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10 Companion Plants For Leucothoe

10 Companion Plants For Leucothoe

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Paul Brown

Benefits of including companion plants with Leucothoe include less prevalence of pests and reduced soil erosion. So, what plants can you plant with leucothoe?

You can plant leucothoe with other perennial plants such as wild blue phlox, great laurel, and groundcover rose. Allegheny spurge, Christmas ferns, and purple wintercreepers also make excellent choices. These plants tolerate shade and have similar soil and watering requirements as your leucothoe.

The rest of this article takes a deep dive into the topic. I’ll explore the benefits of intergrowing leucothoe with several alternatives to help you make the best choice for your garden.

Wild Blue Phlox flowers

1. Wild Blue Phlox

The beautiful and evergreen wild blue phlox (also called wild sweet William or woodland phlox) is an excellent companion of leucothoe because of the following reasons:

  • Like leucothoe, wild blue phlox tolerates partial and full shade well
  • Its showy, blue to lavender flowers also bloom in spring
  • It is deer resistant
  • It is non-toxic to people and pets 
  • It attracts pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies

Wild blue phlox is also a perennial plant which means it will be around for a long time alongside your leucothoe plants (source). 

2. Great Laurel (Rosebay Rhododendron or American Rhododendron)

Great laurel plants can grow from a shrub to a tree of 30 feet (9.1 meters). Popularly grown as an ornamental plant, the great laurel produces showy, white, or pink-colored flowers that bloom in late spring. 

Here’s why you should interplant great laurel with your leucothoe plants:

  • Its attractive flowers beautify the foliage
  • Like leucothoe, it thrives in slightly acidic soils that are moderately moist and well-draining
  • It draws pollinators
Blooming Groundcover Rose

3. Groundcover Rose 

Groundcover roses are ideal for bringing vibrant colors to your leucothoe bed. 

These flowers come in various shades and have the following benefits:

  • Since they grow around companion plants, they give enough space for optimal growth (rather than suffocating them as other roses do)
  • They flower throughout the season, which enhances foliage attractiveness.
  • They are low-maintenance plants.
  • Also disease resistant

Groundcover roses prevent soil erosion by spreading their roots and securing the soil (source).

Blooming Allegheny Spurge plant.

4. Allegheny Spurge

Allegheny spurge is an evergreen, herbaceous perennial used as a ground cover. Like leucothoe, this plant thrives in shady areas and slightly acidic soil of medium moisture.

This native plant has attractive foliage, with green leaves marbled with purple and white. Its tiny white flowers (that bloom in early spring) are showy and fragrant.

Allegheny spurge is drought tolerant and can grow well under heavy shade (source). Other reasons it’s a good companion for leucothoe are the following:

  • It is a low-maintenance perennial
  • Attracts pollinators such as bees
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern) plant.

5. Christmas Fern

Traditionally used to treat various health problems, Christmas fern is another suitable companion to Llucothoe. Its leaves resemble Christmas stockings, hence the name.

Here’s why Christmas fern is a good match for leucothoe:

  • It grows best in partial to full shade
  • Its evergreen fronds enhance the foliage appearance
  • Requires minimal maintenance to flourish
  • Unlike other ferns, it doesn’t form dense colonies, therefore letting companion plants thrive

Here’s a really informative YouTube video on Christmas Ferns:

Tree Talk: Christmas Fern

6. Purple Wintercreeper (Fortune’s Spindle)

Purple winter creeper is a versatile evergreen used for ground cover or as a climber. It forms a dense, weed-chocking mat that adapts to various soil types (source).

The benefits of interplanting leucothoe with purple wintercreeper include:

  • Its attractive foliage changes from green to purple during fall
  • Tolerates full shade (even though it thrives in partial shade and direct sun)
  • Grows well in several types of soils
  • Quite hardy and withstands hot and cold temperatures well
Flowering Greek Valerian plant known commonly as Jacob's Ladder.

7. Jacob’s Ladder (Greek Valerian)

This blue and white-flowering plant gets its name from the arrangement of its leaves on the stem. People believe the leaves resemble the ladder Jacob saw in his dream (as narrated by the Bible). 

It is much loved for its abundant foliage and makes an excellent companion for leucothoe because of these reasons:

  • A low-maintenance plant that requires minimal work
  • Attracts pollinators with its showy flowers
  • Grows well in shady environments
  • Retains attractive foliage even after flowers fall (source)
Blooming Yellow Dogtooth Violet plants a.k.a. Yellow Trout Lily

8. Yellow Trout Lily (Yellow Dogtooth Violet)

Growing yellow trout lily has several benefits, including its edibility and medicinal uses. Interplanting it with your leucothoe gives you both aesthetic and functional advantages.

Although this plant takes a relatively long time to grow and reproduce, this native plant is quite hardy and can stay on your garden bed for hundreds of years.

Yellow trout lily attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies. They also have a symbiotic relationship with ants, whereby the ants feed on the fleshy protruberances of their seeds and then disperse them (helping the plant to spread) (source).

Hakone Grass, also know as Japanese Forest Grass

9. Japanese Forest Grass (Hakone Grass)

Japanese forest grass is a slow-growing, ornamental plant that will thrive in full or partial shade. Because leucothoe is variegated, combining it with Japanese forest grass creates contrasted and colorful foliage that isn’t overwhelming.

Some other good reasons to combine leucothoe with Japanese forest grass include the following:

  • It does well in the shade but can tolerate full sun
  • Since it is a non-invasive plant, it does not overgrow to choke neighboring plants
  • It is a low-maintenance perennial
  • Resistant to most plant pests and diseases (source)
  • Also deer resistant
Purple flower on a Crane’s-Bill plant.

10. Crane’s-Bill (Geranium)

Crane’s-bill is a popular perennial that is primarily grown for its bright flowers that come in the following shades:

  • Purple
  • Pink
  • Blue
  • Red

Geraniums in light shade and full sun can tolerate short droughts relatively well. Its showy flowers bloom in early summer or late spring and make a great addition to your garden. 

It is also a hardy plant that is not susceptible to most pests and diseases.

Some benefits of intergrowing it with leucothoe include:

  • Its vibrant and colorful foliage attracts pollinators
  • Geraniums have medicinal uses, so they are both aesthetic and functional
  • They also repel pesky pests such as mosquitoes and leaf hoppers
  • Its flowers are also fragrant

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