It is a fact that roses look beautiful when planted on their own. But some plants are just perfect for adding more style, texture, color and beauty to any rose garden. To choose an awesome companion for your roses – they must look good together, enjoy similar living conditions, with bonus points if they are scented and still have its color when your roses are out of season.
Most roses prefer to be planted in full sun, in moist, fertile soil and enjoy feeding. Most roses will struggle in shaded areas and poor soil conditions, that are either too dry or waterlogged. It’s better to choose companions that have the same living requirements as your roses, to live in harmony.
Not all plants can do the job of complementing roses, but here is a list of 9 that certainly can, with ideas for borders, underplanting and mixing in to the flowerbed:
Lavender are small evergreen shrubs, with green, slim long leaves, with spiked, violet/blue flowers in summer. They can grow up to 1m in height and enjoy similar living conditions to roses.
Lavender is an easy choice for accompanying roses because of their color and aroma. They are trouble-free, are good at keeping some of the pests away and are good pollinators. They can easily be paired up with any color rose.
Snowdrops are very small perennials, with long green leaves and white flowers in late winter. They can grow up to 0.5m in height and enjoy similar conditions to roses.
Snowdrops do well as underplants for roses, they are honey-scented and require no pruning, are good pollinators, but can attract narcissus flies. They look good with any color rose but white, unless you want to completely whiten your rose garden throughout the year.
Aubrietas are very small mat-forming perennials, with green leaves and blue, purple, red or pink flowers in spring. They can grow up to 15cm in height and can grow in conditions similar to roses.
Aubrieta do well as underplants for roses, they need to be pruned after flowering, are good pollinators, but can attract aphids. They can easily be paired with any color rose.
4. Rose Scented Geraniums
Rose Scented Geraniums are bushy perennial shrubs, with slightly hairy green, rose-scented leaves, with clusters of pink, white or light purple flowers in summer. They can grow up to 1m in height and can grow in conditions similar to roses.
Rose Scented Geraniums can be planted in and around roses, but they can be a pain because they should be lifted in winter, will need deadheading, and can attract some pests. But they are still a good looking flower to have around roses.
5. Artemisia Ludoviciana
Artemisia Ludovicianas are herbaceous perennials, with green/grey aromatic leaves, with very small yellow flowers in summer. They can grow to around 1m in height and grow in conditions similar to roses.
Artemisia Ludovicianas are ideal for planting in borders, need minimal pruning when summer has finished and they don’t attract pests.
Colchicums are very small perennials, with blue, yellow, white or purple flowers, that comes to life when roses start to shut down for the year. They usually grow to around 10-15cm in height (but some varieties can grow taller) and can grow in similar conditions to roses.
Colchicums grow well as underplants for roses, they need no pruning, are good pollinators and can be planted with any color rose.
Marigolds are bushy, green-leaved, with yellow, orange and white shaded flowers, throughout and just after summer. They can grow to around 1 to 1.5m in height and do well in conditions similar to roses.
Marigolds grow well as borders and also mixed in with roses, are fragrant when touched, require minimal pruning, don’t attract pests and can be planted with any color rose.
Croci grow as very small perennials, with long green leaves, with a silver stripe and purple, blue, cream or yellow flowers, in late winter or early spring. They can grow up to 10cm in height and enjoy similar conditions to roses.
Croci grow well as underplants for roses, they are often fragrant and require no pruning. They can easily be grown with any color rose.
9. Gypsophila Paniculata
Gypsophila Paniculatas are bushy, with narrow green leaves and white flowers covering the stems, in the summer (the Flamingo variety has pink flowers). They can grow up to 1.2m in height and grow in similar conditions to roses.
Gypsophila Paniculatas grow well as borders for roses, require minimal pruning, don’t attract pests and can grow in conditions similar to roses.
Any of these plants make great companions for roses and feel free to mix and match. You can quite easily mix some of them within your roses, plant some as borders and use others as underplants, by placing them underneath your roses within the flowerbed. But be sure to keep them a bit of distance away from each other, to accommodate their roots.