herbs with roses?

alyssa71504March 12, 2007

I'm planting a new bed this spring, it will have 3 shrub roses and a climber on a fence. I'm thinking of planting some herbs in the bed for a cottage garden look. Any suggestions? Thanks!


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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

If your planning on harvesting the herbs, keep in mind that you need to deal with lots of thorney roses around them too.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 5:23PM
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HerbLady49(Z6 PA)

Herbs complement roses. I grow over 300 roses. I don't have specific gardens just for roses. I plant perennials, annual and herbs among my roses. Stay away from invasive herbs. Mint should be planted in it's own container, never in your garden. Greek oregano can be aggressive but not invasive. Most herbs can be controled. Make sure you deadhead your onion and garlic chives after flowering because they will reseed everywhere. This is a great time of year to plan. Beware herbs and roses can be addictive. Have a great season.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 3:00PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

If there are aphids on the roses, your going to have to deal with some very mild insecticides to control them, and if herbs are planted in the same location, most don't do well with any insecticides, and even if the insecticide is safe and organic, I would still not like it on my herb leaves..

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 5:56PM
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Lady's mantle is very pretty with roses. So are pinks. I also have lavender in front of some of my roses. Alpine strawberries too.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 4:54PM
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anything in the Allium family helps roses. Not to mention they give better yeild. I've always planted garlic, or chives with my roses. Then you can find something else to plant with the chives or whatever to make it look prettier, like marigolds or soemthing.. to keep the bugs away. Look up companion gardening or planting. There are alot of plants that like to be near their 'plant friends' and some plants just don't do well together also. doing a little research helps alot.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 12:14PM
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jlynn(8 sc)

Lupine is also a great companion plant with roses, as are tomatos. Tomatos help roses be more resistant to black spot.

I also have garlic chives and other alliums growing with most of my roses.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 9:44PM
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lori_londonuk(zone 8-9)

The organic gardening association in Britain, which was previously called HDRA, did not find there was any evidence that underplanting with chives or garlic is effective against blackspot. I think some other organisation came to the same conclusion, though I can't remember exactly who it was. Of course if you like them planted in that position anyway, it may be worth a go - they were only talking about blackspot so any other potential benefits were not mentioned. Otherwise I'd just underplant with something I found aesthetically pleasing in combination with the particular rose colour/type.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 2:34PM
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Although I"m coming in on this forum 10 months after the conversation, I'm hoping someone will have something to say about my question.

I've been considering planting dill among my roses. I think dill is rather pretty in a fluffy kind of way so that it would be sort of like baby's breath which I can't grow here. But the real attraction was when I learned that dill attracts benefical insects which kill off the aphids.

Any comments? Perhaps I should plant my dill close by the roses but not in with them? This would be difficult, however, since I have so many roses! (I have been rather rose greedy).

Another question with regard to herbs - I realize that you can't use chemicals, etc. I have been trying not to use fungicides even though I have a lot of roses. What I have been doing instead is frequently washing my roses with common dish soap. This has worked quite well. I wonder, does anyone know whether the herbs could handle this treatment? Especially the dill?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 2:24PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Most dish soap is quite harsh. A spray of neem oil with a milder soap (Castile) would be a better choice. It acts as an insecticide as well as a fungicide. If you use any systemic additives, you cannot grow dill in the same soil. My mammoth dill grows to over 5 foot all and can self seed if its left to go to seed. Its come up in the same areas for 2 years now. About the only insects I see there are tiny pollinators, very small wasps and other slow fliers that like to get into the tiny flowers before the seed heads form. I don't usually see any other damaging insects on dill however.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 4:34PM
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robiniaquest(z6 MO)

Dill would probably look beautiful. I have bronze fennel planted with roses, and it gets lots of compliments. And...I know this is heresy, but in that same bed I have TONS of mint. Basically, Kentucky Colonel is the main filler for the bed, with large plants of bronze fennel and rosemary to the back (it is against a white brick wall). There are two Zephirine Drouhin (antique climber) plants in the back, and 3 mini roses in amongst the mint. Oh, and clematis. They compete just fine and look smashing. The entire thing is edged in the front with Lemon and Silver Thyme. To top it all off, there is a vigorous young (about 7 years old) mulberry tree in one corner of the bed with honeysuckle and morning glories growing all over it!!! Talk about a lot of "invasives"!!! It all does great year after year. The thymes have to be replaced every few years, but they would have to be anyway. They grow huge, and weep over the side of the bed.

