Hellebore is a shade-loving perennial that bursts forth in rose-like blooms when the last traces of winter still have a tight grip on the garden. While there are several hellebore species, Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) and Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis) are the most common in American gardens, growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 8 and 4 through 9, respectively. If you’re smitten with the lovely little plant, you may be wondering what to plant with hellebores. Read on for helpful suggestions about companion planting with hellebores.
Hellebore Plant Companions
Evergreen plants make great hellebore companion plants, serving as a dark backdrop that makes the bright colors pop in contrast. Many shade-loving perennials are attractive companions for hellebores, as are bulbs that bloom in early spring. Hellebore also gets along well with woodland plants that share similar growing conditions.
When selecting hellebore companion plants, beware of large or fast-growing plants that can be overwhelming when planted as hellebore companion plants. Although hellebores are long-lived, they are relatively slow growers that take time to spread.
Here are just a handful of the many plants suitable for companion planting with hellebores:
- Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), Zones 3-9
- Japanese tassel fern (Polystichum polyblepharum), Zones 5-8
- Hart’s tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium), Zones 5-9
Dwarf evergreen shrubs
- Girard’s Crimson (Rhododendron ‘Girard’s Crimson’), Zones 5-8
- Girard’s Fuschia (Rhododendron ‘Girard’s Fuschia’), Zones 5-8
- Christmas box (Sarcococca confusa), Zones 6-8
- Daffodils (Narcissus), Zones 3-8
- Snowdrops (Galanthus), Zones 3-8
- Crocus, Zones 3-8
- Grape hyacinth (Muscari), Zones 3-9
- Bleeding heart (Dicentra), Zones 3-9
- Foxglove (Digitalis), Zones 4-8
- Lungwort (Pulmonaria), Zones 3-8
- Trillium, Zones 4-9
- Hosta, Zones 3-9
- Cyclamen (Cyclamen spp.), Zones 5-9
- Wild ginger (Asarium spp.), Zones 3-7