For me, the most satisfying element about gardening is when you create, either by plan or accident, wonderful plant combinations. Not only do companion plants make each other look better, but many plants actually grow better alongside compatible neighbors. I often make the analogy that putting a new plant into the garden is like assembling a new outfit. It's not done when you buy the jacket. It's all the other parts of the outfit like the pants, shirt, tie and socks that make the jacket really standout.
Factors to Consider When Putting Together Plant Combinations
Make sure that the basic growing conditions preferred by the plants in the planting combination are a match. Here are the questions I ask myself before creating a combination planting:
Do they like the same type of soil and soil pH?
Are their watering requirements similar?
Do they have the same sunlight needs?
Are they matched for mature size and plant vigor? Don't plant a tiny rock garden species that grows one inch per year with a "race horse" that triples in size the first growing season and gets three feet tall.
Contrast foliage types and colors. Blue and gray foliage are nice together. Planting fine and bold textured foliage together makes a great combo.
Consider making a group of plants that might be found together in their native habitat. For example, a grouping of South African perennials from the Drakensberg Mountains or a sampling of short grass prairie plants from TX, OK and KS. This is a fun way to re-create regional collections from across the globe in your landscape while teaching you more about the plants and where they come from.
Here are some combinations that work very well. Some are concepts (contrasting flower shapes) and some are specific plant combinations. It's mind-expanding to start thinking about all the wonderful ways plants can be woven together in the landscape.
This long-blooming perennial Container Garden for Full Sun has flowers of violet-blue, violet and brilliant purple. Salvia 'Ultra Violet' and Agastache 'Blue Boa' are upright growing while the Verbena cascades over the edges of the pot to provide a brilliant purple "skirt" of nectar-rich flowers. This combination will be very attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. Grow this container in full sun and plant it in large pot (16 to 20" diameter and 12 to 15" deep) to give the plants plenty of root room. The plants will bloom their first growing season and get larger and fuller in the following years. This Pre-Planned Garden includes premium plants, and a planting and care guide.
The brilliant orange and scarlet flowers in this long-blooming perennial Hummingbird Container Garden are sure to draw hummingbirds from your entire neighborhood. The Penstemon and Agastache are the upright growers while the Zauschneria drapes over the edges of the container as a "spiller." Grow this container in full sun and plant it in a large pot (16 to 20" diameter and 12 to 15" deep) to give the plants plenty of root room to thrive. The plants will bloom their first growing season and get larger and fuller in the following years. This Pre-Planned Garden includes premium plants, and a planting and care guide.
Our SunSparkler® Sedum Collection is a trio of dramatic, high-impact Sedums that will pick up any garden setting with easy-care fun. A rich color palette includes grey-green foliage with burgundy flowers, bi-color lime green foliage, and blazing ruby-red petals edged in bright pink. A favorite of birds and pollinators, Sedum will naturalize to create drought-tolerant mats of colorful foliage and flowers. Collection of 3 plants.
The Serene Shade Garden uses a bright, blooming assortment of perennials to color-up the shady areas of your yard. Our expertly designed garden includes a planting map and a detailed care guide to help you easily create an oasis in the shade.