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GARDENS BY THE BAY

Hosta 'Albomarginata'

HOSTAS & THEIR COMPANIONS


Gardeners have long since stopped complaining about shady areas and have learned to make the most of such special sites. Those with only sunny spots in which to garden actually dream of having more shade with the cooling influence and wonderful opportunities that environment provides.

Because Hosta species and cultivars perform best with at least three years of undisturbed growth, they may be the ultimate low-maintenance perennial. There are about 70 species and hundreds of cultivars from which to choose. Particularly striking when they form large clumps or are planted in large drifts, individual plants can be useful in garden settings as well.

For those concerned with Hosta Virus X, you may want to visit the In The Country Garden Site for useful information to answer many of your questions and concerns.

Whether you're looking for plants that might complement all types of Hosta or you have a specific cultivar you want a companion for, you are sure to find lots of ideas below. Be sure to check out the Hosta links at the bottom of the page. You can also visit our own Hosta Garden page to see the cultivars we are growing there.


* Watch for the animated hummingbird and butterfly with the plants that attract them. *
The deer icon indicates plants that deer are not usually attracted to.

The best time and method to propagate plants can be found on our image-intensive PROPAGATION page.

To help your plants grow their best, check out our FERTILIZATION page.

To create your own plant partnerships based on tried and true color theory, check out our GARDEN COLOR page.

To see if a particular plant is on this page press Ctrl+F, type in the name, then click the Find button.


Hosta:  

