Companion Plants for Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas are a statement shrub adored by gardeners across the globe! They are adored for their extreme versatility, with giant flower heads and ever-changing color displays that look great in nearly any garden. When paired with other shrubs, perennials, and grasses, hydrangeas can provide the ultimate focal point for building a garden oasis!
Whether gardening in a sunny spot or trying to spruce up a shaded area, we’ll share our top picks for hydrangea companion plants for nearly any landscape.
How to grow hydrangeas
From watering to sun exposure, here’s everything you need to know to get growing! Some things to consider when planting your hydrangea:
- Soil: Average, well-drained soils. A 2-3″ layer of shredded bark mulch is highly recommended.
- Light: Thrives in sun (6+ hours sun) to part sun (4-6 hours sun). Some hydrangeas do well in partial shade (<4 hours sun) or filtered sunlight. Morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal for nearly every hydrangea variety, especially in hotter climates.
- Water: Hydrangeas have average to high water needs, and once established. For the best growth, soils should never be dry or waterlogged.
- Fertilizing: Little required. Apply a granular rose fertilizer in early spring if desired.
- Winterizing: Hydrangeas are cold tolerant and need little more than a 2-3″ layer of mulch to conserve moisture and prevent cold damage to the roots.
- Maintenance & pruning: This will differ depending on if your hydrangea blooms on old or new wood. If your hydrangea blooms on new wood (panicle & smooth) the plant creates its flower buds only once it has started leafing out in spring. This means it can be pruned in spring and still flower. We recommend cutting back by one-third of its total length in early spring. If your hydrangea blooms on old wood (bigleaf, oakleaf, mountain, & climbing), that means they have their flower buds for the following season all through winter, so they cannot be cut back without removing flower buds. It is best to avoid pruning or trimming them, though you may selectively remove branches to develop a nice shape and silhouette if desired.
Plants to pair with hydrangeas in the sun
Are you looking to add a pop of color to your hydrangea hedge? Coneflower’s vibrant flowers atop long, sturdy stems allow you to create a rainbow of perennials in front of your hydrangeas.
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
Create the cottage garden of your dreams by pairing hydrangeas with Black-Eyed Susan! We love planting this bright and sunny flower between hydrangea shrubs to create contrast.
Spike Speedwell (Veronica)
Spike speedwell and dwarf hydrangea varieties make an unlikely pair, but we promise these two each offer unique colors and textures to your perennial garden or mixed container.
Looking for a funky addition to your hydrangea garden? Foxglove features a tall habit with dozens of unique bell-shaped florets that make a statement. You’ll have the neighborhood buzzing with your rare display!