Companion Plants for Hostas
Hostas have earned their status as one of the most popular perennials for shade gardens. Their thick, corrugated leaves form graceful mounds of foliage that keep their appeal from spring to fall. Most importantly, they’re easy to grow (even for beginners) in containers, garden beds, and city environments. By this point, we hope to have already convinced you to add at least one hosta to your landscape. But what plants should you pair with them?
The possibilities seem endless, especially since hostas are one of the most versatile plants we offer. They come in an array of shapes, colors, and sizes, which means they play well with others but can also create a dynamic garden all on their own. We’ll spell out our favorite companion plants for hostas to get you started, but let your creativity flow as you mix and match them.
How to grow hostas
It’s crucial to know how to grow hostas before selecting compatible plants. Hostas grow best in morning sun and cool afternoon shade. Therefore, you wouldn’t want to pair it with lavender, which prefers full sun and dry soils. The best plants to pair will grow in similar conditions.
- Soil: Prefers to grow in average or fertile soil.
- Light: Thrives in shade (< 4 hours sun) to part sun (4-6 hours sun). Morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal, especially in hotter climates.
- Water: Hostas have average water needs, and once established, they have some tolerance for dry shade (particularly plants with thick leaves). For the best growth, soils should not dry out.
- Fertilizing: In spring, a light fertilizer can be applied around the emerging plant. It may not be necessary if your garden has fertile soil.
- Winterizing: Slugs lay their eggs in dead hosta foliage, and removing leaves after frost will deter slugs from returning in spring. Cut the foliage back in late fall, but leave 4-6 inches standing to protect the crown over winter. In cold climates, spread an extra layer of mulch (2″ thick) for added insulation.
- Maintenance & pruning: Groom plants by removing dead leaves and cutting flower spikes back as they finish blooming in summer.