Friday, April 6, 2012
Rose Companion Plants
Knock Out roses and Russian sage combines and underplanting Whitespire birch.
Pink roses planted with nepeta Walkers Low.
Climbing rose interplanted with white clematis.
Among plants I have seen successfully used as underplantings, borders, and interplantings are plants with a gray/green to gray/blue hue. They tend to be heavily scented, often members of the mint family. They should be broad-leaved versus grasses so you could use a herbicide for encroaching grasses, if you prefer. Weeding is often an issue around roses which are underplanted or interplanted so ground coverage by the companion plant is important. Weeding around plants with thorns is not my idea of a good time. Also, the plant you chose, if it is other than clematis, should be a plant in the 8" to 12" range so the roses are not competing for sunshine.
Plants I have seen used successfully include the perennials catmint, calamintha, and Russian sage, Annuals I have seen are those that can be sown as soon as the ground can be worked include alyssum. Easy Wave petunias might also be a good choice.
Footnote to the list of "manly plants": Today's Bing homepage images of the full monty of the plant giant lobelia deckenii certainly fit the bill as a plant to consider for the list.