The Unexpected Benefits Of Planting Garlic Near Your Roses

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The Unexpected Benefits Of Planting Garlic Near Your Roses

The Unexpected Benefits Of Planting Garlic Near Your Roses

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Most people who garden keep different categories of seedlings in separate plotted areas. For instance, herbs and vegetables are often grown separately from flowers. However, there is evidence that some unlikely vegetation pairings — through a practice called companion planting – could actually be beneficial to the growing process of one or both plants. Garlic, for example, is known for its many health benefits and delicious flavor when eaten, but it turns out that it also makes an excellent neighbor when planted next to roses.

It might seem odd to grow roses and garlic together in the same plot, but garlic actually has natural qualities that improve and enhance the growth of the popular flower. Garlic is known to deter aphids, one of roses’ most dangerous pests, as well as many other unwanted visitors. It can also prevent the fungal disease known as black spot, which can quickly infest and kill all your rose bushes as it spreads. And if those benefits somehow aren’t astounding enough, garlic can also nourish the soil, resulting in larger, stronger, and more fragrant roses.

Garlic keeps the pests at bay

rose attacked by aphids

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Garlic is easily identified by its strong, pungent smell. While people may be drawn to a kitchen smelling of garlic, several insects and animals are repelled by its odor. Garlic has been known to repel some of the most insidious garden pests such as aphids, ants, beetles, and slugs, among others. Aphids in particular are partial to roses — there is even a specific rose aphid that preys on the flowers almost exclusively. They have sharp mouths that can penetrate the tender leaves and buds of the plant, sucking away vital nutrients and juices. By repelling these tiny menaces with garlic, your roses will have a greater chance of flourishing.

In addition to getting rid of aphids and keeping away a wide variety of insects, planting garlic next to your roses will keep deer, rabbits, and other notorious nibblers from getting too close. Garlic’s signature aroma discourages these animals from investigating, and in the case of rabbits it threatens a deathly allergic reaction. This is important to note if you have pet rabbits, because you want to make sure your garden is safe.

Garlic adds vital nutrients to the soil

garlic plants growing in soil

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Planting garlic next to roses has been a trick used by organic gardeners for years. Rather than treating your rose bushes with harsh chemicals, garlic acts not just as a natural insect repellent but as an enhancement to the soil. As garlic grows, it creates sulfur-heavy byproducts that seep into the soil. As it happens, sulfur is a key ingredient in numerous rose fertilizer and disease-prevention products, so the natural sulfur produced by nearby garlic accomplishes similar feats.

Roses can be subject to various fungal diseases, black spot being one of the most prevalent. Sulfur is often used to treat this disease, and since garlic produces sulfur naturally, planting it next to your roses creates an organic preventative that will keep black spot from forming at all. In addition, sulfur lowers the pH of your soil, making it more acidic. Roses incidentally thrive in acidic soil environments, so the garlic works to improve the mineral composition of the soil, producing bigger, hardier, and more aromatic blossoms. The benefits of growing garlic next to your rose bushes are numerous and can ensure beautifully healthy plants without the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.