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Hydrangeas are cherished in gardens for their large, colorful blooms that are visually stunning. Their striking appearance isn’t the only reason they’re favored; they also bring a lush presence to various garden designs, from mixed borders to woodland settings and even along building foundations or within shrub borders. Thriving in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil that retains moisture, hydrangeas require the right companions to truly flourish.

Choosing companion plants for hydrangeas isn’t just about compatibility; it’s about creating a blend that enhances visual appeal and growing conditions. Here are 12 plants that visually complement hydrangeas and thrive alongside them in similar garden environments.

Hosta

Hosta Ivory Coast
Image Credit: Agnieszka Kwiecień, Nova, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With its colorful foliage, Hosta makes a great companion plant for hydrangeas. Hostas are excellent for shaded borders or planting under taller shrubs. They offer shades of greens, yellows, and reds. Hosta requires shade and thrives in moist, rich soil. Keep the soil moist, protect it from pests, and ensure it isn’t exposed to too much sun. It is also an excellent plant to help keep the weeds out. Zones 3-9

Speedwell

A close-up of a cluster of blue flowers with five petals each, growing in a green field.
Image Credit: Sukkoria, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Speedwell displays spikes of vivid blue flowers and is appreciated for its durability and long blooming period. It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade and needs well-drained soil. Speedwell is easy to care for, requiring only occasional watering once established, and adds vertical interest to gardens. Zones 3-8.

Gardenia

White gardenia flower in the garden. Gardening
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Known for its large, creamy white flowers and exquisite fragrance, Gardenia is an ideal plant for planting next to hydrangeas. It requires full to partial shade, high humidity, and well-drained acidic soil. Keep the soil moist and fertilize regularly for dark foliage and plenty of flowers.

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Catmint

Closeup of a catmint flower against a blue sky.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Catmint produces lavender-blue flowers throughout the summer. It’s easy to grow, drought-tolerant and thrives in full sun to partial shade. This plant is not fussy about soil conditions and grows anywhere from 18-24 inches. Zones 3-8

Foxglove

cluster of pink and purple flowers of Foxglove from the plant family of Digitalis
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Foxglove has tall spikes of bell-shaped flowers, perfect for adding height to shaded gardens. Blooms late spring to early summer. Planting foxglove together with hydrangeas makes for a beautiful landscape. Zones 4-10

Azaleas

Azaleas
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Azaleas are known for their vibrant spring blooms, and some varieties feature evergreen foliage that lasts all year. Their striking flowers will enhance the visual appeal of your yard.

They thrive in slightly acidic, well-drained soil and grow well in sunny and partially shaded areas, similar to hydrangeas. When planted in large groups, they form an attractive backdrop and shade the ground, which, along with their dense foliage, helps suppress weed growth.

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Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Daylily
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Daylilies are a favorite in many gardens. They come in a spectrum of yellow shades, from light to deep golden. These easy-to-care-for plants do well in full sun and partial shade.

Although each flower blooms for only one day, the abundance of buds ensures a long blooming season that spans several weeks. As perennials, Daylilies return yearly, growing more robust and producing more flowers as they age.

Camellia

White camellia
Image Credit: Araz Shikhaliev, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Glossy foliage with large, beautiful white flowers during the cooler months. Camellia prefers partial shade and slightly acidic, well-drained soil and should not have long periods of drying out between waterings. Protect from the afternoon sun and provide consistent moisture.

Pairing camellias with hydrangeas is a smart gardening move, as camellias bloom just when hydrangeas start to fade. This strategy ensures almost year-round blossoms in your garden.

Hybrid Astilbe

inflorescence of a Astilbe cultivar
Image Credit: Dinkum, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hybrid Astilbe lights up the shade with its feathery plumes of flowers in shades of pink, red, and white. Its fern-like foliage remains attractive throughout the season. This flowering plant grows well alongside hydrangeas and is suitable for zones 4-9.

Hardy Begonia

Begonia grandis wiith pink flowers surrounded by green leaves
Image Credit: KENPEI, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hardy Begonia features beautiful, heart-shaped leaves and delicate flowers. It’s a resilient choice for adding a splash of color to the shaded parts of the garden. This plant does best in partial to heavy shade in rich, moist, well-drained soil. Zones 6-9

Coral Bells (Heuchera spp.)

Coral bells flowers in the field
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Coral bells are a low-growing perennial plant that produces mounds of colorful leaves and delicate spikes of bell-shaped flowers that attract pollinating insects. This hardy plant rarely suffers from disease and grows best in shaded woodland gardens.

Lambs Ear

Stachys lanata, stachys olympica or young leaves of lamb's ear plants. Natural background.
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Lamb’s ear is known for its fuzzy leaves with a gray-green, silver, frost-like appearance. This low-growing ground cover forms a dense carpet that effectively blocks sunlight, preventing weeds from growing.

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blueberry bushes
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Flowering-Quince
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

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oversized planters
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