What to plant with Dryopteris – Ferns

Companion Planting with Dryopteris – Ferns


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Dryopteris, commonly known as wood ferns, are versatile shade-loving plants that thrive in moist, well-draining soil. They are known for their attractive, arching fronds and easy-to-grow nature. When selecting companion plants for Dryopteris ferns, consider plants that share similar growing conditions and have complementary colors, textures, and forms. Here are some suggestions for plants to grow alongside Dryopteris:

Hosta: With their large, lush leaves in various shades of green, blue, and gold, hostas provide a striking contrast to the delicate, feathery fronds of Dryopteris ferns.

Heuchera (Coral Bells): Heuchera offers an array of colorful foliage that contrasts nicely with the green fronds of Dryopteris ferns. Both plants enjoy similar growing conditions.

Astilbe: The feathery plumes of Astilbe provide an interesting texture and form to the garden, complementing the delicate fronds of Dryopteris.

Brunnera (Siberian Bugloss): Brunnera’s heart-shaped leaves and delicate blue flowers complement the feathery fronds of Dryopteris ferns in a woodland garden.

Tiarella (Foamflower): Tiarella’s frothy flowers and attractive foliage pair well with the graceful form of Dryopteris ferns, and both plants thrive in similar environments.

Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum): With its graceful, arching stems and dangling, bell-shaped flowers, Solomon’s Seal is a lovely companion for Dryopteris ferns in a woodland garden.

Pulmonaria (Lungwort): Pulmonaria boasts attractive foliage, often with silver or white markings, and delicate flowers in shades of blue, pink, or white, making it a nice companion for Dryopteris ferns.

Epimedium (Barrenwort): Epimedium’s delicate, heart-shaped leaves and unique flowers create a harmonious combination with the feathery fronds of Dryopteris ferns.

Helleborus (Lenten Rose): Hellebores bloom early in the season and offer a variety of colors and forms, providing interest in the garden before Dryopteris ferns fully emerge.

Anemone: Fall-blooming Anemones, like Japanese Anemone (Anemone hupehensis), can provide a burst of color in the shade garden as Dryopteris foliage begins to fade.

When designing your woodland or shade garden, be sure to take into account the specific needs of each plant for light, water, and soil type, and adjust as needed for your local climate and conditions.

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