4 Best Companion Plants to Try

4 Best Companion Plants to Try

Hydrangea is the perfect garden shrub to attract pollinators and add beauty, color and interest to any landscape. With a romantic, homely aesthetic and hundreds of varieties available, you’re bound to fall in love with at least one. Hydrangeas range from a few feet in height to 8 to 10 feet long and wide, so they are equally at home in a pot in your porch garden or as part of the beds in your flower garden. Once established, they thrive in almost any climate from USDA hardiness zones 3 to zone 9 (find your hardiness zone here). Make sure you choose one that fits your area.

Hydrangeas begin blooming in early to mid-summer, depending on the variety, and the flowers remain through the fall. In many parts of the country, the faded flowers will remain on the plant to provide winter interest to your bare garden. Hydrangeas also make wonderful cut or dried flowers. Although many people think that hydrangeas only grow in shade, most species need at least four hours of sun to thrive well. In warm climates, they prefer afternoon shade to protect them from the scorching heat. They like well-drained soil – never soggy – but will tolerate many different types from sandy to clay. To complete your garden, plant hydrangeas with companion plants that have similar needs.

Related: What to plant with lavender: 9 best companions

Here’s what else you should know about what to plant hydrangeas and how to care for these wonderful shrubs:

What type of hydrangea should I plant?

There are five basic types including large-leaf, cluster-leaf, smooth, mountain-leaf, and oak-leaf. There are also climbing hydrangeas, which will climb a wall or large trellis for a stunning display when they reach maturity in a few years. Each species has its own charm, with different flowering colours, shapes and sizes. For ease of care, it is not much better than the cluster types. Oakleaf species offer crimson leaf color in fall. Bigleaf and Mountain need afternoon shade, or they may wilt. Read the plant label or description before purchasing so you know the plant’s needs.

What is a companion transplant?

The idea of ​​companion planting is part folklore and part science. It’s based on the theory that some plants help other plants absorb nutrients better, attract beneficial pollinators, or like the same growing conditions so they grow well together. In the case of hydrangeas, it’s mostly a matter of choosing plants that like similar light and humidity levels.

Is it possible to plant hydrangeas close to each other?

Much depends on the mature size of each plant. If planted too close together, they will interfere with each other’s growth. So, instead of a beautifully shaped plant showing its natural shape, they will compete and outgrow each other, creating sparse branches with no leaves or flowers. It’s fine to plant in groups or clumps, but keep each plant one mature plant away from the others. That is, if the plant is 3 feet wide at maturity, keep it at least as far back as the next plant position.

At what distance from the house should hydrangea be planted?

It may now only be a small 4-inch pot or quart-sized container, but in a few years, the hydrangea will reach its mature size. As mentioned above, plant it at least one plant width away from the house. But also make sure they get some sunlight because hydrangeas in full shade (without direct sunlight) will not thrive well.

Here are the best companion plants for hydrangea:

Crape myrtles are large shrubs that can also be pruned into a tree shape. It has beautiful, cheerful flowers in various shades of pink or purple, so it coordinates well with most hydrangeas. When trained into a tree form, they can provide afternoon shade for hydrangeas.

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The ball-shaped evergreens provide year-round interest and color, while providing a beautiful contrast with their rounded shapes and lace texture to the freer form of hydrangea shrubs. Look for ones that maintain their round shape without trimming.

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Cranesbill, also known as perennial geranium, is a lesser-known plant that blooms from spring to fall. It grows beautifully and compactly with delicate flowers that “hover” above the foliage like butterflies. These perennials tolerate sun or shade, so they are a great choice for planting in front of or under larger hydrangea specimens.

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Hostas come in many different colors, shapes and sizes, from a few inches wide to 6 feet wide. It mostly needs shade but does best with some morning sun, so it’s an ideal companion plant for hydrangeas that like the same conditions.

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Related: The best places to buy plants online now

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