Plants That Compliment Hosta

val1(z4 UT)May 2, 2009

I am looking for other plants that will go well in a shade bed with my hostas. So, what do you plant to compliment your hosta and add variety to your shade bed? I would love any ideas.

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Everything goes good with Hosta - ferns, astilbe, heuchera, solomons seal, jack in the pulpits, brunnera, cimicifuga, ligularia, bleeding hearts, hardy geraniums, pulmonaria, rodgersia, tiarella and more.

Here's a collage I use for my desktop sometimes with some ideas

Lupine in the pictures above is the only one planted in sun, and I would grow this in brighter shade if the rabbits didn't like it so well.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 5:31PM
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I'm very fond of planting spring bulbs with hosta. By the time the hosta is up and showing, the bulbs are disappearing. For the same reason, I also use a lot of ephemeral natives - Sanguinaria, Dodecatheon, Trilliums, etc. If the garden is sunny enough, some of the taller alliums are really fun planted among hosta.
But in the middle of the summer, I think nothing beats hosta with ferns. Lovely and cooling - and so much faster than a trip to the beach.
I use lots of tricyrtis and anemone for the fall. Astrantia in the summer.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 9:52AM
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Datdog(z7 NJ)

I'm a mix and match kind of girl and find that hostas look best with other plants. However, I do love a good mass planting of just one variety of hostas.

I wish I could go snap a picture for you of my beds now but it's raining- it's an explosion of color out there.

Paul had some great suggestions up above & beautiful pictures to boot.

In my own garden I plant a wide variety of shade loving perennials/shrubs/trees- I also throw into the mix some tropicals that do well in part shade. I love all the different textures and colors and how they all play of my hostas.

Pictures of my beds from years past.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 10:21AM
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Paul, what a great collage idea. It looks great.
Datdog, your gardens are amazing. You've given me inspiration for my own yard. It is so serene, I could be very at peace there.
Val, you've gotten some great ideas.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 10:31AM
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donrawson(Z 5)

If you know me, you know that I have a LIST of hosta companion plants! Here it is:


Acanthus spinosus (BearÂs Breech)
Adiantum sp. (Maidenhair Fern)
Aquilegia sp. (Columbine)
Arisaema sp. (Green Dragon, Cobra Lily, Jack-in-the-Pulpit)
Aruncus dioicus (Goatsbeard)
Asarum sp. (Wild Ginger, European Ginger)
Astilbe sp. (Astilbe)
Astilboides tabularis (RogerÂs Flower)
Athyrium niponicum ÂPictum and other cultivars (Japanese Painted Fern)
Brunnera macrophylla cultivars (Perennial Forget-Me-Not)
Cimicifuga sp. (Bugbane, Snakeroot)
Convallaria majalis cultivars (Lily-of-the-Valley)
Cryptotaenia japonica atropurpurea
Darmera peltata (Umbrella Plant)
Dicentra exima (Bleeding Heart)
Dicentra spectabilis (Old-fashioned Bleeding Heart)
Disporum sp. (Fairy Bells)
Epimedium sp. (Epimedium)
Fallopia japonica variegata (Japanese Fleece Flower)
Festuca ovina glauca (Fescue ÂElijah BlueÂ)
Hakonechloa macra (Golden Variegated Hakonechloa ÂAureolaÂ)
Hedera helix (English Ivy)
Helleborus sp. (Christmas-rose, Lenten-rose, Hellebore)
Heuchera sp. (Alumroot, Coralbells)
Heucherella cultivars
Lamiastrum galeobdolon (Deadnettle)
Lamium maculatum (Spotted Deadnettle)
Lilium sp. (Lily)
Petasites giganteum (Giant Butterbur)
Petasites ÂVariegatus (Variegated Butterbur)
Polygonatum ÂVariegatum (Variegated SolomonÂs Seal)
Polygonatum biflorum (Small SolomonÂs Seal)
Polygonatum commutatum (Giant SolomonÂs Seal)
Primula sp. (Japanese Primrose)
Pulmonaria (Lungwort)
Rodgersia aesculifolia
Rodgersia pinnata
Saxifraga sarmentosa (Strawberry Begonia, Strawberry Geranium)
Tiarella (Foam Flower)
Tricyrtis sp. (Toad Lily)
Vinca minor (Periwinkle, Myrtle)
Viola sp. (Violet)
Yucca filamentosa (Yucca)

Many varieties of ferns, grasses, shrubs, ground covers, and woodland plants are excellent companion plants.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 9:04PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

The landscaping rule of thumb is that contrasting form and foliage type adds interest. The large leafs of a hosta invite a host of companions.

Fine foliage plants like ferns really provides maximum contrast. Hosta also looks great in front of a conifer with its needle foliage. Hosta spreads out kinda flat, so upright plants look great with it too. I like spear-shaped leaves with it.

My recent plantings in the front of an azalea bed seemed to work. I have some planted with fancy-leaved Heuchera which also looks good.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 8:21AM
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val1(z4 UT)

Paul and Datdog, your photos are stunning! I wish I had the frog to compliment my hosta. Everything looks so green and lush!

Thanks everyone for all of the great ideas. Last year I started a new hosta bed. In addition to the hosta, I put in a few Northern Lights azalea, Japanese fern, anemone, heuchera and tiarella. This year, I will add some of the wonderful plants you have mentioned to the bed.

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 11:29AM
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I have Columbine with my hosta, and the combo is stunning right now...a sea of purple, blue, burgundy, pink, white...and islands of Hosta.
I also have the Heuchera of all shades there, along with Helebores and Dames Rocket.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 11:37AM
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Datdog, your landscaping is beautiful! What is the big blue in the 4th pic? Your brugmansia in the last pic really caught my eye, I love brugs!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 12:21PM
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