Can I plant any vegetables around my roses? They are well-established and healthy.

by Linda
(Campbell River, BC, Canada)

Question: Someone mentioned to me that planting cabbage was beneficial for roses and I'm wondering if it's true. I would like to plant some vegetables in my front bed with my roses, can you recommend anything?

My answer: There are several plants that go well with roses! Here are some for you to think about --

- lavender
- chives, garlic, leeks, and onions (pretty much all the alliums are good with roses, including the big ornamental ones)
- nasturtiums
- mint
- marigolds
- thyme (red creeping thyme is especially good)
- sage/salvias
- parsley
- clover (especially crimson clover)

This site suggests using lettuce around roses, which I hadn't heard of before! I haven't heard of planting cabbages with roses either, but I don't see that it would hurt anything, because both have similar sun and water needs.

This link from has a lot more information about placement, etc., but not all of the recommendations are edible.

Louise Riotte has some great books on the subject: Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening and (of course!) Roses Love Garlic: Companion Planting and Other Secrets of Flowers

Update 4/6/12: I just ran across this page on edible companion gardening which might be helpful to you

Hope that gives you some things to think about!

Anyone found a rose/veggie combination that they really like?

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