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17 Shade Loving Perennials To Pair With Hydrangeas

Discover the perfect solution for shady spots in your garden with our guide to shade loving perennials! Explore a variety of resilient plants that thrive in low-light conditions, bringing beauty to every corner of your outdoor space.

shade loving perennial flowers to complement hydrangeas

Hello and welcome to our comprehensive guide on shade-loving perennial flowers, where we delve into the world of plants that thrive in low-light conditions!

While many gardens may have areas with limited sunlight, these spaces can still burst with color and vitality thanks to the wide array of perennials specially adapted to shade.

From delicate blooms to lush foliage, these enduring plants offer beauty and charm while providing solutions for shady spots in your garden.

While we are all about hydrangeas here at Hydrangea Love, we also talk about everything that complements those big, beautiful blooms…including companion plants!

Since many varieties of hydrangeas do best in shade or part-shade spaces, this article is focused on shade perennial flowers that pair well with our favorite flowers.

Join us as we explore the best shade-loving perennials to enhance your outdoor space with vibrant colors and textures year after year.

You Might Also Like: The Best Hydrangeas for Shade: 6 Stellar Choices

What are perennials?

Perennials are the reliable workhorses of the plant world, offering enduring beauty and presence year after year.

Unlike annuals, which complete their life cycle in a single season, perennials regrow from the same roots each year, gracing gardens with their colorful blooms, lush foliage, or striking architectural forms.

These enduring plants come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them versatile additions to any landscape.

With proper care and maintenance, perennials can continue to thrive for many seasons, delighting gardeners with their enduring charm and resilience.

Psst…if you’re looking for the best place to shop for shade perennials, we like Nature Hills Nursery and Plants by Mail.

17 Shade Loving Perennials to Pair with Hydrangeas

17 Shade Loving Perennials to Pair with Hydrangeas

Here’s a helpful list of 17 shade-loving perennials that pair beautifully with hydrangeas, creating stunning combinations in your garden:

1. Hosta (Hosta spp.)

hostas as shade loving companion plants

Known for their attractive foliage in various shades of green, blue, and variegated patterns, hostas are excellent companions for hydrangeas, offering contrasting textures.

2. Astilbe (Astilbe spp.)

astilbe are shade loving perennial plants

With their feathery plumes of pink, white, or red flowers, astilbes add a delicate and airy touch to shady areas, complementing the bold blooms of hydrangeas.

Related Reading: 10 Stunning Hydrangea Varieties You Need in Your Garden

3. Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

bleeding heart are shade loving perennial flowers

The heart-shaped flowers of bleeding hearts dangle gracefully from arching stems, providing a charming contrast to the rounded clusters of hydrangea blooms.

4. Ferns (Various species)

ferns do well in full shade

Ferns thrive in shady conditions and offer a range of textures, from delicate fronds to bold, architectural forms, creating a lush backdrop for hydrangeas.

5. Heuchera (Heuchera spp.)

heuchera are great companions for hydrangeas

Also known as coral bells, heucheras feature colorful foliage in shades of green, purple, silver, and bronze, adding visual interest to shade gardens alongside hydrangeas.

6. Lungwort (Pulmonaria spp.)

lungwort for a shade garden

Lungwort’s spotted leaves and early spring blooms in shades of pink, blue, and white make it an ideal companion plant for hydrangeas, providing color and texture.

7. Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra)

Japanese forest grass

This graceful grass forms cascading mounds of foliage in shades of green or variegated patterns, offering a soft and elegant contrast to hydrangeas.

8. Foamflower (Tiarella spp.)

foamflower shade perennials

Foamflowers produce airy spikes of tiny flowers above attractive foliage, creating a delicate and ethereal effect that pairs well with the bold blooms of hydrangeas.

9. Goat’s Beard (Aruncus dioicus)

Aruncus dioicus or goat's beard

Still looking for shade-loving perennial flowers to pair with hydrangeas?

Known for its fluffy, creamy white plumes of flowers that resemble astilbe blooms, Goat’s Beard brings a unique texture and visual interest to shaded areas.

This perennial thrives in moist, shady conditions and pairs beautifully with the bold blooms of hydrangeas, creating a captivating contrast in the garden.

10. Japanese Anemone (Anemone × hybrida)

Japanese anemone

With their elegant, nodding flowers in shades of pink and white, Japanese anemones provide a graceful complement to the billowy blooms of hydrangeas.

You Might Also Like: 21 Top Companion Plants For Hostas

11. Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum spp.)

Solomon's Seal

This woodland plant features arching stems lined with dainty, bell-shaped flowers and attractive foliage, adding a touch of elegance to shaded areas alongside hydrangeas.

12. Epimedium (Epimedium spp.)

Epimedium or Barrenwort

Also known as barrenwort or bishop’s hat, Epimediums offer delicate, heart-shaped foliage and dainty flowers in shades of white, pink, yellow, or purple.

These low-growing perennials are prized for their resilience in shade and add a touch of whimsy and elegance to any garden setting, complementing hydrangeas beautifully.

13. Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)

Columbine flower for shade

Columbines boast intricate, spurred flowers in various colors, attracting pollinators and adding vertical interest to shade gardens alongside hydrangeas.

14. Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)

Bugleweed shade perennials

With its low-growing habit and attractive foliage in shades of green, bronze, or purple, bugleweed serves as a useful ground cover beneath hydrangeas in shaded areas.

15. Hellebore (Helleborus spp.)

Hellebore shade flowers

Hellebores, also known as Lenten roses, offer elegant, nodding blooms in shades of white, pink, purple, or green, often appearing in late winter or early spring.

Their evergreen foliage provides year-round interest, making them a perfect complement to hydrangeas in shaded areas.

16. Ligularia (Ligularia spp.)

Ligularia shade loving perennial

Still in search of shade-loving perennial flowers to pair with hydrangeas?

Ligularias feature bold, rounded leaves and tall spikes of yellow or orange flowers, adding drama and contrast to the softer hues of hydrangeas in shady areas.

17. Toad Lily (Tricyrtis spp.)

Toad Lily

Toad lilies produce unique, orchid-like flowers speckled with spots or streaks, adding a touch of whimsy and intrigue to shade gardens alongside hydrangeas.

Best companion plants for hydrangeas

There you have it – now you have some great shade-loving perennials to pair with your favorite hydrangeas!

By incorporating these shade-loving perennials into your garden design alongside hydrangeas, you can create visually striking and dynamic landscapes that thrive in low-light conditions.

Do you have any other favorite shade loving perennials you think should be added to this list?

Feel free to share them below!

Until next time,

Your Fellow Hydrangea Lover

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