Hydrangeas forum: What to plant with my hydrangea

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VickiD
Aug 26, 2013 4:00 PM CST
I am looking for inspiration. I have a Lemon Wave hydrangea that has limped along for several years now. It finally bloomed last year, and the blooms were an unimpressive pale pink, nothing to write home about, but I absolutely love the foiliage!!! I dug it up this spring and have kept it in a pot all summer. I am getting ready to replant in a different (hopefully better) site soon.

I was wondering what, any of you who might have Lemon Wave, you would recommend planting with it? Right now, I am thinking of blue-leaved hostas, white or pink/peachy mums, and maybe some type of heucheras, but I am open to suggestions. I also thought about pink gaura, but I would probably treat that as an annual as I have tried to grow it 3 separate times now, and it has yet to make it through the winter. Btw, I am in eastern Kansas, if that makes any difference. And thank you in advance for your assistance.
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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Aug 26, 2013 5:16 PM CST
Hi Vicki and WELCOME to ATP Welcome! Welcome!

I'm thinking the hostas and heucheras would be better than mum's and gauras as the mums and gauras will need more sun.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
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Calif_Sue
Aug 28, 2013 10:11 AM CST

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How about Gold-Striped Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola') to compliment the variegated foliage? Or some azaleas?
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VickiD
Aug 28, 2013 11:36 AM CST
Oooh, I hadn't thought about that one. Sounds pretty. We have hard clay and a very drying wind here, and I haven't had much success with hakone grass, but I may just have to try, try again. Thanks, Calif_Sue!

And to Vic, thanks, also. I was thinking that maybe I needed to move the hydrangea to a sunnier sight, that that was the problem, but you may be right about the gaura needing more sun, maybe that is why I haven't had much success with it either. These trees of mine keep overshadowing what used to be a full sun area. I have a lot of thinking and rearranging to do, it would seem.
Name: Deb
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Bonehead
Aug 29, 2013 4:27 PM CST
I have alchemilla (Lady's mantle) at the base of my hydrangea, which provides early foliage and bloom before the hydrangea really takes off. When the Lady's mantle flops over is about when the hydrangea is really bulking up (early August). I also have the small groundcover comfrey in back of the hydrangea, which tolerates the fairly dense shade as the hydrangea takes off. Symphytum grandiflorum. Sorry, I'm not as versed as others to make links to the plants in the database, but both are there. And, finally, I do also allow some Lamium to grow under the hydrangea, although some folks consider this plant to be a pest. This is all under a common hydrangea macrophylla, not your particular variety, which is very pretty with the variegation.
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Aug 29, 2013 5:10 PM CST
Variegated Liriope
Golden Oregano
Hellebore

If the area is in full shade and you want an interesting small shrub with contrasting texture, take a look at this Japanese Cedar. Two feet tall at maturity. I loved it, but put in a location that received some sun. Even though it was morning sun, in Texas that's enough. Thinking would be the same for you in Kansas summertime.
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Aug 29, 2013 6:17 PM CST

Plants Admin

Good suggestions @Bonehead,
And here's how you do the database link, it's so simple you'll be using it all the time! My example above is the Gold-Striped Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'). Click on it and on the right side where it says ATP BB code, copy that entire code, both sets of brackets with the word plant in the center and that plant ID #. Paste it in your post and it's automatically clickable. How cool is that?! If you enlarge one of the images, it also has it's own BB code and you can then add the image which also includes the clickable database entry for that image.

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[Last edited by Calif_Sue - Aug 29, 2013 6:18 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #474268 (7)
Name: Deb
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Bonehead
Aug 29, 2013 8:38 PM CST
OK let me try with Lady's Mantle as an example:

ATP BB Code:
Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

Did that work? Looks like it did, but I don't need the ATP BB Code: line, not sure how to not include that, but I'll try again next time I refer to a plant. It's still a bit squirrely for me, but I do appreciate when others have that direct link so I'll get better at it...


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[Last edited by Bonehead - Aug 29, 2013 8:39 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #474397 (8)
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Aug 30, 2013 12:32 AM CST

Plants Admin

You did it! Just copy and paste the second line. If you accidentally copy too much, you can see what's not needed as you paste it and just delete it before posting. I often use the preview button to check things before hitting the finished button too.
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Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Aug 30, 2013 7:54 PM CST
Welcome to ATP, Vicki! Not too many Kansans on here yet...so we need to help one another! I'm all ears!
In most places in Kansas, hydrangeas must be supplemented yearly with an acidic compost. Plants around the hydrangea should be able to tolerate acidic soil. I have to plant hydrangeas and azaleas in 1/2 peat moss and 1/2 compost! The heat and wind depletes the soil moisture so quickly here!
I like to plant white begonias around the hydrangeas--the kind that come in a 6 pack. White or pale blue pansies look good there early in the spring before the shrubs really leaf out.
Hypericum, hostas, and nandina do well in the same shady conditions. Solomon seal are very happy there. At first, I was concerned there might be some root competition, but they seem to share space without issues. i have a few clematis and passiflora that climb through hydrangeas. Impatiens always do well also. Japanese iris do ok if there is enough sun--I have mine on the east side of my brick house with full sun through 1 pm and that is enough for the iris and almost too much for the hydrangea.
i hope that helps!
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VickiD
Aug 30, 2013 9:26 PM CST
Good to know. Thanks for the information, Cindi! I will start stocking up on the peat moss and compost. You all have given me a lot to think about already!
Name: Rose
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Rose1656
Aug 31, 2013 10:04 AM CST
I bought 5 of these this year, so I'm interested in companion plants too. I bought these just for the foliage, so not really concerned about the blooms. I have 3 big clumps of the gold Hakone grass, so will definitely try this suggestion. If you would like some, I will gladly send you a piece to get started.

Rose
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Claudia
Aug 31, 2013 6:01 PM CST
My hydrangeas are planted where they get morning sun but are protected from the hot afternoon sun. It is enough sun though to have some echinaceas and rudbeckia next to the hydrangeas with smaller hostas tucked along in front.
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Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
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JWWC
Aug 31, 2013 7:02 PM CST
I would plant that with some smaller blue green hostas and (as annuals) some variegated New Guinea impatiens.

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