7 Hydrangea Companion Plants

Hydrangeas grow best when grown near other beneficial plants. Which companion plants should you consider growing?

Care for hydrangeas includes choosing the right companion plants for it. When deciding which plants to grow with your hydrangeas, consider the colors, textures, and growing requirements. 

Hydrangeas can survive full sun if they receive adequate water but prefer partial shade during the day’s hottest hours. 

Here are a few plants that will pair well with your hydrangeas.

1. Dogwood

Although some may not consider it a plant, consider growing a small or medium-sized tree, to give shade for your hydrangeas. Some dogwood tree species are large enough to provide shade to smaller plants. Dogwoods offer beautiful pink or white blossoms in spring, and their attractive bark and foliage offer year-round garden interest. 

blooming white dogwood flower

2. Hostas

Hostas make great hydrangea companions. They prefer slightly acidic growth media and thrive in nutrient-rich, damp, but not saturated soils. Like hydrangeas, they prefer some shade.

Hosta foliage comes in various colors, making them great additions to the garden. They have mophead-shaped foliage with spherical and teardrop-shaped leaves that highlight the inflorescences of hydrangeas.

hostas garden plant with golden leaves

3. Azaleas

Azaleas and rhododendrons are two of the best plants to grow next to hydrangeas because they both prefer partial shade and organic mulch. These plants, like blue hydrangeas, require somewhat acidic soil.

Azaleas are excellent companions for any acid-loving plant because they are not bothered by insects or diseases. The white or yellow-flowering azaleas also contrast beautifully with blue hydrangeas.

pink azalea flowers in the garden

4. Sweet Potato Vine

One ideal companion plant is the sweet potato vine. It produces masses of multicolored leaves ranging from gold, bronze, and brown, to brilliant green. Some even take on deep, dark, almost black colors.

Its modest stature is perfect as a groundcover or border plant in front of hydrangeas. While there are hydrangea varieties for USDA zones 5 through 11, the sweet potato vine thrives in USDA zones 8 through 11, so keep that in mind before planting.

crawling sweet potato vine

5. Ferns

Ferns and hydrangeas are a fascinating combination. The massive leaves of hydrangeas contrast nicely with the lacy leaf structures of ferns, especially the tiny varieties. 

Many gardeners see ferns as great additions to gardens. Like hydrangeas, ferns like rich, moist soil and partial shade. They can be used as groundcover in areas where other plants can’t grow. 

green sword fern plant

6. Perennial Geraniums

Geraniums are hardy, classic garden plants that require minimal care. They are versatile plants that thrive in full to partial sunlight. Perennial geraniums can be used to fill the front border foundation gardens. The lush foliage features gorgeous leaves, and the purple, pink, or white flowers resemble that of the annual geranium.

7. Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses are easy to grow and require minimal care. Their subtle beauty enhances the beauty of flowers without bringing attention to themselves. Because of their thin, strappy leaves, ornamental grasses make great hydrangea companion plants.

One ornamental grass to consider is the dwarf fountain grass with cascading dark green foliage, providing motion to borders. The Japanese wild grass is also a good choice because of its striped green and gold leaves. The blue fescue, like hydrangeas, prefers full or partial sun, and their bluish-gray tufts grow to 4 to 11 inches, making them ideal grasses for edging. 

blue fescue flowers in the garden
Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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