Plants, Flowers & Trees
Plants that Grow Well with Hostas
Annuals:Impatiens (Impatiens spp.) are non-stop summer bloomers. Hundreds of impatiens species are available in lavender, white, apricot, red, pink and variegated, requiring little care, but regular watering. Wishbone flower (Torenia fournieri) is a compact, bushy summer annual growing to 1 foot high and wide, fitting in well with larger hosta plants; small blossoms of white, purple or pink bloom all season long. Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides spp) plants offer a vast range of bright foliage color. Small flower spikes topped with blue buds develop and should be pinched back to keep the foliage bushy. Impatiens, wishbone flower and coleus each grow as annuals in all plant hardiness zones.
Flowering Perennials:Bergenia (Bergenia spp.) contrast well with hosta plants. Hardy in plant hardiness zones 5 to 9, they have large green rosette-shaped leaves and flower stalks of pink, white or red. Bergenia will tolerate dry conditions and should be cut back each year to avoid looking spindly. Cranesbill (Geranium spp.), also called hardy geraniums, are a mounding plant, with varieties growing from 8 inches to 2 feet high. Full of long-lasting bright flowers in purple, pink, magenta or white, cranesbill can be divided in the spring and planted throughout the garden. Bleeding heart (Dicentra spp.) sprout delicate heart-shaped pink, white or yellow flowers on arching stems; once the flowers fade in early summer, the light green fern-like foliage adds interest to the garden. Both cranesbill and bleeding heart thrive in hardiness zones 2 to 9.
Foliage Perennials:Coral bells (Heuchera spp.) produce compact foliage clumps 1 to 2 feet high and wide in a multitude of bright color with solid or variegated leaves, with thin stalks developing small pink or white flower clusters in late spring. Coral bells grow in hardiness zones 1 through 10. Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla) sprout large colorful leaves and develop into clumps 1 foot high and 2 feet wide with tiny light blue flowers developing on thin airy stems in the spring. Bugloss leaf colors include silver, blue, green white and a mix of each. Dead nettle (Lamium spp.) grows close to the ground with heart-shaped silver-green leaves and develops white, yellow or pink flower clusters. A quick grower, dead nettle will add a bright background to hosta gardens. Both bugloss and dead nettle grow in plant hardiness zones 2 to 11.
Ferns:Often seen planted with hostas, ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) grow 6 feet high and 3 feet wide under ideal conditions; this bright green fern grows in hardiness zones 1 to 10. Wood fern (Dryopteris spp.) varieties grow to 5 feet high and 2 feet wide in bright shades of golden, light green and dark green; they thrive in hardiness zones 3 to 9. Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum pictum) grow to a 1-foot-high clump and the fronds unfurl in shades of lavender, sliver, green and gray. Similar to the Japanese painted fern, the English painted fern (Athyrium otophorum) sports dark green fronds with reddish or purple midsections. Both the Japanese and English painted ferns are hardy in plant hardiness zones 1 to 9.