Companion Plants and Roses

Tips on what plants grow best around roses.
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iStock-9999863_combining-plants-roses-salvia-catmint-ladys-mantle-fence_s4x3

White fence, pink roses, sage catmint and ladys mantle bordering sidewalk on house entrance

Q: I am starting a garden and will be planting a rose bush amongst other perennials. Are there any particular plants that will attract bugs or diseases dangerous to the rose?

--Patterson, NY

A: Roses need well-drained soil, space to grow, lots of sun and water and regular fertilizing. They don't like to compete for water with other plants. So when you choose companions for your roses, consider the following:

  • colors that harmonize
  • plants that bloom when your roses aren't blooming
  • plants that have low growth habits and dense foliage (to hide the lower, bare stems of rose bushes)
  • plants that have the ability to tolerate overspray of pesticides (in case you spray your roses).

    The only thing you should avoid are plants that are notorious for attracting aphids--like nasturtiums.

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