What to plant with Calycanthus – Sweetshrubs

Companion Planting with Calycanthus – Sweetshrubs


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Calycanthus, commonly known as sweetshrub or Carolina allspice, is a deciduous shrub with aromatic flowers and leaves. It typically thrives in well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade. When planting sweetshrubs, it’s important to choose companion plants that have similar growing requirements and that complement the plant visually and functionally. Here are some suggestions for companion plants:

Hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.) – With their large, showy flower clusters, hydrangeas can provide a stunning contrast to the more subtle flowers of Calycanthus. Both plants enjoy similar growing conditions.

Rhododendron and Azalea (Rhododendron spp.) – These shrubs provide beautiful spring blooms and can create an excellent backdrop for sweetshrubs.

Viburnum (Viburnum spp.) – Viburnum species offer a range of foliage textures, flower colors, and fragrances that can complement Calycanthus. Both plants have similar cultural requirements.

Clethra (Clethra alnifolia) – Also known as summersweet, Clethra produces fragrant, white or pink flowers in mid to late summer, providing extended bloom time when planted with sweetshrubs.

Itea (Itea virginica) – Virginia sweetspire is a deciduous shrub that produces fragrant, drooping racemes of white flowers and has excellent fall color, making it a suitable companion for Calycanthus.

Hosta (Hosta spp.) – With their large, attractive leaves, hostas can provide a contrasting ground cover beneath sweetshrubs. Many hosta varieties can tolerate partial shade.

Astilbe (Astilbe spp.) – These perennials produce feathery plumes of flowers and have fern-like foliage, creating an interesting contrast with the foliage and flowers of Calycanthus.

Ferns (Various species) – Ferns can thrive in partial shade and provide a contrasting texture to sweetshrubs, creating a woodland or shade garden setting.

Heuchera (Heuchera spp.) – Also known as coral bells, these perennials have attractive, colorful foliage and can grow in similar conditions to Calycanthus, making them an excellent companion plant.

Ornamental Grasses – Grasses like Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass) or Carex spp. (sedge) can provide contrasting textures and soften the appearance of shrubs like Calycanthus.

When selecting companion plants for Calycanthus, make sure they share the same growing conditions, such as sun exposure, water needs, and soil type. Additionally, consider the size, color, and texture of the companion plants to create a visually appealing garden.

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