    where:  in varying degrees of shade (the darker the leaf, the shadier the habitat)
      with wildflowers:  Dentaria, Claytonia, Erythronium, Hedyotis caerulea (Houstonia)
        in shade under shrubs:  Cornus florida, Cornus kousa or Cornus mas
          with shade-loving Ornamental Grasses:  Carex spp., Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'
            with shade-loving perennials:. Epimedium, Gentiana, Pulmonaria, Asarum
              in shade with:  Phlox divaricata including the cultivar 'Laphamii', Phlox stolonifera, Polygonatum odoratum,
                Tiarella cordifolia, Tradescantia x andersoniana
              in shade with:  Digitalis grandiflora (synonym D. ambigua) or Digitalis purpurea
                with shade-loving types of: Aster such as A. divaricatus
                  in light shade with:  Bergenia cordifolia, Campanula (low varieties), Dicentra, Tricyrtis hirta
                    in part shade with:  Iris x germanica, Iris sibirica, Aconitum, Brunnera macrophylla, Galium odoratum,
                      Lamium maculatum
                    in dappled shade with:  Aquilegia
                      in woodland areas with:  Arisaema triphyllum,, Sanguinaria canadensis, Polemonium caeruleum,
                        Mertensia virginica, Smilacina racemosa
                      in woodland areas with bulbs:  Scilla hispanica (Endymion hispanicus) - Spanish Bluebells,
                        Scilla non-scripta - English Bluebells, Scilla sibirica - Siberian Squill
                      in boggy areas or dappled shade with:  Rodgersia
                        with other moisture-lovers:  Alchemilla mollis, Astilbe, Primula, including Primula denticulata 'Ronsdorf Mix',
                          Trollius, Lysimachia clethroides, Uvularia grandiflora
                        in moist soil with:  red Lobelia cardinalis or blue Lobelia syphilitica
                          in moist soil with:  Dicentra eximia or Dicentra spectabilis, Heuchera, Ranunculus
                            in sunny areas with:  Lilium, Lythrum salicaria 'Morden Pink'
                              for shape contrast with:  Cimicifuga, Hemerocallis, Crocosmia
                                with ferns:  Matteuccia struthiopteris, Athyrium filix-femina
                                  with spring-flowering bulbs:  Narcissus, Tulipa
                                    with early-blooming plants:  Helleborus
                                      to hide gaps during dormancy of:  Anemone nemorosa, Erythronium
                                        with low-growing plants:  Viola odorata, Houttuynia (variegated Chameleon Plant)
                                          with taller plants:  Anemone hupehensis 'September Charm', Thalictrum aquilegiafolium,
                                            Veronicastrum virginicum (synonym Veronica virginica)
                                          with:  Saxifraga stolonifera, Persicaria bistorta (formerly Polygonum)
                                            with:  Euphorbia epithymoides (synonym E. polychroma), Campanula poscharskyana, Hemerocallis fulva
                                              between:  Dicentra 'Luxuriant' & Heuchera sanguinea
                                                combined with:  Heuchera x 'Chocolate Ruffles', Heuchera 'Ruby Veil', Astilbe & Pulmonaria
                                                  behind:  Geranium sanguineum striatum (formerly G. s. lancastriense)
                                                Hosta:  large-leaved forms
                                                  a large-leaved form of Hosta
                                                  interplanted with:  dwarf Narcissus, Fritillaria meleagris to hide their withering foliage during die-back
                                                    with:  Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae (for foliage contrast)
                                                      with:  Ligularia dentata or Ligularia stenocephala (L. przewalskii) 'The Rocket'
                                                    Hosta:  giant cultivars
                                                      where:  as bold accents to create drama
                                                        with:  Hydrangea
                                                      Hosta:  broad-leaved, untoothed
                                                        for foliage contrast with:  Astilbe
                                                      Hosta:  smaller forms
                                                        with:  Anemone blanda
                                                          under:  shrubs or trees as ground cover
                                                        Hosta:  dwarf forms
                                                          in shade with:  Dodecatheon meadia
                                                            with:  Polypodium virginianum (Polypody Fern)
                                                          Hosta:  a fanning form
                                                            for shape contrast in front of:  Cimicifuga
                                                          Hosta:  miniature forms including 'Kabitan', 'Little Aurora', 'Tiny Tears', 'Blue Cadet'
                                                            with:  Carex glauca
                                                          Hosta:  golden-leaved or golden-marked forms
                                                            with:  Anthemis tinctoria
                                                          Hosta:  variegated foliage types
                                                            with:  Heuchera sanguinea 'Irish Mist' (a red, variegated form)
                                                          Hosta:  yellow-leaved forms
                                                            with:  Campanula portenschlagiana (a spreading groundcover)
                                                          Hosta:  blue-leaved forms
                                                            in front of:  Cimicifuga racemosa
                                                          Hosta:  green and white variegated forms
                                                            with:  Geranium clarkei 'Kashmir White'
                                                          Hosta:  green with narrow white edge
                                                            under:  Cornus controversa 'Variegata'
                                                              under:  any Dogwood with green leaves with narrow white margins
                                                            Hosta:  green with yellow edges, heavily veined
                                                              Hosta 'Carnival'
                                                              note:  the form above is 'Carnival', heavily-textured with crinkled leaves
                                                                with:  Hydrangea (Lace Cap)
                                                              Hosta:  dark green centre with lime-green edging
                                                                combined with:  Heuchera americana 'Eco-Magnififolia' & Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum'
                                                              Hosta:  esp. broad-leaved forms
                                                                in front of:  Cimicifuga racemosa
                                                              Hosta:  esp. waxy blue-leaved forms
                                                                in front of:  Allium aflatunense
                                                              Hosta fortunei 'Obscura-marginata'
                                                                with:  Alchemilla mollis
                                                              Hosta fortunei 'Picta'
                                                                behind:  Scabiosa graminifolia 'Pincushion', Scabiosa caucasica including 'Perfecta Alba'
                                                                  beside:  Solidago 'Golden Shower'
                                                                Hosta plantaginea:  August Lily, 24"x36", fragrant pure white night-blooming flowers, needs sun for best flowering
                                                                  note:  the first Hosta in cultivation in the West, it has the largest flowers of any Hosta
                                                                    look for cultivars:  'Aphrodite' (double-flowered, 18"x24"), 'Honeybells' (26"x46", pale green foliage)
                                                                      beside:  Convulvulus sabatius (Synonym: C. mauritanicus)
                                                                        in front of:  Iris pallida pallida (Synonym: Iris pallida dalmatica)
                                                                      Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans':  36"x48", glaucous grey-blue stoutly rounded & puckered foliage, and white flowers held just above
                                                                        Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans'
                                                                        synonym:  Hosta sieboldiana var. elegans
