Can You Plant Hostas with Roses?

Roses and hostas are beautiful additions to any garden, but they have different growing conditions that lead people to ask, can you plant hostas with roses?

So, can you plant hostas with roses? Absolutely! Many different types of hostas and roses can grow in the same garden. The key is to find roses that do well with less sunlight and hostas that can tolerate a bit more sunshine than others. Once you’ve found the perfect mix, you can grow them side by side.

Luckily, there are rose and hostas species that thrive in these unusual growing conditions. I’ve unlocked the secret to growing roses and hostas side by side by carefully researching and monitoring their growth after I plant them. So far, I’ve been very pleased with the results, and you can find out how to have rambling roses and happy hostas in your yard or garden by reading more below.

How Do You Grow Hostas and Roses Together?

The first thing you want to do is go survey your yard to find an area that has a mix of shade and sunlight. Roses need at least a moderate amount of sunlight during the day, and hostas need more shade to prevent burning. Look around any tall shrubs, bushes, or trees you have in your yard. I have a large tree in the corner of my yard that casts shadows in the afternoon, and it’s perfect for hostas and roses.

Luckily, soil pH isn’t a factor you have to spend a lot of time worrying about. Roses are at their happiest when you plant them in slightly acidic soil in the range of 6.0 to 6.9pH. Hostas are happiest in more neutral soils that have a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5.

So, make your roses happy pH-wise, and the hostas being hostas, will be happy.

Another important point is the soil’s composition. It’s a good idea to mix compost in before you plant anything if you have clay-based or sandy soil to inject a few nutrients. Roses thrive with garden loam in the soil, and this soil allows for good drainage. Check your pH levels and monitor them regularly to stay within your chosen range.

A second thing to consider is the watering requirements of both plant species. Hostas are generally greedier with the amount of water they need, and roses like to dry out slightly between watering sessions. This can be a challenge if you don’t pay attention to the sun and shade ratio. The sunlight will help the roses dry out faster, and the shade will help the hostas retain moisture.

I added a light layer of mulch around the hostas to help them hold more moisture after each watering. You can have thicker mulch around the hostas and thinner around the roses to help with the moisture levels.

You can also add a dual drip irrigation system or water by hand. There are thousands of hosta and rose species available, but you want to avoid the hostas with thinner leaves. These tend to burn in the sun while hostas with wide leaves can tolerate more direct sunlight. Roses need sunlight, but you can get away with planting many species as long as they get some sunlight every day.

Host and rose planted along a white picket fence

Which Hostas Can Grow in the Sunlight?

Once you get your area all set up for your hostas and roses, it’s time to decide which species will do well in slightly sunnier conditions. Gold and yellow hostas do very well in these conditions, as do hostas with thick leaves because they’re less likely to burn. Yellow variegated hostas, hostas with small amounts of white variegation, and hostas with wrinkles, puckered, or pleated leaves also do very well.

There are dozens of hosta species that match this description. In order to make it easy for you to choose these hostas if you’re brand new to it, you can take a look at the table below. I’ve listed over 50 different hosta plants that you can incorporate into your sunny area with your roses. Each one has slightly different coloring, sizes, and growth patterns, so you can make a unique area that is very eye-catching.

New and Popular Sun Tolerant Hostas

Adorable

Cracker Crumbs

Geisha

Luna Moth

Allan P. McConnell

Curly Fries

Georgia Sweetheart

Monster Ears

Amber Tiara

Dance With Me

Get Nekkid

Platinum Tiara

American Sweetheart

Dark Star

Gold Edger

Pocketful of Sunshine

Angel Falls

Darwin's Standard

Golden Scepter

Praying Hands

Ani Machi

Diamond Tiara

Grand Prize

Rainforest Sunrise

August Moon

Diana Remembered

Golden Falls

Red Stepper

Avocado

Doubled Up

Grand Tiara

Ruby Earrings

Avocado Toast

Emerald Tiara

Green Fountain

Salute

Ben Vernooij

Enchiladas

Hands Up

Smash Hit

Beyond Glory

Epiphany

Happy Dayz

Spritzer

Blonde Elf

Etched Glass

Hawaiian Luau

Sting

Bright Lights

Fantasy Island

Honey Bear

Sugar Babe

Cathedral Windows

Feather Boa

Island Breeze

Tea at Bettys

Cheatin Heart

Fireworks

June

Timeless Beauty

Cherry Berry

Flemish Gold

June Spirit

Tongue of Flame

Cherry Tart

Forbidden Fruit

Lakeside Banana Bay

Wings of a Prayer

Climax

Francee

How to Spot Problems with Your Hostas and Keep Them Healthy

There will be a small amount of trial and error when you first plant your hostas in partial sun. I know I spent a lot of time monitoring them to make sure they stayed healthy. I also had to adjust a few things and come up with ways to decrease the sunlight without causing the roses to get sick.

One of the biggest things you can see on your hostas is the leaves, and this is where your first indicator that something is wrong will show up. Leaves that get too much sun tend to burn, and this burning starts at the edges of the leaves and moves inward. The leaves can turn brown and start to crinkle up, and this will eventually spread to the whole leaf before it dies.

