Alphabetical Plant Listing

Best Companion Plants for Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Deciduous Azaleas, Evergreen Azaleas, Lepidote Rhododendrons, Elepidote Rhododendrons


Azaleas and Rhododendrons, with their beautiful flowers, are one of the best-loved sights of spring. Producing a blaze of color, these popular ornamental shrubs are, however showy for only a relatively short season when in bloom. Their spectacular display can be extended by selecting species or cultivars with different blooming times or by planting companion plants for greater diversity.

Appealing and long-lasting planting combinations can be created with companion plants that enjoy early or late blooming periods, showy fall color, persistent showy berries or that provide attractive textural contrast with your Azaleas and Rhododendrons. These companion plants, whether shrubs, bulbs or perennials, must however be able to thrive under the same growing conditions as Azaleas and Rhododendrons.

  • Among the most popular companion plants for Rhododendrons and Azaleas are Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel) and Pieris japonica (Japanese andromeda). Both species are medium-size evergreen shrubs with great flower interest and they provide a textural contrast to Azaleas and Rhododendrons. 
  • Since most Rhododendrons and Azaleas provide colorful interest in spring, choose companion plants with fall and winter interest such as: Hamamellis species (Witchhazel), Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet), Berberis koreana or thunbergii (Barberry).
  • Don't limit yourself by considering trees and shrub species as the only adequate companions for Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Winter color can also be provided by perennials and bulbs such as Hellebores, Narcissus (Daffodil), Galanthus (Snowdrop).
  • Hosta is another group of plants offering an enormous diversity of foliage color, shape, size, texture, and plant habit. 
  • Ferns are a group with a great variety of height, texture, and color whose arching, graceful fronds create pretty combinations with Rhododendrons and Azaleas. 

Guide Information

Hardiness 4 - 10
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Azaleas - Rhododendrons, Rhododendrons - Azaleas
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Landscaping Ideas Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden, Traditional Garden
Compare All Azaleas - Rhododendrons Compare All Rhododendrons - Azaleas Great Plant Combination Ideas with Azaleas - Rhododendrons Great Plant Combination Ideas with Rhododendrons - Azaleas Guides with Azaleas - Rhododendrons Guides with Rhododendrons - Azaleas

Top picture is courtesy of julietphotography / 123RF Stock Photo

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 4 - 10
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Azaleas - Rhododendrons, Rhododendrons - Azaleas
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Landscaping Ideas Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden, Traditional Garden
Compare All Azaleas - Rhododendrons Compare All Rhododendrons - Azaleas Great Plant Combination Ideas with Azaleas - Rhododendrons Great Plant Combination Ideas with Rhododendrons - Azaleas Guides with Azaleas - Rhododendrons Guides with Rhododendrons - Azaleas

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