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What to plant with hydrangeas

Posted by mary_christine Massachusetts coast (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 28, 12 at 9:44

I just planted two Endless Summer hydrangeas where I've been growing a usually healthy clematis which now doesn't bloom.
I've kind of figured out that the Clematis likes alkaline soil and I've been dousing my ES's with Miracid and coffee grounds.
Any advice on what to plant with these hydrangeas for a pretty perennial look?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What to plant with hydrangeas

It depends a lot on what kind of sunlight conditions you are offering. If the hydrangeas are in a fair amount of shade, then astilbe, bleeding heart, hostas and ferns are good choices. In more sun, your choice widens but make sure the perennials you select prefer the same conditions as the hydrangeas water-wise.

fwiw, it is a common myth that clematis prefer alkaline soil. In truth, they are not very fussy about soil pH at all although extremes in either direction should be avoided. And coffee grounds are not significantly acidic (actually pretty close to neutral) - it is the coffee liquid itself that is the acidic component.

RE: What to plant with hydrangeas

You could also look for azaleas and rhododendrons which flower prior to the hydrangeas as well as early flowering camellias for the Fall. But watch your USDA Zone when selecting these shrubs. You do not mention your zone but your coastal region can be as warm as Zone 7, which would allow for plenty of selections. Early flowering camellias would work if in Zone 6 (Dr. Ackerman has produced some of these hybrids).

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