Not that I haven't had some failures in that bed...I originally had more Greek Oregano in that bed than mint, but over the years it has dwindled to a few mere sprigs. I'm giving up on that bed for oregano. In addition, I have never had much luck with other mint varieties competing against the KY Col. I have probably planted 6-8 different mints in there over the years, with different degrees of disaster. Some can hold their own but never get very big (like bigger than 12" high and wide), while others just never return in the spring.

I second the suggestion that you go organic. Antique roses and minis generally work well for organic, IME. I don't have any, but I'll bet the same is true for landscape-type shrub roses, if that's what you're going for. The only thing is, they might get so big outwards that they'll envelope your herbs.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 4:24PM
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witchsbrew(7 NC)

I have been experimenting with different types of thyme around my roses. It has been quite successful in filling out and reducing pesky weeds, plus it looks great. I have a problem with black spot here in NC, so I wanted something that would allow good air flow.
Good luck with your plantings,

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 12:21AM
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I love roses and herbs. In my area we have trouble with a lot of frost heave and excess moisture. to keep my roses happy they are in raised beds. How do I make the raised beds...with whatever is handy. I have recycled speaker boxes...sewer pipes...anything that is hollow and I can line up. In the hollow containers If they are over 12 inches deep I fill them 1/2 full of styrofoam peanuts...takes up room and makes a well drained container. then I top the rest of the container with my great compost and dirt mixture. water and let settle because some will sift down between the peanuts. then plant with myherbs. Oregano loves the pots, and so does thyme. and the rosemary is happy there too. Now chives I don't plant in the containers. the root mass gets too congested. BTW...roses are supposed to love chives. so I plunk plants in...yes hard to harves between the plants...lol.

Black spot: My saving grace is baking soda in warm water..spray the leaves and stems thoroughy in early morning about once a week. In our very hummid area this works as long as I keep up with the schedule. put a little dishsoap in the spray to make it stick to the plants.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 2:05PM
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Good thread :)

I've been trying to find more information for planting roses and herbs together. The more I research edible gardening, the more I end up putting herbs in place of many of the inedible perennials. They're pretty, and I still use a few, but herbs seem to bring in more cottage charm. I still plan to let hollyhocks reseed in the back, though I might try some marshmallow and angelica, too :)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 5:54PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

I have over fifty roses that came with the place - I prefer edible crops, technically they are edible since the hips and petals can be...in any case, I recently planted different types of alliums all along the soaker hose I use to keep them watered on the largest rose bed. Different onions, garlic, and chives are up, it looks pretty cool and will be nice when they flower! Of course, I do enjoy the roses themselves too, most have wonderful scents and they come in all colors. No idea what they are, other than beautiful.

I already have established a patch of zatar (Syrian oregano), parsley that recently self sowed, mustard that I am letting go to seed, and mint in that bed.

Some other beds have marjoram, sage, thyme, nasturtiums, celery, other types of oregano, lettuces, cilantro, peppers, and dill with roses. Mint was established on the ground when I arrived, and it is actually not such a bad thing, in any case, a couple of the rose beds have mint with the roses.

Make sure you leave the root free of vegetation and allow air circulation, otherwise, planting herbs and roses is OK. I spray nothing at all but should spray some baking soda because I do have some rust issues. This should not bother any herbs or veggies I grow there. Ladybugs are on the scene too.

Also, I realize this is an old thread, but keep in mind that neem oil is an apicide, not a good thought in these days of colony collapse. I do not understand why it is considered organic.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 12:03AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Because it comes from a natural source, the neem tree in this case, rather than some synthetic, man-made source. Just because it is "organic" doesn't mean it can't kill. Look at all the potent poisons our plant friends give us - hemlock, wolfsbane, castor, foxglove, and so many more. Those poisons could be considered organic too! ;)

Speaking of edible gardening, there are some real pretty food plants like various peppers (my fav for beauty is the variety "Fish"), bean (ex. scarlet runner beans), asparagus (the fronds are airy and beautiful), peas (dwarf grey sugar is pretty with lavender & purple blooms as well as tasty pods), and so many more! Slip a few of them into your edible landscaping!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 8:30AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

When used according to directions, neem causes few problems for bees or other beneficial creatures. Avoid spraying flowers and don't soak the bees with it. Just as you wouldn't with anything you sprayed on your plants.

By the way, neem has been used IN hives to help control mites.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 12:00PM
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