16 Perennial Partners for Roses

Discover perennials that pair beautifully with roses in the garden.

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of www.PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

'Sunny Border Blue' Speedwell

Fuss-free and easy-growing, 'Sunny Border Blue' speedwell thrives with minimal care when tucked in average, well-drained soil. Blossom spikes contrast strikingly with the round flower form of roses. Speedwell buds appear in May and keep coming all season long if you faithfully remove spent blossom spikes. This perennial is hardy in Zones 5 to 9 and is gorgeous when planted with roses in shades of pink, red or yellow.

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

Silver heart-shaped leaves with green veins add sparkle to a rose planting all season long. Light blue flowers appear above leaves in spring, fading before roses typically burst into heavy bloom. Choose 'Jack Frost' brunnera for a  low-maintenance groundcover that’s slug-, deer- and rabbit-resistant—and complements any color rose bloom. Plants are hardy in Zones 3 to 8. Divide plants as clumps enlarge and outgrow their spaces.

'Elegant Candy' Daylily

Sun-loving and low-maintenance, 'Elegant Candy' is a reblooming daylily, opening flowers all season long. Choose this pastel beauty to create an eye-catching disguise for knobby rose stems. Plants are hardy in Zones 3 to 11. Flowering tends to dwindle as plants age. Keep the show going strong by dividing plants every four years or so. Divide plants in early spring or after flowering. Cut back leaves if you divide plants later in the season.

Lady’s Mantle

Fuzzy, gray-green leaves introduce wonderful texture to rose plantings. Chartreuse flowers appear from late spring to early summer, just in time for many roses’ first flush of blooms. Give plants full sun in Northern zones; protect them from hot afternoon sun in Southern gardens. Lady’s mantle self-sows freely, but seedlings lift easily, so plants aren’t invasive. This perennial is hardy in Zones 3 to 7.

'Munstead' Lavender

Lavender is a classic rose partner, blending artfully with roses in shades of pink or yellow. Don’t forget to trim spent blooms on both lavender and roses to keep the flower show going strong. Dry lavender buds and rose blooms to make fragrant potpourri. 'Munstead' is one of the hardiest lavenders—plants survive winters in Zones 5 to 9.

'Presto' Tickseed

Tickseed is a native plant, which means it’s a snap to grow once it’s established. Use it to stitch a floral petticoat around the base of orange, red or pink roses. 'Presto' improves upon the true native with 2-inch-wide blooms that are semi- or fully double and make terrific additions to rose bouquets. Butterflies will definitely visit this perennial, which is hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

Festival Star Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila paniculata ‘Danfestar’)

Prized in floral arrangements, baby’s breath forms a flowery cloud in the garden. Plant it with red or deep orange roses for an eye-catching combination. Trim plants back in spring before new growth starts—at the same time you prune roses. Count on baby’s breath as a filler in perennial gardens. This variety is shorter, topping out at 12 to 18 inches. It’s a perfect choice for growing around the base of roses. Baby’s breath is hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

'Jacob Cline' Bee Balm

Bumblebees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators can’t resist the red petals of this bee balm. It provides a lovely textural contrast to round rose blooms, especially yellow or white ones. 'Jacob Cline' boasts excellent resistance to powdery mildew, which typically plagues bee balm in late summer. Snip flowers along with roses for striking summer bouquets. 'Jacob Cline' blooms all season long and is hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

Peach-Leaved Bellflower (Campanula persicifolia)

Bellflower opens blue or white blooms in early to midsummer—just in time to gather with rose blossoms for fresh bouquets. Give plants average soil in full sun; in warmer zones, protect plants from hot afternoon sun. Choose blue bellflower to partner with pink or orange roses; white bellflower for red or mauve-tone roses. Peach-leaved bellflower is hardy in Zones 3 to 7.

Oxeye Daisy

Oxeye daisy unfurls gold blooms with orange-gold centers that form a sizzling garden duet with pink or mauve roses. Try planting it with golden or orange roses for a stunning monochromatic scene. The variety ‘Tuscan Sun’ is a dwarf type that grows 15 to 20 inches tall, the ideal height for skirting roses. Plants are hardy in Zones 3 to 9. Blooms make wonderful cut flowers, which combine beautifully with roses in a vase.

'Daisy May' Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum ‘Daisy Duke’)

If you’re a daisy lover, make room for this Shasta daisy, which looks terrific with any color rose. 'Daisy May' boasts an earlier start to the flowering season, and plants offer a compact form: 12 to 24 inches tall by 10 to 14 inches wide. It’s just the right size for partnering with shrub roses, or use it to hide base canes of climbing roses. Remove spent blooms and you’ll savor a second flower show in early autumn. 'Daisy May' is hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

Russian Sage

For tough-as-nails beauty from late summer to fall, try Russian sage. This perennial loves hot, full sun conditions and creates a cloud of purple in the garden when it flowers. It forms a gorgeous backdrop for red, pink, orange or gold roses. Leaves and stems have a sagey scent, which makes them distasteful to rabbits and deer. Plants are hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’)

Tough and reliable, black-eyed Susan fills summer with cheery blooms that look good with roses in the garden or a vase. Flowers open steadily all season, filling in any lulls when roses are budded, not blossoming. Plants are a snap to grow—just give them average soil in full sun. Clumps spread quickly when plants are happy. Remove edges of clumps in spring to keep plants in bounds. 'Goldsturm' is hardy in Zones 3 to 10.

'Butterfly Blue' Pincushion Flower

Use pincushion flower to add eye-catching color around the base of roses—in the garden or a vase. Give these butterfly-beckoning plants full sun with average soil. Remove spent flowers to extend the bloom period by encouraging more buds to form. 'Butterfly Blue' is hardy in Zones 3 to 9. Look for pincushion flowers in shades of pink, burgundy and white—there’s a hue to match any rose.

'Arizona Red Shades' Blanket Flower

Butterflies swarm blanket flower when it’s in full bloom, and 'Arizona Red Shades' is no exception. Snip flowers to use in rose bouquets. This tough perennial withstands drought once established and blends nicely with white, orange or red roses. Remove spent blooms to encourage more flower buds to form. Plants are hardy in Zones 3 to 10.

Wild Spotted Geranium

It’s tough to beat wild spotted geranium to create a flounce of color around the base of shrub, tea or climbing roses. This perennial spreads happily—but not aggressively—in medium, well-drained soil. Trim stems if they threaten to clamber over rose canes. Leaves turn pretty hues of red and orange in fall. Plants are hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

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