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21 Top Companion Plants For Hostas

Discover the perfect plant companion plants for hostas! Explore our guide to top companion plants, from ferns and astilbes to hydrangeas and coral bells. Learn how to create strategic pairings that enhance the beauty and thrive alongside your lush hostas.

top companion plants for hostas

Hello and welcome to Hydrangea Love!

Looking for the best companion plants for hostas?

If you’re working on a shade garden, you’re in the right place!

While this site is dedicated to all things hydrangeas, that also means talking about some of the best plants to complement those big, beautiful blooms.

(And hosta plants are some of our favorites!)

Related Reading: 15 Best Companion Plants for Endless Summer Hydrangea

But before we dive into the best companion plants for hostas, let’s go over some important info.

First, let’s talk about the basics of hostas and what they are. Then, we’ll share our list of the best plants to complement your beloved hostas!

What Are Hostas?

Hostas are popular perennial plants that have gained widespread admiration for their versatility, aesthetic appeal, and ease of cultivation.

These plants belong to the family Asparagaceae and are primarily known for their lush foliage, making them a favorite among garden enthusiasts.

best companion plants for hostas

Appearance and Foliage:

One of the defining characteristics of hostas is their attractive foliage.

The leaves vary widely in size, shape, and color, offering a diverse range for gardeners to choose from.

Hosta leaves can be broad or narrow, heart-shaped or lance-shaped, and their surfaces may be smooth, wavy, or deeply veined.

The color palette of hosta leaves is extensive, including shades of green, blue, yellow, and even variegated patterns.

Flowering Characteristics:

While hostas are primarily admired for their foliage, they also produce delicate and often fragrant flowers.

perennial companion plants for hostas flowering

The flowering season typically occurs in late spring to early summer, and the blossoms emerge in clusters on tall stems above the foliage.

The flower colors are generally subdued, with shades of white, lavender, and pale violet, complementing the vibrant greenery of the leaves.

Versatility in Landscaping:

Hostas are prized for their versatility in landscaping.

They are commonly used in various garden settings, ranging from traditional flower beds to woodland gardens.

Their adaptability to different light conditions allows for creative placement, making them suitable for both sunny and shaded areas.

Hostas can be employed as ground covers, border plants, or as part of larger landscape designs, providing an elegant and harmonious touch to outdoor spaces.

Hosta Cultivation and Care:

One of the reasons for the widespread popularity of hostas is their relatively low-maintenance requirements.

These plants thrive in well-drained soil enriched with organic matter.

Adequate watering, especially during dry periods, is crucial for their well-being.

Depending on the specific variety, hostas exhibit different tolerance levels to sunlight, with some preferring shade and others thriving in partial to full sunlight.

Popular Varieties:

Hostas come in a myriad of varieties, each with its own unique features.

Some well-known varieties include the classic ‘Sum and Substance’ with large, chartreuse leaves, ‘Frances Williams’ with blue-green foliage and bold yellow margins, and ‘Patriot’ with striking green and white variegation.

Pest and Disease Resistance:

Hostas are generally hardy plants, resistant to many pests and diseases.

However, slugs and snails are known to enjoy hosta leaves, so gardeners may need to implement strategies to protect their plants, such as using organic slug deterrents.

Hostas are a captivating addition to any garden, offering a wide array of foliage options, adaptability to various environments, and relative ease of care.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice, incorporating hostas into your landscape can enhance the visual appeal and bring a touch of elegance to your outdoor spaces.

But what should you plant with hostas?

This is what you came for, right!?

Regardless of whether you’re looking for the best perennial companion plants for hostas or not, here are some great companion plants for hostas.

21 Top Companion Plants For Hostas

When it comes to creating a thriving garden, strategic companion planting can make all the difference.

Hostas, with their lush foliage and versatile nature, can benefit from the company of other plants that complement their characteristics.

Here, we explore 21 top companion plants for hostas, considering factors such as color coordination, growth habits, and mutual benefits.

1. Astilbe (Astilbe spp.):

perennial companion plants for hostas astilbe

Complementing Colors: Astilbes, with their feathery plumes in shades of pink, red, or white, create a stunning contrast with hosta foliage.

Growing Conditions: Both plants thrive in partial shade with moist, well-drained soil.

2. Ferns (Various Species):

ferns as companion plants for hosta

Wondering if ferns make companion plants for hostas?

The answer is yes!

Foliage Harmony: Ferns and hostas together create a lush, textured display, with fern fronds adding a delicate touch to hosta leaves.

Shade Tolerance: Ferns and hostas share a preference for shaded environments. These woody plants are perfect for woodland gardens and require similar conditions.

(We love ferns because, like hostas, they come in many shades of green and have similar care requirements!)

3. Lungwort (Pulmonaria spp.):

lungwort as companions for hostas

Variegated Foliage: Lungwort’s silver-spotted leaves pair well with hostas, creating an attractive interplay of colors. Their purple flowers are pretty, too!

Ground Cover: Lungwort serves as a low-growing ground cover, complementing the taller hostas.

4. Heuchera (Heuchera spp.):

perennial companion plants for hostas heuchera

Contrasting Foliage: Heuchera, also known as coral bells, offer a range of foliage colors that contrast beautifully with hostas. They are shade-loving plants that look great amongst bright greens.

Diverse Heights: Different heuchera varieties provide options for varying plant heights.

5. Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis):

perennial companion plants for hostas bleeding heart

Graceful Blooms: The arching stems of bleeding hearts add elegance to hosta beds, creating a harmonious blend of flowers and foliage.

