The Top 10 Best Companion Plants for Roses

Updated: Jun. 08, 2023

How does your rose garden grow? If it's not looking happy and healthy, add companion plants for roses that provide beauty and other benefits.

seed bearing plants A grouping of purple Giant allium flowers in a plot.
Shutterstock / Floridafan


You may have heard that roses love garlic. There’s truth to this statement—garlic helps prevent common fungal diseases that often plague roses, such as black spot. Garlic may also deter garden pests. Allium, which is in the onion family, offers the same benefits making it one of the best companion plants for roses. Plant allium bulbs in fall for gorgeous globe-shaped flowers in spring.

Roses and Lavender, rose companion plants
BasieB/Getty Images


The calming fragrance of lavender (Lavandula) will delight you every time you walk nearby, but deer will steer clear. The elegant, graceful flower spikes will enhance, not overwhelm, your roses. For stunning impact, plant them next to each other in a border—both of these flowers love full sun.

Learn surprising facts about roses.

blooming houseplants, Geranium Pelargonium in bloom
Elizabeth Fernandez/Getty Images


These popular annual flowers have an old-fashioned look that pairs beautifully with roses. Their strong scent is unappealing to backyard critters like rabbits. You can even find rose-scented geraniums! Also consider low-growing perennial geraniums, which have similar light and watering needs as roses.

Don’t miss these pretty pictures of roses from home gardeners.

monarch on marigold flowers
Courtesy Bruce Fenster


These cheerful annual flowers have a reputation for deterring bad bugs. Marigolds are also ridiculously easy to grow (all you need is a packet of seeds) and will keep blooming all summer. Make sure you look for colors that complement your roses.

Check out the best types of roses for every garden.

chives rose companion plants
Courtesy Jacqueline Paulson


Just like allium and garlic, chives is another good choice to prevent diseases and keep pests off of your roses. As a bonus, chives are edible, too!

Does your rose look unhealthy? Find out what your rose bush is trying to tell you.

81989811 parsley, rose companion plants
Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley RF


This herb is a great choice for your kitchen garden, but you may want to consider placing an extra pot of parsley near your roses. Swallowtail caterpillars and other beneficial insects will be happy that you did. These herbs also reportedly repel Japanese beetles. Some gardeners even say that parsley can make your roses more fragrant!

Psst—this easy-care coral shrub rose is ravishing!

Phlox Paniculata
Darwin Perennials

Garden Phlox

You can’t go wrong by pairing garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) and roses in a classic cottage garden. The ruffled blooms pair beautifully with your prettiest roses. Phlox is a great cut flower for arrangements and bouquets and pollinators love it.

Roses not blooming? Here’s what to do.

cottage garden plants, bee balm
Bluestone Perennials

Bee Balm

Given the common name, it should come as no surprise that bees love these companion plants for roses. Hummingbirds do too! But because bee balm (Monarda) is in the mint family of plants, garden pests will steer clear. Plant tall varieties in the back of your sunny perennial beds—just make sure to give the pollinator garden favorites enough space to grow.

Learn how to prepare and prune roses for winter.

cottage garden plants, Blue Fortune anise hyssop
Walters Gardens, Inc

Anise Hyssop

The tall arcing spires of anise hyssop (Agastache) add movement and vertical interest to your rose garden. And pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies love these plants! Since these native plants are in the mint family, they repel deer and other garden pests.

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Catmint Walkers Low Nepeta X Faassenii Mint Lamiaceae And A Monarch Butterfly Northern Illinois


If you want to attract pollinators galore to your rose garden, try catmint (Nepeta). The bushy form hides roses’ bare legs, and with a mid-season haircut, you’ll get a second flush of flowers that will bloom nonstop through fall. Look for sterile varieties such as Walker’s Low that won’t aggressively self-seed. Deer and rabbits won’t touch these perennial plants.

Next, check out the most fragrant roses to perfume your garden.