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

Roses are some of the most beautiful flowers in the world; their lustrous blooms, delicate but distinctive scent, and variety of stunning colors can enhance any garden space. On their own, roses look lovely, but pairing them with the right perennial companion plants can enhance their beauty and help them thrive.

Companion plants can provide ground cover around your rose bush to prevent soil erosion. They can also attract beneficial insects to pollinate your garden and help you eliminate pests, like aphids and fungus gnats.

Below are some perennial companion plants to make those rose bushes pop next season.

8 Perennial Companion Plants for Roses

1. Alliums

Image credits: Hendrik Morkel via Unsplash

Alliums, especially the ‘purple sensation,’ are a unique and colorful addition to a rose garden. This cool-season perennial’s violet, globe-shaped flowers create a dainty contrast to the more defined structure of the rose. They fill up the space around the rose but don’t overshadow it.

Since they bloom in the initial summer months, they are a great companion to the early roses, both cover and color-wise. A member of the onion family, some gardeners believe alliums helps ward off sap-sucking insects, prevents black spots, and strengthens the scent of roses.

2. Nepeta or Catmint

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Catmint or “Nepetas” are some of the prettiest plants to grow with roses. Their feathery violet, bluish-gray blooms and a carpet of greying-green leaves balance pink, orange, and white roses beautifully. Its density can camouflage rose plants’ sparse and leggy bottoms, hiding any blemish that trails on them.

Catmint attracts many pollinators, especially bees and hoverflies, and can deter rabbits. These flowers are easy-to-grow perennials with aromatic leaves that add to the sensory appeal.

Since catmints scent particularly appeals to cats, don’t be alarm if you see a stray in your yard!

3. Lady’s Mantle

Alchemilla Mollis
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Lady’s Mantle, also known as “Alchemilla Mollis,” is often overlooked, but it’s a charming perennial with frothy sprays of lime-green blooms and fan-shaped leaves. There stunning foliage can grow up to six inches wide.

Mollis hides your rose plant’s leggy bottoms and provides excellent ground cover to prevent soil erosion. That said, Lady’s Mantle produces many seeds, so you should be careful when planting it as it can become invasive.

4. Sage

Image credits: Rasa Kasparaviciene via Unsplash

You can’t go wrong with sage if you’d rather grow culinary herbs to accompany your rose plants. The sage creates a stunning backdrop for light-colored roses with purple blooms and deep green leaves.

Sage’s distinct aroma helps repel aphids and beetles, so growing them around your rose bush is a great way to keep your plant safe from pests. Not to mention, sage’s earthy, sweet, savory taste adds fantastic flavor to many dishes.

5. Thyme

lush thyme garden
Image credits: photosforyou via Pixabay

Roses and thyme, especially creeping thyme, pair well together. Creeping thyme provides excellent ground cover for your rose plants that prevent soil erosion and suffocates weeds in the process.

Thyme is a relatively low-maintenance herb with shallow roots, so it won’t compete with your roses for the soil’s nutrients and moisture. In addition, its distinct woody and grassy scent deter cabbage worms, whiteflies, tomato hornworms, aphids, and black flies. So, apart from growing it with your rose bush, you can plant some around your vegetable garden too.

6. Oregano

Close up shot of an oregano herb plant
Image credits: Hans Linde via Pixabay

This low-maintenance herb with soft, fuzzy leaves and purple, pink or white flowers makes a great companion plant for roses. Apart from providing your rose plants with ground cover, you can use them as a fresh or dried herb in many dishes. In addition, this easy-to-grow perennial provides general pest protection, and its density helps the soil retain moisture for the roses to absorb.

7. Marigold

Image credit: Lakeisha Ethans for Backyard Boss

Marigolds are also great companion plants for roses, not because they look good, but because they have similar wants. Both plants enjoy full sun and regular watering.

Marigolds attract beneficial insects, keep the soil free from harmful nematodes, and prevent many other insects from wreaking havoc on surrounding plants. Although they may attracts spider mites and slugs, but you can deter slugs and snails with copper tapes.

Plant marigolds freely in your garden and you won’t regret it!

8. Lavender

Lavender with bee
Image credits: Marie Bellando Mitjans via Unsplash

Some gardeners often plant lavender and rose together because lavender attracts beneficial insects and repels whiteflies, moths, and rabbits. Their tall stems with sprays of deep purple flowers and greying-green leaves complement rose blooms of any color.

Not only do they look stunning together, but they also have similar growing needs. Both lavender and roses need between six and eight hours of sunlight, and prefer moist, well-draining soil.

Life’s Better With Friends

Garden Fence with Roses
Image credits: jorgeantonio via Canva

Plants, like people, deserve the perfect companions that’ll complement them and bring out their best qualities regardless of where they grow. Companion plants shouldn’t be overpowering, nor should they be weak in comparison. But before you pick companion plants, you’ll need to consider:

  1. Aesthetics – texture, color, and form.
  2. Growing conditions – not all companion plants have similar growing needs, but good companions shouldn’t compete aggressively for nutrients and moisture.
  3. Beneficial qualities – good companions will protect and enhance each other’s growth.

When planting perennial companion plants for roses, remember to plant them at least 1 or 2 feet away from your roses, so you don’t accidentally disturb their roots. Roses love their personal space and don’t take kindly to root disturbance! Also, follow healthy pruning practices to maximize your rose plant’s health, and don’t overcrowd it as that could attract pests and diseases.

Go Pick Your Next Companion!

Roses are some of the loveliest plants you can grow in your garden, but they’re pretty picky when it comes to companion plants! Before you pick a friend for your roses, you’ll need to know what they bring to the table, how they’ll benefit your roses, and how your roses will benefit them.

Hopefully, this article has helped you find the best perennial companion plant for your roses. Let us know your experiences, opinions, and questions in the comment section below, and don’t forget to share this article if you found it helpful.

Happy Choosing!