Similar Shade Preferences: Both plants thrive in shaded locations with well-drained soil.

6. Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra):

hosta companion plants japanese forest grass

Texture Contrast: The cascading habit of Japanese forest grass complements the upright nature of hostas, creating a dynamic visual effect.

Shade-Loving Duo: Both plants prefer shaded conditions and can thrive in the same environment.

7. Japanese Iris (Iris ensata):

Elegant Blooms: Japanese irises add a touch of elegance with their large, colorful blooms, creating a striking contrast to the foliage of hostas.

Moisture Loving Duo: Both plants appreciate consistent moisture, making them ideal companions in well-drained, moist soil. That’s part of what makes the Japanese Iris a good companion plant for hostas!

8. Bergenia (Bergenia spp.):

Year-Round Interest: Bergenia’s evergreen leaves provide year-round interest alongside hostas, which go dormant in winter.

Moisture Tolerance: Both plants appreciate consistent moisture and well-drained soil.

9. Japanese Maples:

Looking for a different kind of companion for your hostas? Japanese maples might be worth a try!

Ornamental Foliage: Japanese maples bring a unique charm with their colorful and intricate foliage, providing a stunning backdrop to hostas. Shade

Compatibility: Both plants thrive in shaded conditions, creating a harmonious and visually appealing garden landscape.

10. Hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.):

perennial companion plants for hostas hydrangeas

Of COURSE we were going to mention hydrangeas as great companion plants for hostas.

(In fact, they’re one of our favorite perennial companion plants for hostas.)

Diverse Blooms: Hydrangeas offer a variety of flower shapes and colors, adding a bold and captivating element to hosta beds.

Partial Shade Compatibility: Hydrangeas, like hostas, thrive in partial shade, creating a cohesive and visually appealing garden design. In fact, most hydrangeas are shade lovers, which makes their showy flowers a great fit for hostas!

You Might Also Like: The Main Types of Hydrangeas – Hydrangea Varieties 101

11. Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum spp.):

Graceful Arching Stems: Solomon’s Seal’s arching stems and pendant flowers complement the elegance of hostas, creating a harmonious and visually appealing garden.

12. Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans):

Bugleweed

Ground Cover Dynamics: Bugleweed’s mat-forming habit makes it an excellent ground cover around hostas, reducing maintenance.

Color Variety: Bugleweed comes in various foliage colors, allowing for creative combinations with different hosta varieties.

13. Hellebore (Helleborus spp.):

Hellebore

Winter Blooms: Hellebores, (also known as lenten roses) offer winter interest with their early-blooming flowers, filling the garden void when hostas are dormant.

Shade Tolerance: Both plants are shade-loving and can coexist seamlessly.

14. Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum):

sweet woodruff as companion plant for hosta

Fragrant Ground Cover: Sweet Woodruff’s delicate, fragrant white flowers and low-growing habit make it an ideal ground cover that harmonizes with hostas.

Shade-Loving Plant: Both sweet woodruff and hostas thrive in shaded environments, creating a cohesive and aromatic garden space.

15. Foamflower (Tiarella spp.):

foamflower

Still in search of great companion plants for hostas? Give foamflower a try!

Foamy Blooms: Foamflowers produce delicate flower spikes that complement the texture of hosta leaves.

Similar Growing Conditions: Both plants thrive in shaded or partially shaded locations with moist soil.

16. Lamium (Lamium spp.):

lamium

Also known as Spotted Dead Nettle, Lamium is a great choice for planting near hostas.

Silver Foliage: Lamium’s silver-variegated leaves add a touch of brightness and contrast when planted alongside hostas.

Ground Cover Benefits: Lamium serves as a ground cover, suppressing weeds and creating a cohesive look.

17. Columbine (Aquilegia spp.):

columbine flower

Vertical Interest: The airy blooms of columbine add a vertical element to hosta beds, enhancing overall garden aesthetics.

Partial Shade Compatibility: Columbines prefer partial shade, making them suitable companions for hostas.

18. Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium spp.):

Jacob's ladder

Graceful Foliage: Jacob’s ladder’s finely divided leaves add grace and texture, creating a pleasing contrast with hosta foliage.

Shade Preferences: Both plants thrive in shaded environments, making them compatible companions.

19. Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla):

brunnera

Silver Heart-Shaped Leaves: Brunnera’s heart-shaped leaves with silver markings complement hostas, adding visual interest. (Also referred to as Siberian bugloss.)

Shade-Loving Duo: Both plants share a preference for shade and well-drained soil.

20. Acorus (Acorus spp.):

acorus

Graceful Grass-Like Foliage: Acorus, with its grass-like leaves, adds a touch of grace and complements the lush hosta foliage.

Moisture Tolerance: Both plants appreciate consistent moisture and can be planted in damp areas.

21. Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.):

daylilies

Sequential Blooms: Daylilies and hostas provide a succession of blooms, ensuring continuous visual interest throughout the growing season.

Sun and Shade Adaptability: Daylilies tolerate more sunlight, allowing for flexible placement in gardens with varying light conditions.

Now you have some great companion plants for hostas!

(I’m sure you’ll make an excellent choice.)

When strategically paired, these companion plants can enhance the beauty of hostas, creating a harmonious and visually appealing garden.

Consider the specific needs and preferences of each great plant when planning your garden design to ensure a thriving and complementary landscape and you’re sure to have a beautiful space.

Best of luck with your garden,

Your fellow Hydrangea Lover

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