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Shady Companions For Hostas

Updated: Apr 11

For those of you that follow my page you will know by now I just love hostas whilst mine are all over the garden, 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 colours, shapes, heights and textures, these plants accentuate the simple elegance of the hosta’s foliage. They can also add months of early season interest to your shade garden, interested in knowing more then please read on………………………….

Hosta Companions to Extend the Season

Hostas are usually slow to emerge in the spring. Rather than waiting around for them to appear, you can use this as an opportunity to showcase spring bulbs and early-blooming perennials. In the garden shown above, hostas have barely begun to sprout. Yet there’s already a tapestry of colour and texture. By midsummer, most of these early season plants will have disappeared and hostas will be occupy about 75% of the space or more.

Add 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.


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. Astilbes showy, midsummer flowers have a fuzzy texture and colours range from white through pink, red and violet.


Dicentra emerges in early spring, and quickly grows into an impressive 3 to 4 foot plant. Shortly after the blossoms fade, the leaves die back to the ground and the plant disappears until the following spring. This gives neighbouring hostas plenty of room to spread out.


The garden-worthy varieties of this plant have a neat, mounding habit. Their colourful foliage is usually far showier than their flowers. Foliage colours range from chocolate brown to burgundy, orange, blue-green and chartreuse.


Ferns are as easy to grow and as long-lived as hostas. Their graceful form and finely-textured foliage is the perfect counterpoint to the hosta’s broad leaves and bulkier stature.


Perennial geraniums are among the toughest and most reliable perennials you can grow. Though they are usually planted in full sun, most varieties grow equally well in partial shade. The texture of their foliage has a lacy effect and the growth habit is loose and mounding. Flower colours vary from white and pale pink to lavender, blue, magenta and maroon. Most varieties of perennial geraniums will flower on and off from late spring through autumn .