Hydrangeas will ‘grow stronger’ when planted with four ‘easy to maintain’ plants

Alan Titchmarsh shows off his hydrangeas

Companion planting is when different plants are grown together for mutual benefit. Sometimes the benefit is one-sided, with one plant selflessly offering most of the partnership advantages to the other.

Companion planting can be a bit tricky, depending on the plant. However, when it comes to hydrangeas, there are certain plants that stand out.

Hydrangeas offer a graceful appearance, making it easy to pair plants with them. The most important thing to consider while choosing plants is if they will thrive in the same environment as hydrangeas.

While the combinations for hydrangeas are almost endless, there are a few that work the best.

According to gardening enthusiasts John Toepfer and Susan Brandt at Blooming Secrets have shared a few plants that hydrangeas “will love” and that will help them to “grow stronger” and “thrive”.

READ MORE: 5 garden plants that need pruning now for ‘more blooms’ and ‘healthier growth’

1. Hostas 

Hostas and hydrangeas are a classic combination. These plants thrive incredibly well around the base of hydrangeas, and they both like part-shade conditions and thrive in soil that’s slightly acidic. 

According to the experts, they are “one of the best plants for low-light areas” and work as a “natural foil” to protect the flowers of hydrangeas.

2. Perennial geraniums 

Perennial geraniums, also known as cranesbill or hardy geraniums, come in purple, pink, or white and mimic the annual geranium many are familiar with.

Geraniums are a solid classic garden plant that requires little maintenance and really are self-sufficient once established.

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These are “great companion plants for hydrangeas” as they “thrive in the same conditions”. They both need soil that is moist and well-drained, but not too wet.

3. Ferns 

Ferns make really nice additions to a hydrangea bed and they are “one of the easiest plants to maintain”.

There are many different types of ferns available. There are some ferns that can tolerate more sun, but most ferns love deep shade.

Ferns are a “great companion” for hydrangeas as they have similar needs, but also “add a different texture and pattern” to the garden. 

4. Azaleas

Azaleas and hydrangeas make a great combination in the garden. They both love the same growing conditions of acidic, well-draining soil, with lots of shade.

These plants match blue hydrangea’s preference for slightly acidic soil too. Avoid the pink ones, or allow them to turn blue, as they will not do well with acid-loving azaleas and prefer more alkaline soil. 

These plants provide gardens with “season-long flowers” when paired with a hydrangea which typically blooms all summer long.

Azaleas are not bothered by insects or diseases, making good companions for any acid-loving plants like hydrangeas. 

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