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What to Plant with Roses (And What to Stay Away From)

What to Plant with Roses (And What to Stay Away From)

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When you plant a garden, you want to find the right mix of plants. They should complement each other without being overpowering.

Roses are amazing plants, and people often wonder what to plant in the garden with them. You need to consider the aesthetics, as well as plants that will allow for the right growing conditions and plant health.

You need to look at finding a companion that improves the soil and deters pests that harm the roses. When you keep plants that are mutually beneficial to one another, your garden will be healthy, and you will be able to enjoy the magical beauty of your rose bushes.

What Kinds of Plants Look Great with Rose Bushes?

When you are trying to find a companion plant for your rose bushes, you need to consider how your garden will look.

The aesthetics are an important part of gardening. A garden should be beautiful to see. If you have a garden with random types of plants, you may not end up enjoying all that each one has to offer.

Roses have wide, cup-shaped flowers, and they look great paired with other plants that have tall spires. Certain plants that have pale green, silver, or purple leaves will help to make your roses stand out.

Consider planting perennials and shrubs for an amazing aesthetic effect.

What Kind of Plants Help Roses to Thrive?


When rose bushes grow, they can be full on top but bare on the bottom. This leaves a lot of room for weeds to grow in.

You can add plants that can hide the lower part of the rose bush and fill in the area, almost acting as a mulch to suppress weeds and keep the soil cool and moist by shading it. You might choose lavender, catmint, or Dianthus to help rose bushes in this way.

The catmint is a beautiful flower in feathery blue-gray and purple. This combination offsets pale pink roses and helps them to stand out.

In addition, this plant has wispy spires that help to conceal any blemishes on the rose bush’s leaves.

What Plants Need the Same Growing Conditions as Roses?

Close Up Of Heliotropes Flower

All plants have ideal conditions that allow them to thrive. Roses do well in full sun with soil that drains well.

It is important that any companion plants thrive in these conditions as well, but you don’t want plants that will aggressively compete with roses to survive. Some plants can take too much of the nutrients from the soil, and this will harm the roses.

Plants that work well with roses and enjoy the same growing conditions include annuals such as heliotropes, summer snapdragon, verbena, lantana, and million bells petunia.

These plants have moderate watering requirements, and they do well with the same feeding schedule as the roses.

What Plants Will Help Ward Off Pests That Harm Roses?

Planting Garlic Bulbs

Some plants actually help roses by warding off pests that bother roses. They have natural substances in their leaves or flowers that deter pests, or they might have them in their roots to send insects away.

One plant that helps roses in this way is garlic. Chives, ornamental alliums, and edible onions are all part of the onion family, and they will help to make roses more fragrant, prevent a disease called black spot and chase away aphids, a terrible pest.

Basil repels aphids, mosquitoes, and moles, while parsley frightens away rose beetles. Mint deters ants and aphids, and marigolds are a trap for slugs. In fact, a number of herbs will help to deter the Japanese beetle, such as scented geraniums, marigolds, parsley, thyme, sage, lavender, oregano, and catmint.

Lavender and catmint also help keep rabbits away.

How Should You Plant Other Plants with Your Roses?

The first thing to remember is that you should plant other plants at least a foot away from roses so that you don’t harm their roots. Your roses need good air circulation, and you should plan to prune them regularly to help keep them free of disease and pests.

Plants That Make Good Companions for Roses:

Aster Flowers

The following plants pair well with roses:

  • Perennials
    • Aster
    • Bellflower
    • Black-eyed Susan blanket flower
    • Catmint
    • Cone flower
    • Cornflower
    • Evening primrose
    • Foxglove
    • Gayfeather
    • Garden Phlox Giant Hyssop
    • Lady’s Mantle
    • Lavender
    • Lilies pincushion flower
    • Pinks
    • Red hot poker
    • Red valerian
    • Sage
    • Sea thrift
    • Speedwell
    • Stonecrop
    • Tickseed
    • Violets
    • Yarrow
    • Vine plants
    • Arctic beauty Kiwi
    • Black-eyed Susan vine
    • Bleeding heart Glorybower
    • Clematis
    • Mandevilla
    • Moonflower vine
    • Passion vine
    • Rose jasmine
    • Sweet peas
    • Variegated porcelain vine
  • Cut flowers
    • Baby’s breath
    • Bellflower
    • Black-eyed Susan carnation coneflower
    • Coralbells
    • Cosmos globe thistle
    • Goldenrod
    • Japanese anemone larkspur
    • Lilac peony
    • Peruvian lily
    • Shasta daisymms speedwell
    • Stock yarrow
  • Annuals
    • Alyssum
    • Angelonia
    • Heliotrope
    • Lantana
    • Lobelia
    • Pansies
    • Petunias
    • Scented geranium
    • Snapdragon
    • Verbena
  • Grasses and Spiky Leaves
    • Switchgrass
    • Silver grass
    • Blue oat grass daylily
    • Fountain grass
    • New Zealand flax ornamental sedges
  • Bouquet greens
    • Camellia
    • Salal
    • Ferns
    • Eucalyptus
    • Sweet box
    • Evergreen Huckleberry
  • Evergreen shrubs
    • Boxwood
    • Nandina
    • Lonicera
    • Taxus
    • Osmanthus Goshiki
    • Blue Boy
    • Japanese Holly

What Plants to Stay Away From

Close Up Of Hibiscus

Roses don’t like to be crowded, so you should avoid plants that naturally take over the garden. Many shrubs are unsuitable because they will be too competitive for the nutrients, space, and water.

For example, you should avoid hibiscus and azaleas because they will crowd your roses and rob them of the nutrients and water they need. In addition, you should avoid wildflowers as well as Morning Glory.

Morning Glory will grow around your roses and deprive them of light and air.

How to Choose the Best Plants to Plant with Roses

When you are deciding which plants to plant with your roses, you need to determine what your priority is.

The plants you choose will depend heavily on what you are trying to accomplish. Some people are mostly concerned with how their garden looks, and they will choose companions for their roses based on how they look.

Other people are primarily concerned with pests. Many people prefer not to use pesticides, and they prefer to have plants that do this job in their place.

Still others are most concerned with making sure that the new plants will thrive in the same conditions.

Final Thoughts

When you choose the perfect plants to be companions to your roses, you can create a beautiful garden where your roses will thrive. Depending on the size of your garden, you can choose a variety of plants that will help to repel pests, compliment the beauty of the rose, and thrive in the same conditions.

You should wait until your roses are well-established before you add in companion plants because you need to make sure that they have time to take root, and you don’t want to force them to compete for nutrients and sun.

Roses need to be fed so that they will thrive. They also love water and sun. In addition, if you plant too early, you might find that the roses end up being crowded when they get older.

Give your roses a few years to grow and establish themselves, and then choose the companion that fits with your gardening goals. You have so many choices that you can create the perfect garden as long as you choose plants that get along well with your roses.

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