To prevent this, you can get small pieces of shade cloth and create a small shaded area to suspend over your hosta. This will help to block more of the sunlight and keep it cool. It can also help with moisture retention if you’re having problems keeping up on it. Make sure this cloth doesn’t cover your roses, and try to alternate when you have it on and off because your hosta should still get some sun.

If your hosta simply isn’t growing, we have a guide that can help you remedy that problem.

Hosta, roses and conifers planted together

Picking Roses That Grow Well in Shade

Roses need sunshine to grow, so it’s no surprise that they do much better planted in the brighter areas of your garden that get the most sun. The nice thing with roses is that they come in so many different bright and bold colors, and you can mix and match them to help offset your hosta’s natural coloring.

Since there are so many rose species available, it can be challenging to narrow down which ones do best in dappled or light shade instead of direct sunlight. I’ve picked out over 50 different rose plants that will do very well if you choose to plant them in lightly shaded areas with your hostas, and you can see them below. Try to pick out different colors that contrast nicely with one another

Popular Shade Tolerant Roses

A Shropshire Lad

F. J. Grootendorst

Madame Alfred Carriere

Septer'd Isle

Ambridge Rose

Fair Bianca

Madame Plantier

Skylark

American Pillar

Gertrude Jekyll

Marjorie Fair

St Swithun

Anne Boleyn

Golden Celebration

Marmalade Skies

Susan Williams-Ellis

Anthony Meilland

Golden Showers

Knock Out Series

Teasing Georgia

Ballerina

Grace

Meivahyn

Tess of The d'Urbervilles

Belinda

Gabariel Oak

Mermaid

The Ancient Mariner

Benjamin Britten

Graham Thomas

Mme. Hardy

The Fairy'

Bonica

Gruss an Aachen

Moonlight

The Generous Gardener

Brother Cadfael

Heritage

New Dawn

The Lady of the Lake

Charles Darwin

Hyde Hall

Old Blush China

The Lady's Blush

Constance Spry

Ice Meidiland

Olivia Rose Austin

The Lark Ascending

Cornelia

Iceburg Series

Princess Alexandra of Kent

The Mayflower

Crocus Rose

Imogen

Princess Anne

The Mill on the Floss

Crown Princess Margareta

James Galway

Prosperity

The Poet's Wife

Darlow's Enigma

Jude the Obscure

Queen of Denmark

The Wedgwood Rose

Docteur Jamain

Kew Gardens

Queen of Sweden

Thomas's Becket

Eden Climber

Lady of Shalott

Roald Dahl

Veilchenblau

England's Rose

Lichfield Angel

Roosemoor

Wildeve

Eustica Vye

Lyda Rose

Scarborough Fair

William and Catherine

How to Spot Problems with Your Roses and Keep Them Healthy

Roses can be slightly more finicky than hostas when it comes to their ideal growing environment, but it’s relatively easy to spot problems early. The rose’s growth rate will tell you whether or not it’s getting enough sunlight. You can stunt your rose’s growth and have a hard time bringing it back if you don’t give them enough sunlight when they’re young.

You can also take a good look at your rose’s leaves and flowers. When you do, you’re looking to see if you can spot any dropping stems or buds. Soft growth is more prone to developing diseases than the strong, firm growth you see on happy roses.

Some of the most common problems you’ll see in soft growth are Botrytis (Gray Mold), Black Spots, and Rust. These diseases are the most common in roses. Also, roses with soft growth that are growing in an area with higher humidity as is common in shade areas have an increased risk for infection. If you notice these problems, try to get more sunlight to your roses and watch the water levels. Overwatering is very easy to do, and you should wait until the soil gets slightly dry between watering sessions. As for the sunlight, you may find yourself moving anything around the roses that could block the sun.

Frequently Asked Questions

What plants grow well with roses?

Plants that are good companions to roses are the ones that hide the rose’s stems. Traditionally, this included catmint, lavender, and dianthus. Other plants that make good companions are ones that help suppress the weeds and shade the soil like hostas to keep the rose roots cool.

What plants look best with hostas?

Hostas can come in a broad green coloring, and some have purple hues thrown in. So, you want plants like roses that offer both height and pops of color. Make sure you choose a few different colored roses to make your whole garden pop and show off the green hues in the hostas.

Are hostas and roses annuals or perennials?

Hostas are perennials, and their lush looks with their lower maintenance needs make them popular with gardeners. Roses are also perennials, but they need a little more care than hostas to be happy and thrive.

Can you move hostas and roses once you plant them?

Hostas are tough plants that are very forgiving if you want to move them once you plant them. However, roses should remain in place if at all possible because they’re more finicky, and they do not always react well to being moved.

Hosta and rose circle in the walkway

Closing Thoughts

So, can you plant hostas with roses? Now you know that it is possible to accomplish this task as long as you choose rose species that grow in shaded conditions and hosta species that grow well in sunny conditions. Both plants like rich and loamy soil with a 6.5 pH level, but hostas need more water than roses. When you plant them, remember to keep an eye on them to ensure they’re growing. In no time at all, you can find yourself with a beautiful mix of hostas and roses that look wonderful all spring and summer long.

A closing hint. Try and plant your roses in the sunniest locations possible before filling in the empty spaces with hostas. Why? Because roses won’t tolerate getting moved, and they show resentment to such treatment.

On the other hand, hostas are very tough and forgiving if you move them. Also, hostas don’t have thorns….