6 Perennial Companion Plants for Roses - Backyard Boss
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6 Perennial Companion Plants for Roses

Roses are beautiful, hardy, and easy-to-grow plants, so no wonder that many writers include them in their poems. Blooming with bright delicate flowers between spring and fall, gardeners from all over the world adore them.

For the best results when planting roses, provide them with well-draining soil, full sun, and a companion plant. Companion plants will help your roses thrive, protect them from pests, and increase the aesthetics of your garden.

In this article, you will discover the six perennial plants that will help your roses to grow excellently and look great planted next to them.


lavender and roses grown together as companion plants
Image credits: Wibke via Pixabay

Lavender is a great companion plant for roses due to the benefits it brings to other plants within the garden bed. Specifically, lavender makes your beautiful roses pop and protects nearby plants from animals like rabbits, and pests.

This aromatic perennial offers symbiotic benefits through the types of insects they interact with, repelling moths and whiteflies that harm your roses while also drawing butterflies and bees.

Just as roses require lots of suns and well-drained soil, lavender does too. However, keep in mind that lavender requires less water than rose bushes. Water lavender every one to two weeks, whereas water your roses every few days. If your lavender begins to droop, it means it is overwatered.

To fix this, plant your lavender far enough away from your roses, so it does not receive the same amount of watering. Planting at a distance ensures your roses still reap the benefits of lavender without hindering the growth of your lavender plant.


Close up image of a purple aster in garden
Image credits: Teodor via Pixabay

When the thick of the growing season is done, why not keep the blooming party going? Asters are late-blooming flowers that most commonly feature bright purple and blue shades. They do best when in full or partial sun and are happy with soil that drains well. 

When side by side with roses, the color combinations are breathtaking, especially for yellow and white roses! Another bonus is that this flowering plant also draws bees and butterflies for pollination.


Aerial shot of a bright green thyme plant
Image credits: photosforyou via Pixabay

Similar to lavender, thyme is an excellent choice to plant next to your roses. This perennial herb is known for its ability to ward off harmful pests like aphids and blackflies. There are also lovely varieties that are great for ground cover such as creeping thyme.

It is advantageous, as low-growing thyme acts like a mulch to the soil near your roses, preserving moisture. Still not convinced? Growing thyme near your roses adds pleasing aromas as you walk by as well as delicious additions to your cooking!


Deep orange red bloomed lily in a garden
Image credits: Paul Brennan via Pixabay

Lilies are another perennial that perform well next to roses! There are over 90 different Lilly varieties to choose from, so you can find a suitable specie for yourself. However, some noteworthy ones include Asiatic, oriental, Peruvian, and princess lilies.

These varieties are available in stunning shades, allowing you to pair them with the color of roses you grow. Lilies also don’t take up too much space, so you won’t have problems planting them next to your roses. Their slender and tall stem tower over your roses, brining dimension to your garden.

Lilies are also renowned for their ability to attract pollinators which is beneficial for both plants.


Catmint plant
Image credits: PollyDot via Pixabay

Part of the mint family and closely related to lavender is the perennial plant, catmint! Depending on your climate and hardiness zone, lavender might prove difficult to grow next to your roses, and this is where catmint is a great alternative. The bushy plant covers the base of your roses and is a popular choice due to its complementary colors. 

Catmint comes in soft blue and violet shades with foliage that remains grey-silver throughout the season. When planting catmint, it likes to expand outwards, so always give it more space than the recommended 12 inches.

With some luck, you might also see some stray cats come to take a whiff of your catmint.


bright purple flowers on onion plant
Image credits: Leonie Schoppema via Pixabay

It may seem odd, but another companion plant for your rose bushes is onions! Many plants from the onion family are rumored as greatly beneficial to grow near roses. Garlic, chives, green onions, or ornamental onions repel pests, such as aphids, and avert rose black spots. Garlic is a crowd favorite!

Some people even say that onions can improve the scent of your roses. However, there is still little scientific proof to confirm these facts. Some gardeners swear by the assistance of onions for their rose plants, while others believe it is a myth.

Everyone Needs A Buddy!

When finding long-term friends for your roses, seek companions that thrive in the same growing conditions. Plants that like the sun and are content with well-draining soil are your best options. Whereas plants that prefer dense and moist soil will not receive enough nutrients or water and eventually may wilt or die.

Some of the best perennials to add to your roses are those that draw or repel insects. Lavender, asters, and thyme will protect and encourage the nourishment of your roses. Other perennials like catmint and lilies showcase brilliant colors that pair well with roses to create a stunning garden bed! Select the perennials you like best, sit back, and enjoy the sights and smells of your blooming garden!

Do you have a rose bush in your garden? Comment below which plants you consider the best companions for roses, and as always, please share!