightshade family and should not be planted near roses. These plants release toxins into the soil that can inhibit rose growth.
  2. Bunchberry: This shade-loving plant prefers rich, moist soil, which can lead to waterlogged conditions for roses. Avoid planting bunchberries near your roses to prevent root rot.
  3. Toad lilies: While they may add a touch of beauty with their delicate flowers, toad lilies prefer cooler climates and shady areas. Planting them near roses in full sun can cause stress for both plants.
  4. Leopard plants: These stunning ornamental perennials require consistently moist soil, which may not be ideal for roses that prefer well-draining soil. Avoid planting leopard plants too close to your rose bushes.
  5. Fuchsia: Though fuchsia flowers are visually appealing, they prefer more shade than most rose varieties thrive in. Planting fuchsia too close to roses can result in competition for light and nutrients.
  6. Thirstier Plants: Roses do not appreciate sharing their space with water-loving plants like irises or cannas that require frequent watering or consistently moist soil conditions.

Final Thoughts

If you want your roses to look their best and thrive, you need to give some thought to which plants you put around them.

You can customize your garden to your own tastes with a wide range of plants, from lavender to marigolds.

By adding these thoughtfully chosen partners, you may create a beautiful, blossoming landscape that draws in helpful insects while keeping harmful ones at a distance.

Now that you know which plants go best with roses, you can make your garden into a colorful, fragrant retreat.

FAQs About Plants That Can Help Roses Thrive

What Should You Not Plant Around Roses?

Avoid planting roses near walnut trees or other members of the Juglandaceae family, as they release a chemical called juglone, which can be toxic to roses and inhibit their growth.

Is There A Companion Plant For Roses?

Some of the best companion plants for roses include lavender, salvia, geraniums, daisies, and catmint.

These plants not only enhance the beauty of your rose garden but also attract beneficial insects and help deter pests.

What Do Roses Like To Grow With?

Lavender, which both encourages pollinators and wards off pests, is a great companion plant to grow with roses.

Roses also thrive when planted alongside lavender, peonies, geraniums, catmint, salvia, dianthus, yarrow, clematis, and shrub roses.

What Is A Companion Plant For A Potted Rose?

For potted roses, companion plants like geraniums, petunias, and lobelias can provide complementary colors and textures while sharing the same container.

These plants should have similar water and light requirements to ensure harmonious growth in the potted environment.

Are there any specific care requirements when pairing roses with companion plants?

When choosing companion plants for roses, consider their watering and sunshine demands.

Overwatering or underwatering one plant may damage the other. Plant them at sufficient distances to avoid total shading.

Can I grow vegetables as companion plants alongside my rose bushes?

Garlic and other pest-deterring vegetables may be good companions for roses, but they may compete for nutrients and space.

To ensure each plant’s maximum growth, segregate your vegetable and rose gardens.

Which flowers look good with roses?

While this is a subjective answer, flowers like peonies, geraniums, catmint, salvia, dianthus, yarrow, and clematis complement your roses nicely.

What are the best rose companions for hybrid tea roses?

Like with other rose varieties, some of the best companions for hybrid tea roses are lavender, peonies, geraniums, catmint, and salvia.

Which plant leaves accentuate the sumptuous rose blossoms?

Plants like lavender, geraniums, catmint, salvia, and dianthus have leaves that accentuate the sumptuous rose blossoms.

I recommend these plants, as they make your roses stand out and complement their beauty nicely.

How can adding companion plants around your roses help maintain good air circulation?

Adding companion plants around your roses helps maintain good air circulation by creating a barrier against strong winds and promoting airflow.

What are some good companions that look good with pink roses?

Some of my favorite rose companions that look good with pink roses are lavender, geraniums, catmint, and salvia.