                                                                          Rosemary Barrett:  "It has a majestic presence all its own."
                                                                            where:  dry shade, perfect for large gardens
                                                                              behind:  Astilbe chinensis 'Pumila'
                                                                                foliage contrast with:  Alchemilla mollis
                                                                                  in shade with:  Athyrium nipponicum (goeringianum) 'Pictum'
                                                                                    in front of:  Sedum 'Autumn Joy', both in front of Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'
                                                                                      with:  Iris x germanica (yellow)
                                                                                    Hosta x tardiana 'Hadspen Blue':  8"x24", gray-blue, roundish leaves, pale lavender to white flowers
                                                                                      in front of:  Hosta 'Sum & Substance'
                                                                                    Hosta undulata
                                                                                      Hosta undulata
                                                                                      interplanted with:  Galanthus nivalis (for early bloom)
                                                                                        in front of:  taller ferns
                                                                                      Hosta'August Moon':  20"x30", greenish-yellow spring leaves turn yellow by summer, white flowers
                                                                                        in part shade with:  Adiantum pedatum & Galium odoratum
                                                                                      Hosta 'Blue Angel':  3'x4', heavily textured, rich blue leaves, white flowers
                                                                                        where:  excellent as a background planting
                                                                                          with:  green and gold-leaved Hosta for emphasis
                                                                                        Hosta 'Frances Williams':  22"x48", foliage has bluish-gray centre and golden-yellow edge, white flowers
                                                                                          Hosta 'Frances Williams' width=
                                                                                          with:  a golden-variegated Salvia officinalis
                                                                                            with:  blue Penstemon heterophyllus 'True Blue', deep purple Campanula 'Kent Belle'
                                                                                          Hosta 'Ginko Craig':  4"x10", silver-edged green leaves, purple flowers
                                                                                            uses:  as a garden edger
                                                                                              where:  best in light shade
                                                                                                to follow:  spring wildflowers
                                                                                              Hosta 'Gold Standard':  20"x36", greenish-gold foliage, irregularly edged in dark green
                                                                                                Hosta 'Gold Standard'
                                                                                                where:  provide some sun to prevent gold colouration from turning white late in the season
                                                                                                  awards:  American Hosta Eunice Fisher Award, Midwest Gold Award
                                                                                                    with:  Alchemilla mollis
                                                                                                  Hosta 'Golden Tiara':  14"x22", dwarf, gold-edged heart-shaped leaf, deep purple flower, striped with lighter purple
                                                                                                    Hosta 'Golden Tiara'
                                                                                                    uses:  perfect as a garden edger
                                                                                                      where:  along edge of shady border
                                                                                                        with:  ferns, green or gold-leaved plants
                                                                                                      Hosta 'Halcyon':  16"x38", heavily-textured, heart-shaped leaves, pale lavender flowers
                                                                                                        Hosta 'Halcyon'
                                                                                                        note:  one of the most popular blue hostas
                                                                                                          where:  as edger in a shady garden
                                                                                                            in front of:  Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'
                                                                                                              with:  Astilbe, Cimicifuga, Dicentra, Helleborus, Heuchera including, among others, the cultivar 'Palace Purple'
                                                                                                                with:  Tiarella, Primula vulgaris, Liriope, Lamium
                                                                                                                  combined with:  Helleborus foetidus & Asarum canadense
                                                                                                                Hosta 'Krossa Regal':  28"x60", vase-shaped habit, lavender flowers
                                                                                                                  combined with:  Muscari armeniacum, Tulipa (magenta-red double early), Astilbe x arendsii &
                                                                                                                    Pachysandra terminalis
                                                                                                                  where:  under deciduous trees for spring sun and some summer shade
                                                                                                                Hosta 'Louisa':  a small form
                                                                                                                  with:  Trillium grandiflorum
                                                                                                                Hosta 'Medio-Variegata'
                                                                                                                  in front of:  Campanula persicifolia 'Alba'
                                                                                                                Hosta 'Sum & Substance':  a huge form, 30"x60", with chartreuse, deeply-veined foliage
                                                                                                                  see link to image at Mickfield Hostas site below
                                                                                                                    where:  will take full sun (more sun = brighter leaves)
                                                                                                                      with:  Alchemilla mollis, Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
                                                                                                                        with:  Heuchera 'Palace Purple', Lamium maculatum 'Beedham's White' or Campanula persicifolia 'Yellow Leaf'
                                                                                                                          (chartreuse colour echoes in partial shade)
                                                                                                                      Hosta 'Twist of Lime':  a dwarf form with lavender flowers
                                                                                                                        Hosta 'Twist of Lime'
                                                                                                                      Hosta 'Wide Brim':  18" tall, green rounded leaves, wide cream to gold margins, lavender blooms
                                                                                                                        Hosta 'Wide Brim'
                                                                                                                        uses:  groundcover, specimen planting

