Dead Nettle Companion Plants

Landscaping is easy when you include lamium, also known as dead nettle, in the plan. This plant is an herbaceous perennial that grows in zones 4 through 8. The square stems feature gently serrated foliage that is primarily green with varying hints of silver. While the leaves are lovely, the flowers help this plant stand out. The tubular flowers can be white, purple, or yellow. Dead nettle plants grow up to 9 inches tall and spread up to 24 inches, depending on the variety.

Choose a shady spot for dead nettle. The soil should be moist and loamy but still promote drainage. Dead nettle grows best with shade-loving plants like ferns and coral bells, but larger plants that create shade, like a Japanese maple or fothergilla, are also a good match.


Shrubs To Plant With Dead Nettle

Plant dead nettle in the shade created by buckthorn or fothergilla. These taller shrubs need full sun but will allow enough light to filter through their canopy to support dead nettle. The fothergilla's textured flowers and colorful fall foliage provide some unique visual elements that coordinate well with the dead nettle’s silvery foliage and tubular flowers.

Japanese maples need partial sun, so this ornamental tree can grow in the same light as a dead nettle. Japanese maples come in a variety of sizes and colors to coordinate with a specific color palette and garden design. Plant a circular row of dead nettle around the base of a Japanese maple to fill the space and add visual interest.

Perennials To Plant With Dead Nettle

Low-light plants like fern, hosta, coral bells, and caladium grow well with dead nettle. Pairing dead nettle with plants primarily grown for foliage helps the dead nettle’s blooms get the attention they deserve. The silvery foliage of dead nettle makes a lovely foil for the colorful leaves of coral bells and caladium. Choose a fern or a non-variegated hosta to create a consistent background that allows the dead nettle’s leaves to pop. The contrasting textures and shapes of the leaves will provide dimension even with a muted color palette.

Annuals To Plant With Dead Nettle

The full, mounded form of impatiens creates a lush carpet of flowers from spring through the first frost. The dead nettle’s tall flower spikes add a different texture to a mixed bed. Depending on the cultivar, the dead nettle may be taller, so space these plants in tiers based on the mature height. Choose impatiens with white flowers to complement any flower color of dead nettle, or select a color-matched purple flower.

Best Companion Plants For Dead Nettle in Containers

Feature dead nettle in a container as a thriller. Complement the height of the dead nettle with the reaching stems of sweet potato vine and vinca vine. Both of these vining plants offer stunning foliage, and the sweet potato vine is available with light green or dark purple foliage, which can add some serious drama. 


Plants Not To Grow With Dead Nettle

Dead nettle can spread with time, and it works as an excellent ground cover, but avoid mixing it with petite growers, like primrose and saxifrage, which can be overwhelmed and smothered. Overcrowding can cause damp conditions and powdery mildew, so ensure this plant has enough space for air to circulate. Dead nettle prefers shady, moist conditions, making it unsuitable for plantings with sedum, yucca, lavender, and other sun lovers.

Best Plants To Grow With Dead Nettle

Plants with similar care requirements are the best match for dead nettle. Dead nettle is easy to maintain once established, but moisture and shade are vital. This plant does best in partial shade, so low-light plants like hosta, coral bells, Japanese maple, and impatiens are suitable matches.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 10-12-2023