15 Companion Plants for Roses
Wondering what to plant alongside your roses? Discover these horticulturist-recommended perennials & shrubs that thrive in sun and well-draining soil, just like roses!
Roses are a garden staple for a reason: they are romantic, whimsical, sweetly scented, and a classic addition to any landscape or cut-flower arrangement. By being selective with your rose companion plants, you can increase disease resistance, extend the season of interest, and keep the deer at bay! Enhance your rose garden with these perennials, shrubs, and grasses that require similar light levels, soil, and other growing conditions as roses.
How To Grow Roses
While specific growing requirements may differ between rose cultivars, roses generally require similar growing conditions. From pruning to winterizing, here’s everything you need to know to grow and care for roses! Here are some things to consider:
- Soil: Roses prefer average, slightly acidic, well-drained soil. All types of roses could also benefit from adding compost, aged manure, or leaf mold to the planting soil, though it isn’t always necessary.
- Light: Roses thrive in full sun (6+ hours of sun), so plant them in a sunny site for the best flower production.
- Water: Try to keep the soil lightly moist but not wet, especially in their first growing season. Avoid wet foliage in the evening; water early in the day to reduce the risk of disease. Some varieties of roses are drought-tolerant once established, like those in the Oso Easy® series from Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs.
- Fertilizing: Feed your roses with a fertilizer blended especially for roses to keep the gorgeous blooms coming. Careful: using a high-nitrogen fertilizer might discourage blooming.
- Winterizing: Winter care really only depends on whether your rose is grafted or grown on its own roots. All the roses at Great Garden Plants are not grafted and, therefore, do not require any extra steps for overwintering. However, if your rose is grafted, you’ll want to add extra insulation by mounding a layer of compost or shredded leaves around the base. Promptly remove any material away from the base as new growth emerges in spring to improve airflow.
- Maintenance & pruning: Prune roses to remove deadwood, control or direct growth, and promote new growth. Wait until growth breaks in early spring before pruning. Remove any branches to increase airflow, then trim the rest back by 1/3 its height, making cuts just above large, healthy buds. Most roses benefit from deadheading through the season to encourage rebloom.
Plants To Pair With Roses
Another cottage garden classic, Shasta Daisy, is a summertime stunner like roses. They can be planted alongside roses in a full-sun gardens and even require similar maintenance and pruning after blooming. You don’t need a complicated garden schedule when you pair these two plants.
If you want to add even more color to your rose garden, consider planting a variety of coneflower (Echinacea) flowers. These native perennials come in nearly every color of the rainbow. Their strong stems can hold their own alongside roses and might even rival your rose in terms of flower power.