Next Up

Annuals That Grow Great with Roses

Discover easy-growing annuals that play well with roses.
1 / 11
Photo: Image courtesy of

Spirit Merlot Spider Flower (Cleome hassleriana)

Whiskery blooms give spider flower a striking form. Blossoms open one-by-one along a large spike, creating a long flowering window. Plants reach 3 to 5 feet tall. Choose cleome for a backdrop for shorter roses or to weave appealing texture into rose plantings. Look for blooms in shades of white, rose, pink and violet.

More photos after this Ad

2 / 11
Photo: Image courtesy of

Larkspur ‘Blue Cloud’ (Consolida regalis)

Purple-blue flower spikes appear in spring and linger into early summer, forming a blue cloud in the garden. Larkspur provides a pretty screen for early spring roses, when canes are leafing out and plants haven’t started flowering. This annual self-sows freely as long as you permit plants to set seed. Look for pink and white varieties.

More photos after this Ad

3 / 11
Photo: Image courtesy of Proven Winners

Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)

Choose sweet alyssum for a flowering ground cover around roses that blankets the ground with color from spring through fall, except in the hottest regions. Varieties offer a range of heights, from dwarf 4-inch-tall plants to old-fashioned types that reach 10 inches. Blossoms have a honey scent and attract many beneficial insects that feast on rose pests.

More photos after this Ad

4 / 11

Bells of Ireland (Molucella laevis)

Eye-catching green bells form along 2-foot-tall, minty-scented stems on this annual. The charteuse-green color of this plant and its unusual blooms provide a perfect rose partner: complementary, but non-competing. Choose bells of Ireland for versatility—the color pairs well with any rose hue, even the striped bicolors.

More photos after this Ad