Which Plants to Mix With Rose Bushes?

Roses are a popular shrub or vine to grow within the garden and provide a burst of color. With some 150 different rose species, each with it own distinct bloom, size and shape, they provide a striking presence and sweet scent that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Those looking to grow flowers and plants around the rose bush should look for plants that tolerate some shade, as the rose bush can have a dense, full habit.

Ground Covers

Low-growing, trailing ground covers are an ideal plant to grow under and around rose bushes. Grown in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors, those groundcovers that tolerate some shade are essential in creating a long-lasting cover. For the best results, pick a ground cover that does not have a climbing growth habit to ensure the vine does not overtake the rose bush. Ground covers like the periwinkle have a rapid growth rate and prefer part shade to full shade, perfect under and around the rose. Its dense matting form will ensure the ground cover creeps around the bush. The dark green leaves on periwinkle complement the brightly colored rose blooms. Periwinkle also is an evergreen variety, meaning it retains its foliage color year-round to provide year-round color.


Annual flowers are striking planted around the rose bush and can be replanted throughout the year to provide color while the bush is in full bloom or during the times when the shrub is dormant. Annual flowers that tolerate shade are essential, especially if the rose bush is full and dense. Annuals grow in a wide range of shapes, sizes and blooms colors. Annuals like snapdragon do well in both sun and shade and provide bursts of color from spring until early fall. The wide range of snapdragon shades include yellow, pink, orange, red and white. Snapdragons also attract butterflies to the garden. The straight, erect stems on snapdragons also provide a strong architectural shape to contrast with the rounded shape of the rose bush.


Perennial flowers like the rose bush come back year after year to provide a low maintenance option that grows taller and fuller than the year before. Perennial flowers like hellebore, also called the Lenten rose, is a winter-blooming flower that blooms into spring and provides an attractive presence. The double blooms have a layered, nodding shape to complement softer rose bloom colors like peach, pink, apricot and white. They have a moderate growth rate and clumping habit that provides much-needed color to the rose bush in winter. They also tolerate shade and naturalize around the bush.

Keywords: rose bush companions, around rose bushes, rose bush garden, rose bush ideas

About this Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on Travels.com and GardenGuides.com. Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.