There is a widespread belief that the rose is especially demanding in the choice of partners, and finding a worthy environment for it is a very difficult task. In fact, any landscape composition should be attractive and harmonious, any plant in the garden needs a competent choice of neighbors and companions, and a rose is no different from the rest in this regard. Let’s figure out what rules you need to follow so that your rose garden is not only spectacular, but also comfortable for all planted plants.

General rules and principles of choice

A short list of general rules for choosing partners for roses looks like this:

  • combine the similarity of requirements for conditions and care;
  • avoid the use of aggressive crops;
  • avoid plants suffering from the same diseases as roses;
  • exclude rivalry;
  • achieve harmony in color and form.

Let’s consider each of them in more detail.

Combine by similarity

The most important thing that every grower should understand is that only the flower garden is beautiful where the plants are healthy and well-groomed. And this will be difficult to achieve if you do not take into account the requirements of the crops selected for planting. Hence the first rule follows: combine only those plants that need similar conditions and agricultural technology.

So, the combination of hostas with roses may not be very successful (the former love the shade, while the latter need good lighting). If you do want to include hostas in your composition, opt for varieties that tolerate the sun well, or place them so that the rose bushes cast a shadow on the hosta leaves.

Or, for example, decorative wormwood — its silvery shades are perfectly combined with delicate roses, so flower growers often combine these plants in one composition. But unlike roses, many wormwoods prefer dry, poor soils, and cohabitation for these crops is unlikely to be comfortable — it may be better to pick up other plants with silvery foliage, for example, woolly cleaner or seaside cineraria.

Plants susceptible to the same diseases as roses will also require special attention. For example, varieties that are weakly resistant to powdery mildew should not be combined with phlox or cuff.

Be careful with aggressors!

Aggressive, rapidly growing cultures should be used very carefully in the rose garden. For roses, dense plantings are critical: in such conditions, diseases flare up more often, and excessively close proximity to other plants usually does not affect the development of the bush in the best way, because this is competition for sunlight, water and food.

An example of such a dangerous neighbor is a catnip. It looks great with roses in delicate shades, but you will have to constantly control and limit its growth. If conditions allow, replace it with other plants — for example, lavender or oak sage. In favorable conditions, such popular partners of roses as cuff, oregano, some types of cereal crops can become aggressive — consider these features when planting and caring.

Avoid Rivalry

Plants with too bright, large flowers should not be selected in the “royal retinue” — they will compete with the rose, and it will be problematic to achieve harmony in such a composition. Of course, if you like combinations of roses, for example, with dahlias, you can ignore this rule — after all, there is no dispute about tastes, and there are no other reasons for banning such combinations. But landscape designers recommend avoiding the use of plants such as large-flowered lilies (for example, oriental or OT hybrids), hydrangeas, or the already mentioned dahlias in compositions with roses.

It is not advised to plant roses and peonies next to each other — but for a different reason: these plants do not coincide in flowering, but both cultures are quite demanding and can oppress each other, compete for food and light.

Compositions of roses and conifers are very effective. Low, compact varieties of firs, pines, firs, thujas, junipers perfectly shade the delicate beauty of flowers and serve as an excellent background for them. But do not forget to take into account the size of adult plants when planting and make sure that all members of such a plant community have enough food, and coniferous branches do not block the light of roses.

Similar recommendations apply to the inclusion of ornamental shrubs in compositions. Roses go well with:

  • various varieties of barberry;
  • sod;
  • some types and varieties of spirea;
  • mock oranges;
  • vesicles;
  • cinquefoil shrub;
  • goof;
  • cotoneaster;
  • miniature decorative willows.

Rose partners in terms of design

The right selection of companions helps to emphasize and reveal the beauty of roses, create interesting and multifaceted landscape compositions, playing on contrasts or similarity. Everything is important here: size, shape, and color.

However, the modern approach to the design of a rose garden or a mixborder with roses is very different from the traditional one, and you can allow yourself to experiment in different ways, not limited to the classic combinations of plants. The main thing is not to forget about the basic rules described above. And our table will help you choose partners for roses with different flower colors:

rose color

Monochrome or tint composition

Contrasting composition


plants with white or cream flowers, with silvery foliage: gypsophila, nivyanik, astilbe, bellflower, delphinium, yarrow, woolly chistets, etc.

plants with blue-blue or purple flowers: veronica, sage, delphinium, heliotrope, Siberian irises, bluebells, etc.


plants with pink, lilac, purple flowers: gypsophila, astilbe, geranium, oregano, lavender, catnip, initial letter, foxglove, etc.

plants with purple or rich red flowers, dark-colored foliage: monarda, geyhera, sapling, etc.

Yellow orange

plants with cream, yellow, yellow-orange flowers: meadowsweet yarrow, tansy, mullein, loosestrife, coreopsis, etc.

plants with blue or purple flowers: delphinium, speedwells, bluebells, sage, irises, alliums, etc.

shades of red

plants with red, rich pink, purple flowers: astilbe, monarda, sedum, etc.

plants with white or yellow flowers: nivyanik, phlox, gypsophila, tansy, meadowsweet yarrow, etc.

Volumes and verticals

Of course, any landscape composition is not only a harmonious combination of colors and shades, but also well-chosen forms. A variety of roses allows the grower to realize almost any idea, and successful companions are very important here.

To place vertical accents will help:

  • tall cereals (miscanthus, reed grass, etc.);
  • delphiniums;
  • digitalis;
  • large alliums (decorative bows);
  • high bells;
  • irises.

In tall rose bushes, it is often necessary to cover the stems that are exposed from below — low perennials placed in the foreground will cope with this task:

  • geyher;
  • cuff;
  • geraniums;
  • bergenia;
  • oregano.

If the composition lacks volume, add plants with a loose, airy structure:

  • gypsophila;
  • asparagus;
  • yarrow ptarmica;
  • burnet.

Cereal plants not only fill the volume and create verticals, but also noticeably enliven the flower garden: narrow leaves swaying even from a light breeze and tall inflorescences make it light and dynamic. Coniferous cultures give solemnity and severity to the composition, and the classic partners of roses — lavender, sage, catnip — create an atmosphere of a romantic garden. Don’t be afraid to experiment! In a modern rose garden, the most unusual and unusual combinations of plants are allowed.

Useful partners

In addition to creating a certain decorative effect, rose companions can provide additional benefits. So, for example, ground cover plants not only successfully set off rose bushes, but also cover the soil, protecting it from overdrying and suppressing weeds. You can use for example:

  • loosestrife monetized;
  • thyme;
  • survivors;
  • periwinkles;
  • ground cover types of stonecrops.

Many aromatic plants that successfully repel pests are also useful:

  • lavender;
  • thyme, or thyme;
  • various types of mint;
  • catnip;
  • tansy;
  • yarrow.

As you can see, choosing partners for roses is not at all such a difficult task as it might seem at first glance, because the choice is huge, you can find suitable options for solving any problem and implementing the most unexpected ideas. Create your own unique rose garden!


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