Rose Companion Plants: What to Grow with Roses?

Humans are social beings and do not like to be alone. We love to hang out with friends and family whenever we have the chance. Do you know how your partner makes you better and happier? It is the same way plants, especially roses, feel with other companion plants. 

You’re wondering how I know. It’s easy. Seeing roses blossom into healthy and glorious plants when grown with their companions is enough to show you how they feel with these plants.

Unlike humans, plants cannot choose their spouses. This sometimes leaves them in abusive relationships that leave them stunted or without enough light. We can make it easier for our plants by pairing them with plants that complement rather than fight with them.

Before we jump right in, you must know what companion plants are.

What is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is a garden technique that looks to pair beneficial plants with each other. This way, they help themselves become better; this includes fighting pests and diseases, providing shade or support, among numerous other reasons.

The reasons for companion planting are numerous, and they can guide you on the companion plant to grow for your roses. The first step is figuring out your motivation. Then you can quickly get a partner plant for your rose that’ll satisfy that reason.

Best Rose Companion Plants

This guide is sorted by companion reasons to make your decision straightforward.

1. Plants That Look Good with Roses

If your aim is aesthetics, you will want to partner plants to complement the charming rose look. Planting the seeds or stem cuttings of roses alongside other physically matching plants will create a heavenly feeling in your garden.

When doing companion planting for aesthetics, height, color, and texture are important factors to consider. You need a partner plant that’ll compliment your rose.

Plants That Look Good with Roses

Example Plants 

  • Speedwell: the tall spikes of the speedwell plant match the round flowers of the rose plant. Also, growing this plant in a well-draining soil means it’ll grow with minimal care or attention.
  • Salvia plants: this is another spikey plant that contrasts with the smooth round rose flowers. 
  • Coreopsis: this plant has showy flowers that can match the bloom of the rose flower. Its benefits include; camouflaging damaged leaves, increasing the bloom time of your rose garden by up to three months, and also attracting beneficial animals like bees and butterflies for pollination.
  • Nepeta “Six Hills Giant”Salvia nemorosa “Caradonna”

2. Best Companion Plants for Pest Control

One of the qualities of good companion plants is their ability to protect each other from harmful pests.

Fighting pests with the regular insecticides/chemicals are not only harmful to you and the environment, but it is also expensive. If you want to go organic, you can’t do better than companion planting. 

Typically, most of these rose companion plants emit natural substances from their leaves, stem, or root that repels insects.

Roses Companion Plants for Pest Control

Example Plants

  • Garlicgarlic and other members of the onion group release a fragrance that makes roses more fragrant while also repelling other pests. Garlic chives also have exciting foliage that will make your garden a tourist attraction among friends.
  • Lavender: this plant has been used as a companion plant for roses for decades now. Its fragrance is known to repel aphids and prevent dogs from digging your garden. Lavender also helps to dress up the rose bed while their flowers can be pruned and used in your indoor décor.
  • Scented Geraniums: although the most noticeable feature of these plants is their lovely scents, they also repel insects from your rose and provide a varying but matching texture to your rose garden.

3. Companion Plants to Grow Beneath Roses

Roses are beautiful, even more so when they bloom, but most times, they shed their lower foliage leaving their stem bare and only the top of the plant bloomy. The best way to combat this natural rose behaviour and make it an avenue to showcase more beautiful plants is companion planting.

Here, you’re looking to grow low hanging plants that hardly spread their shoot. They will fit into the open space under the rose foliage and bring life to an otherwise dull underneath.

Companion Plants for Roses to grow beneath

Example Plants

  • Phlox
  • Russian sage
  • Yarrow
  • Anise
  • Bellflower

4. Plants That Enjoy Similar Growing Conditions as Roses

The bedrock of companion planting is for the plants to have a similar growing condition to roses. All the other reasons become challenging if the plants have varying growing conditions with rose.

For a seamless and stress-free companionship, growing plants with the same soil condition and sun requirement with roses is essential. Roses love to grow under the full sun and in well-draining soils, so should the companion plants.

companion plants for roses

You should make sure the plants are not aggressive as they can crowd out the rose plant and kill it. The companion plant should also be a light feeder as roses do not like to compete for nutrients and water.

Example Plants

  • Lantana
  • Verbena
  • Million bells petunia

How to Companion Plant?

Companion planting is more than just putting two plants together. Companion planting for roses requires a careful process to avoid choking or harming the rose plant. Here is a safe way to companion plant for your rose garden.

Right Spacing

Spacing is a critical factor in companion planting for roses. Always plant the companions at least 1 foot away from the rose. The roots of the rose plant need the space to grow, and roses are heavy feeders, so they wouldn’t want to be struggling for nutrients with the companion plant.

Good Pruning

Good pruning helps to keep an open structure for the roses and companion plants. Air circulation is a critical need and can be accomplished through proper pruning.


For pruning and other activities in your rose garden to succeed, you need to get quality leather gauntlet gloves. These gloves should have thorn resistant skins and reinforced points at the fingertips and thumb area.

Rose Companion Planting Tips

  • Roses do not like competition so keep your companion plants a reasonable distance away
  • Good air circulation by pruning will keep pests and diseases away
  • Invasive or aggressive companion plants should be avoided
  • Bypass blade hand pruners are the most efficient pruners
  • Make sure the companion plant can thrive at the same pH level as the rose plant, which is 6.5
  • Herbs are ideal companion plants for roses but make sure to check properly before planting


Roses are beautiful plants, but sometimes you may have to pair them with other plants to make them even better.

Protecting your rose garden from pests and increasing its bloom time can be easy when you companion plant.

Now that you’ve seen plants that will make your rose plant better, check this article for 15 rose garden ideas.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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