When you think about plants that will grow in shade the one that always springs to mind is the Hosta. Apart from their problems with slugs the many varieties of hostas make ideal plants for shady sites. However there is a period in early spring when hostas are just poking their first shoots through the soil for other plants to provide early color. This article by Kath LaLiberte which I found on the Longfield Gardens website suggests twelve plants that make great companions for hostas.
Hostas have no trouble holding their own in a shady garden. Yet there are many other shade loving perennials that make excellent companions. By adding their own contrasting colors, shapes, heights and textures, these plants accentuate the simple elegance of the hosta’s foliage. Plus, they add months of early season interest.
Hosta Companions — Get Two Gardens in One
In the spring, hostas are slow getting started. This opens up many opportunities for spring bulbs and early summer perennials. In the spring garden shown above, hostas are nowhere to be seen. Yet from July through September, they occupy about 75% of the space.
Hosta Companions — More Diversity Without More Work
Pairing hostas with other low-maintenance perennials is an easy way to add variety and sophistication. So, if you are thinking about creating a new shade garden from scratch, or have an existing shade garden that could use a little spicing up, consider pairing hostas with some of these easy, shade-tolerant companion plants.
ALCHEMILLA (LADY’S MANTLE)
Velvety, spring-green leaves with zig-zag edges. Silvery hairs on the leaf surfaces turn water droplets into jewels. In early summer, lady’s mantle produces large clusters of tiny chartreuse flowers that are excellent for cutting.
Tidy, trouble-free plants with attractive, dark green foliage. Astilbe’s showy, midsummer flowers have a fuzzy texture and colors range from white through pink, red and violet.
See more at Longfield Gardens