The 10 Best Companion Plants For Roses

Roses are known for their beauty, elegance, and fragrance, but they can also benefit from the presence of certain companion plants. Companion planting is the practice of growing different plants together to enhance their growth, protect them from pests, and improve overall garden health. In this article, we will explore the ten best companion plants for roses and how they can contribute to the health and beauty of your rose garden.

1. Lavender

Lavender is a popular choice as a companion plant for roses due to its strong fragrance and ability to deter pests. The scent of lavender helps repel aphids, which can be a common problem for roses. Additionally, lavender attracts beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, which aid in pollination.

2. Marigold

Marigolds are not only beautiful, but they also serve as natural pest repellents. Their strong scent deters aphids, nematodes, and other harmful insects. Marigolds also attract hoverflies, which feed on aphids, providing an additional layer of pest control for roses.

3. Salvia

Salvia, with its vibrant flowers and aromatic leaves, is another excellent companion plant for roses. The strong scent of salvia helps repel pests such as thrips and spider mites. Moreover, the tall and bushy nature of salvia can provide shade to the base of rose plants, keeping the soil cool and moist.

4. Geraniums

Geraniums are not only visually appealing but also beneficial for roses. These flowers produce a scent that repels insects such as Japanese beetles and aphids. Geraniums also act as a living mulch, suppressing weeds and retaining moisture in the soil.

5. Catmint

Catmint is a low-maintenance companion plant that works wonders in rose gardens. Its aromatic leaves repel aphids and attract pollinators like bees. Catmint also provides a beautiful contrast to the roses with its purple or white flowers and soft foliage.

6. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are excellent companions for roses due to their ability to repel pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and beetles. The vibrant flowers of nasturtiums add a pop of color to the garden, creating a visually appealing contrast with the roses.

7. Alliums

Alliums, such as ornamental onions, not only add vertical interest to the garden but also act as natural pest deterrents. Their strong scent repels aphids, slugs, and snails. Alliums also attract beneficial insects, including predatory wasps, which prey on common rose pests.

8. Dianthus

Dianthus, commonly known as carnations or pinks, make great companion plants for roses. Their fragrant flowers help repel insects, while their dense foliage provides ground cover, reducing weed growth. Dianthus also attracts pollinators like butterflies and bees.

9. Penstemon

Penstemon, with its tall spires of tubular flowers, adds vertical interest to the garden while attracting hummingbirds. These flowers are excellent for attracting beneficial insects and pollinators. Additionally, penstemon can help create a microclimate around roses, protecting them from extreme weather conditions.

10. Columbine

Columbines, with their delicate and unique flowers, complement roses beautifully. These flowers attract pollinators and beneficial insects while adding visual interest to the garden. Columbines prefer partial shade, making them an ideal choice to grow alongside roses.

Now that you know the ten best companion plants for roses, let’s discuss how to plant them effectively to maximize their benefits.

How to Plant Companion Plants with Roses

When planting companion plants with roses, it’s essential to consider their growth habits, sun requirements, and spacing. Here are some tips to help you create a successful companion planting garden:

  1. Choose companion plants that have similar sun and soil requirements as roses.
  2. Ensure adequate spacing between plants to allow for proper airflow and prevent overcrowding.
  3. Place taller companion plants towards the back of the rose bed to avoid shading the roses.
  4. Incorporate a layer of organic mulch around both roses and companion plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
  5. Regularly monitor and address any pest or disease issues that may arise.

Benefits of Companion Planting for Roses

Companion planting offers several benefits for roses, including:

  1. Natural pest control: Many companion plants repel pests, reducing the need for chemical pesticides.
  2. Improved pollination: Companion plants attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, enhancing pollination rates.
  3. Enhanced soil health: Certain companion plants improve soil fertility and structure through their root systems.
  4. Increased biodiversity: A diverse garden attracts a wide range of beneficial organisms, creating a balanced ecosystem.
  5. Visual appeal: Companion plants add color, texture, and interest to the rose garden, enhancing its overall beauty.

Tips for Maintaining a Successful Companion Planting Garden

To maintain a successful companion planting garden, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Regularly monitor and address pest and disease issues promptly.
  2. Provide adequate water and nutrients for both roses and companion plants.
  3. Deadhead spent flowers to promote continuous blooming and prevent the spread of diseases.
  4. Prune roses and companion plants as needed to maintain their shape and size.
  5. Rotate companion plants annually to prevent the buildup of pests and diseases in the soil.

In conclusion, companion planting can significantly benefit roses by providing natural pest control, enhancing pollination, improving soil health, increasing biodiversity, and adding visual appeal to the garden. By incorporating the ten best companion plants for roses, such as lavender, marigold, salvia, geraniums, catmint, nasturtiums, alliums, dianthus, penstemon, and columbine, you can create a beautiful and thriving rose garden. Remember to consider the specific needs of each companion plant and provide proper care to both roses and their companions. Happy gardening!


1. Can companion plants help control pests for roses?

Yes, certain companion plants have natural pest-repellent properties, helping to control pests that can harm roses. For example, plants like lavender, marigold, and geraniums can deter aphids and other harmful insects.

2. Should I consider the growth habits of companion plants when planting with roses?

Yes, it’s essential to consider the growth habits of companion plants to ensure they don’t overshadow or overcrowd the roses. Taller companion plants should be placed towards the back of the rose bed, while smaller ones can be planted closer to the roses.

3. How far should I space companion plants from roses?

The spacing between companion plants and roses can vary depending on the specific plants and their growth habits. As a general guideline, provide enough space for proper airflow and growth, usually around 12-18 inches apart.

4. Are there any companion plants to avoid with roses?

While there are many beneficial companion plants for roses, there are a few to avoid. Plants that are susceptible to the same pests or diseases as roses, such as other members of the Rosaceae family like raspberries or strawberries, should be avoided.

5. Can I use companion plants to enhance the fragrance of my roses?

Yes, certain companion plants like lavender or dianthus have their fragrances that can complement the scent of roses. By strategically planting these aromatic companions, you can enhance the overall fragrance of your rose garden.

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