Roses | Companion Planting

Roses | Companion Planting

Choosing the right friends or companions for your Roses can bring a host of benefits including pest and disease control as well as aesthetically enhancing the look of your plantings by hiding the "bare legs" of your roses.

There are quite a wide range of plants that will highlight the beauty of your roses in your garden.  As we know, roses perform to their best in a full sun position.  Once established they require average amounts of water and regular fertilisation to promote new flowers, and making sure that you attend to their needs will mean your plants are less likely to become diseased throughout the growing season.  The plants that you choose to share the garden with your roses should also share the same growing requirements.


Some of the plants that are often admired and make great bedfellows with Roses can be seen below, but don't be limited by what you see here, these are just suggestions. We use a lot of Achillea, Alchemilla mollis and Stachy byzantina as the foliage is interesting and a nice contrast with the roses with the added bonus of being able to pick the flowers.  Be sure to experiment to find a look to make your planting work for what you want.  Perennials and shrubs that have pale green, silver or purple foliage will also help to highlight your Roses.

Verbascum hybrida | Southern Charm

I adore the muted variable pastel tones of peach and mauve of this Verbascum and they are so elegant with their towering flower stems.  You can see this and more of our Verbascum range here. The flowers of Verbascums compliment the wide cup shaped flowers of roses and look particularly elegant.

Puriri Lane | Verbascum hybrida | Southern Charm

One of the earliest flowering asters, Frikartii Monch looks pretty planted amongst roses.  This plant has light lavender-blue flowers which also attracts a flurry of pollinator activity to its nectar-rich flowers.
Puriri Lane | Aster Frikartii Monch
Whatever colour you are looking for we grow them all and they are wonderful bedfellows for roses with their soft ferny foliage and delightful large flat headed flowers which attract pollinators to the garden as well as being a great cut flower.  The kaleidoscope of colours as the flowers as they age also look beautiful with roses. Below is Achillea millefolium Weser River which you can find here
Puriri Lane | Achillea millefolium | Weser River
The lovely blue green foliage of Sedum also offsets the lovely green of the Rose leaves - below is Sedum Stardust - we also have the lovely Autumn Joy. See more of our Sedums here.
The tall spires of Digitalis are lovely coming through the Roses in spring. Below is the super pretty Digitalis | Pink Gin which we will have available early Spring we also have lots of other lovely Digitalis which you can find here.
 Puriri Lane | Digitalis | Pink Gin
Bushy, well-branched, with one of the longest blooming seasons, White Valerian - or Centranthus Ruber is a popular perennial grown for its ornamental and showy flowers which are also great for picking.
Both the foliage and the tall wafty stems of flowers can look beautiful with roses. Below is the foliage of our Cranesbill geranium | Mourning Widow with the lovely dark plummy blotches on its leaves - the flowers are a dark velvety plum colour and stand proud above the leaves 
Puriri Lane | Cranesbill geranium | Samobor | Mourning Widow
Beautiful blue grey felted leaves offset the green foliage of the roses and the pale lilac wands of flowers are also very pretty.  The foliage is great for floral work.
Puriri Lane | Stachys byzantina | Lambs Ear
Acid lime green flowers against blue grey leaves are also a great choice for underplanting with Roses as well as looking stunning with droplets of water on the leaves and the flowers after rain they are also great for picking. We use our on the edges of our Rose beds at Puriri Lane with the Stachy byzantina beneath them.
Puriri Lane | Alchemilla mollis | Ladies Mantle

 Rose Tools & Books

The one other thing that is a must is great tools for pruning your roses and we love the ARS120EU-R which has a serrated drop-forged steel counter blade attached to the razor sharp cutting blade which allows the pruned stems to be held securely in placed and removed meaning that you are not handling your Rose prunings. These secateurs are also an excellent option for harvesting flowers and other foliage.
This cut and hold action makes pruning a breeze and they are also great for women's hands as can be open and closed in one movement as can all of our ARS secateurs. Shop these secateurs here.
Any grower of roses knows that protection is key to avoid nasty scratches and these gauntlet gloves are great for providing protection whilst pruning and deadheading. Find these great gloves here.
Puriri Lane | Rose Pruning | Gauntlet Gloves 
Roses are among the most recognizable and romantic of all flowering garden plants, evoking memories of wonderfully perfumed summer days.  This little book combines practical advice to inspire beginners and experience grows to cherish and grow roses of all types. The various rose types are described and advice is given on choosing the right ones for your garden as well as on planting, general care and maintenance.  Read more about this book here.
Puriri Lane | The Kew Gardener's Guide To Growing Roses
We hope you have enjoyed this read on companion planting for Roses, you can also read about pruning roses here.
Please feel free to leave your comments below or perhaps share with our readers what you like to underplant beneath your Roses. The comments are moderated so may take a few days to show up. 
Thanks for reading - until next time - Deb 


  • Deb

    Hi Gil,
    I too listened to Sarah’s podcast and heard this as well. Interestingly I have just sown seed of Salvia v. Blue Monday so will have to give it a try and see how we go with it – Kind regards Deb

  • Gill

    Hi Deb
    I was listening to a podcast by Sarah Raven in the UK who said that she underpants her roses with Salvia Viridis- blue Monday She claimed that in the heat the leaves emit ‘sulphur’ and it helps prevent black spot. Have you any experience of this?

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