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Plant a Perfect Pair: Lavender & Roses for Pest Free Blooms

Lavender and Roses Companion Plants Pest Free Blooms

Lavender and roses make a great pair for companion planting! Roses bring in aphids while Lavender brings in the ladybugs! Ladybugs will make quick work of these pests for an instant natural pest control that’s also safe for bees and pollinators.

Companion planting creates better pollination, pest control, plant health and makes for a beautiful pleasing design! A natural and easy way to keep your roses and landscape plants beautiful with minimal maintenance and chemicals.

Companion planting with Lavender and other fragrant herbs and flowers like Alliums, Thyme, Catmint, Sage, Salvia, Oregano, and Rosemary keeps a healthy garden that attract beneficial insects and birds, like hummingbirds, that feast on aphids.

In our distilling rose garden (these are highly fragrant roses that we distill into essential oils), we plant a lavender for every grouping of rose bushes leaving 1-2’ spacing from the rose bush so there is room for roots to grow. Under each rose bush we also grow woolly thyme as a ground cover for weed control. Along the edge of the rose garden we grow a mixed border of Alliums, Herbs, Salvias and more Lavender. This has worked for us and keeps our adjacent honeybees safe!

Studies now show that systemic rose products used for aphids and black spot that contain Neonicotinoids are absorbed into the pollen of roses. When bees forage on this pollen they bring it back and feed it to their baby bees. Even small amounts of this pollen can quickly destroy an entire hive!

What you can do?

For Black Spot Control and Powdery Mildew we use a mixture developed by a Cornel University researcher: 1 tablespoon of baking soda mixed in a gallon of water, with a few drops of horticultural oil or liquid soap added to help it cling to the leaves. Spray tops and bottoms of leaves, especially after a heavy rain. We also spray with a liquid kelp periodically to toughen up the cuticle of the rose leaf.

The key to black spot control is prevention:

Plant in a sunny spot.

Space plants for good air circulation.

Avoid overhead watering.

Plant in well-drained soil.

Remove and discard diseased leaves.

Both Lavender and Roses love sun, well-drained soil, good air circulation, are heat tolerant and both dislike overhead watering. Be aware that many varieties of roses tend to have more watering requirements than lavender and herbs. We use drip irrigation at the base of each rose bush and avoid overhead watering. We also mulch roses with 3-4 inches of compost to help retain water. This helps with diseases and leaf black spot as well.

Stay away from popular systemic products containing Neonicotinoids, like Bayer Systemic Rose and Flower Care and other neonicotinoid containing treatments. Neonicotinoids include products with the active ingredients: acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid or thiamethoxam. There are many on the market to home gardeners and will be listed on the package under ‘active ingredients’. Also, when buying new rose bushes, look for disease resistant varieties, there are many gorgeous options available!

Roses are healthier when planted with companion plants, but it also makes for a beautiful design! The look of layered roses, flowers, herbs and even vegetables all growing in the same area and I'm in love! The exquisite blooms of lavender and herbs like Catmint and Sage/Salvia blooming at the same time can frame and contrasts delicate rose blooms.

Companion planting brings diversity to your garden and landscape and is a must for healthy harvests and beautiful blooms!

Want to add lavender to your rose garden this year? Be sure to visit our plant page for more information on lavender or come visit us this summer to see which lavender variety is right for you!


Honeybee lavender scenic bee flower foraging

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