                                                                                                                      For valuable information and pictures galore, follow the links below. Bookmark this page first so you can come back to us.

                                                                                                                      For sure-fire performers, try The American Hosta Growers' Association annual award-winners. Follow each link to see images of foliage, clumps and flowers of each cultivar from the Mickfield Hostas site. Use your Back button to return to this page.
                                                                                                                      • 1996:  'So Sweet' - small, 14x22", glossy green leaves, wide white margin, will take some sun, near white fragrant flower
                                                                                                                      • 1997:  'Patriot' - medium, 12x30", deep green leaves with very wide, almost pure white, margin, violet flowers
                                                                                                                      • 1998:  'Fragrant Bouquet' - large, 18x26", apple green with wide light yellow margins, fragrant white flowers
                                                                                                                      • 1999:  'Paul's Glory' - large, 17x26", dark blue-green leaves with gold centre, light lavender flowers
                                                                                                                      • 2000:  'Sagae' - giant, 20x26", upright clump, large blue leaves, yellow margins, light lavender flowers
                                                                                                                      • 2001:  'June' - medium, 15x20", blue leaves with bright gold center in spring, fading in summer, violet flowers
                                                                                                                      • 2002:  'Guacamole' - medium-large, 10x18", rounded gold leaves, dark green margins, takes sun, fragrant white flowers
                                                                                                                      • 2003:  'Regal Splendor' - giant, 38x40", upright clump, large blue leaves, creamy yellow border, pale lavender flowers
                                                                                                                      • 2004:  'Sum & Substance' - giant, 36x60", satin-gold leaves, massive specimen with white flowers
                                                                                                                      • 2005:  'Striptease' - large, 20x36", dark green leaf, white strip down center, pale violet flowers
                                                                                                                      • 2006:  'Stained Glass' - large, 15x32", shiny gold foliage, 2" wide dark green margin, near white fragrant flowers
                                                                                                                      • 2007:  'Paradigm' - giant, 46x20", shiny gold leaves, blue-green margin, variegation intensifies, near white flowers
                                                                                                                      • 2008:  'Blue Mouse Ears' - mini, 5x9", rounded cupped blue leaves, pale lavender flowers
                                                                                                                      • 2009:  'Earth Angel' - giant, blue-green leaves, yellow margins, pale lavender flowers
                                                                                                                      • 2010:  'First Frost' - medium, 16x36", intensely blue-green leaves, yellow margin turns white, pale lavender flowers


                                                                                                                      All of our own Gardens By The Bay pages can be accessed by clicking on the links below.


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                                                                                                                      THE GARDENS

                                                                                                                      CORNER GARDEN CONSTRUCTION  |  CORNER GARDEN PLANTING  |  LONG GARDEN

                                                                                                                      EAST GARDEN  |  HOSTA GARDEN  |  NORTH GARDEN  |  WINTER GARDENS

                                                                                                                      PLANT PARTNERSHIPS

                                                                                                                      BLUE PERENNIALS    Aconitum - Geranium  |  Iris - Vinca

                                                                                                                      BULBS    Allium - Hyacinthus  |  Narcissus only  |  Tulipa only  |  Minor Bulbs

                                                                                                                      BUTTERFLY MAGNETS    Anaphalis - Hemerocallis  |  Liatris - Veronicastrum
                                                                                                                      DAYLILIES      Spider & Unusual Form

                                                                                                                      EDGERS    Arabis - Iris  |  Nepeta - Veronica

                                                                                                                      FOLIAGE PERENNIALS     Alchemilla - Tanacetum

                                                                                                                      HOSTA    Hosta - all

                                                                                                                      HUMMINGBIRD-FRIENDLY PERENNIALS    Alcea - Salvia

                                                                                                                      ORANGE PERENNIALS    Achillea - Tulipa

                                                                                                                      ORNAMENTAL GRASSES    Acorus - Imperata |  Miscanthus - Spodiopogon

                                                                                                                      PINK PERENNIALS    Achillea - Lilium  |  Lychnis - Veronica

                                                                                                                      PURPLE PERENNIALS    Aconitum - Liatris  |  Polemonium - Veronica

                                                                                                                      RED PERENNIALS    Achillea - Veronica

                                                                                                                      SHADE PERENNIALS    Aegopodium - Erythronium  |  Ferns - Polemonium  |  Polygonatum - Vinca

                                                                                                                      SILVER FOLIAGE PERENNIALS    Achillea - Cerastium    |    Cornus - Limonium    |    Lunaria - Veronica

                                                                                                                      SIMPLY SPECIAL PERENNIALS    Acanthus - Saxifraga

                                                                                                                      WHITE PERENNIALS    Achillea - Iris  |  Kalimeris - Yucca

                                                                                                                      YELLOW PERENNIALS    Achillea - Hypericum  |  Inula - Verbascum

                                                                                                                      VARIEGATED-FOLIAGE PERENNIALS    Acorus - Erythronium  |  Hakonechloa - Lysimachia  |  Miscanthus - Yucca

                                                                                                                      PLANT PROFILES

                                                                                                                      Dianthus 'Tiny Rubies'  |  Geranium  |  Geum coccineum  |  Kerria japonica  |  Knautia macedonica

                                                                                                                      Paeonia tenuifolia  |  Papaver somniferum  |  Rudbeckia  |  Salvia 'East Friesland'

                                                                                                                      Trollius  |  Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue'

                                                                                                                      PROPAGATION

                                                                                                                      DIVISION - SPRING ONLY  |   DIVISION - FALL ONLY  |   DIVISION - SPRING OR FALL  |   DO NOT DIVIDE

                                                                                                                      FERTILIZATION

                                                                                                                      BULBS  |   ORNAMENTAL GRASSES  |   PERENNIALS  |   SHRUBS  |   VINES

                                                                                                                      LINKS

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