In previous articles, we have discussed companion planting as the process of growing certain plants together to create a natural balance. The idea is that these plants will help each other grow and thrive. Companion planting improves the quality of the soil and can be used to help other plants grow stronger, have better resistance to pests or diseases, and even attract beneficial insects and pollinators.
Hydrangeas are a favorite of gardeners because they are easy to grow and provide a great deal of color. They are popular due to their beautiful flowers and their ability to grow in a variety of climates. Hydrangea plants can grow up to six feet tall and can bloom in a variety of colors, including pink, blue, lavender, white and purple. The plants can be used as an ornamental garden plants, a border, or as a living screen on the side of your house.
When selecting companion plants for hydrangeas, make sure you find plants that do well in the same environment. Hydrangeas prefer partial sun and well-draining soil. Depending on the variety they can grow in full sun to partial shade. There are some hydrangeas that can grow in a full shade too, so you have many options.
Here are six plants that will work well with hydrangeas:
Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Azaleas and rhododendrons are a great choice for hydrangeas because they have the same growing conditions. They all like some shade, slightly acidic well-draining soil. Azaleas and rhododendrons bloom in the spring so that you will have a long season of flowers in your garden. These plants go well with the blue hydrangea plants because of the hydrangea’s preference for slightly acidic soil. Try the white or yellow azaleas or rhododendrons with blue hydrangeas.
Ferns can provide a more natural-looking environment for the hydrangeas. There are many different types of ferns, and they are one of the easiest plants to maintain. They require minimal care and can be grown in almost any type of soil. Ferns are a great companion for hydrangeas because they have similar needs, but also add a different texture and pattern to the garden. Ferns are one of the best plants for low-light areas as they thrive in shaded areas. You can also use ferns as ground cover around your hydrangeas.
Hostas are a great companion for hydrangeas because they thrive in the same soil conditions and share the same pest problems. They also have similar light requirements. Hostas provide a natural foil to the flowers of the hydrangea. The foliage of the Hostas looks wonderful with the hydrangea flowers. Hosta foliage is found in a slivery blue to creamy white. The lighter foliage of the Hosta the more sun the plant can take. Hostas are at their best in the summer, so they are a great complement to the hydrangea flowers.
Japanese Forest Grass
Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra) is a type of ornamental grass that can be grown in many different climates, including zones 4 to 10. It is an evergreen plant, and it has a wide variety of colors, variegation, sizes, and shapes. The leaves are green and will turn red in the fall. The Japanese forest grass is a great companion for hydrangeas because it can grow taller than the flower, which makes it perfect for blocking the sun from reaching the flowers. The grass provides the perfect backdrop for bright-colored hydrangeas. It also helps to keep the soil moist, which is important for hydrangeas.
Perennial Geraniums are a great companion plant for hydrangeas because they thrive in the same conditions. They both need soil that is moist and well-drained, but not too wet. They also prefer partial shade to full sun. Try planting them in front of or beneath a larger hydrangea. They also attract butterflies and bees that pollinate the flowers.