Create a Stunning Summer Garden with Perennial Companion Plants
With Summer coming fast, we recommend that you plant a perennial garden now that you can enjoy all season long. You have a blank canvas to start with, so now is the time to play with options for creating something that will make you proud! We have a sea of fantastic perennials in our Home & Garden stores with many qualities to consider. Luckily, that means each plant has characteristics that make it well suited for pairing with other perennials like it.
If you want a healthy garden this season that pops, choose perennial companion plants that perfectly complement each other.
Perennial Characteristics to Consider
First, remember that perennials are plants that return each year in your landscape with new growth. Because you get to enjoy them year after year, you want to ensure you choose plants that will bring you long-lasting joy.
Start by examining the areas of your landscape that need attention. Do you have entire sections of your garden to fill? Or, are there spots in your established flower beds that just a new addition to feel complete?
Next, analyze your location. Understand how much sunlight this section receives throughout the day and the intensity. Test the soil acidity and drainage, and measure your area to know how much space you have to work with.
Finally, you want to determine a goal. Maybe you want to breathe new life into a drab spot in your garden with gorgeous Summer color. Furthermore, if you have a specific color scheme in mind for your garden, research which perennials produce the bloom colors you desire. If gardening with Pennsylvania native plants holds significance for you, think about those varieties of perennials to plant. An especially popular goal of planting a perennial garden is to attract beneficial pollinators to your landscape. Pollinators like butterflies, bees, birds, and helpful insects will flock to your garden if you plant the right perennials together.
Once you form your ideas, it’s time to choose the perennials you need to fulfill your goal.
Choose the Best Perennial Companion Plants
As you know, there is more to life than appearance. Though planting two plants together for the sake of creating a visually appealing display is effective, you must also consider whether they can thrive together under the same conditions.
For example, many perennials excel in full sunlight, while others need shade. Carefully select plants that thrive under the same light levels, as well as plants with the same tolerance to drought and soil conditions. Also, learn which plants produce the best blooms around the same time of the season. Some perennials flower in early Summer, mid Summer, or late Summer, while others have bloom times that span the entire season. If you want the most attractive perennial garden display, choose companions whose flowering times line up perfectly.
With all that being said…
Try These Perennial Companion Plants:
- Shade Garden: Hosta, Ferns, Heuchera (Coral Bells), Astilbe, Hellebores, Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra), Pulmonaria, Lily of the Valley, Corydalis, Lamium (Dead Nettle).
- Drought-Tolerant: Yarrow (Achillea), Agastache, Gaillardia (Blanket Flower), Lavender, Salvia (Meadow Sage), Sedum (Stonecrop).
- Poor Soil Plants: Hellebores, Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra), Gaillardia (Blanket Flower), Sedum (Stonecrop), Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), Hosta.
- Native Plants: Bee Balm (Monarda), Oxeye Sunflower (Heliopsis), Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), Goldenrod, Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata), Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor), Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Shasta Daisies, Echinacea (Coneflowers).
- Spikes Galore: Lupines, Salvia (Meadow Sage), Catmint (Nepeta), Veronica (Speedwell), Hummelo (Stachys officinialis), Yucca, Foxglove, Delphiniums, Alliums, Lobelia.
- Fragrant Flowers: Yarrow (Achillea), Lavender, Bee Balm (Monarda), Salvia (Meadow Sage), Agastache, Dianthus, Echinacea (Coneflowers).
- Bloom All Summer: Coreopsis (Tickseed), Yarrow (Achillea), Agstache, Echinacea (Coneflower), Gaillardia (Blanket Flower), Shasta Daisies, Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata), Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia).
- Early Bloomers: Hellebores, Candytuft, Dianthus, Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata), Forget-Me-Nots, Columbine, Leopard’s Bane.
- Best for Allergy Sufferers: Hollyhocks, Columbine, Dianthus, Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra), Daylilies, Bearded Iris, Peonies.
- Best Color Pops: Daylilies and Salvia, Catmint (Nepeta) and Gaillardia, Roses and Daylilies, Shasta Daisies and Salvia, Lupines and Dianthus, Black-Eyed Susan and Shasta Daisies, Hosta and Daylilies, Bee Balm (Monarda) and Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa).
- Hummingbird Attractors: Lobelia, Columbine, Bee Balm (Monarda), Hardy Hibiscus, Peonies, Heuchera (Coral Bells), Catmint (Nepeta), Agastache, Salvia (Meadow Sage).
- Best for Butterflies & Bees: Butterfly Weed (all), Echinacea (Coneflowers), Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), Shasta Daisies, Agastache, Bee Balm (Monarda).
If you are interested in learning more about perennials, read our guide on perennial planting which covers the best time to plant, ways to plant your perennial, and choosing the best perennial for you.