Euonymus Companion Plants

The leafy good looks of the euonymus shrub can drastically range from one cultivar to another, but all euonymus are stunning and easy to maintain. This woody bush can grow one foot or up to several feet tall, depending on the variety. The spring-blooming flowers are rather plain, but this shrub is grown for its foliage. The ovate leaves come to a point and can be solid green or variegated, and put on a colorful display during the fall. 


Photo by Mark Wordy, unedited, Flickr, Copyright CC BY 2.0

Euonymus grows in zones 4 through 9 and requires full to partial sun and well-drained soil. This is a versatile plant because some types can creep and spread, others grow as small upright shrubs, while others grow as ornamental trees. Euonymus is very amenable to pruning and can be shaped to fit a particular design. The creeping types can also be trained to climb a trellis or other support. However you maintain this shrub, it will work well in a mixed planting. The greenery provides consistent color, allowing this plant to work both as a focal point and a backdrop for other plants.

Shrubs To Plant With Euonymus

Plant a creeping euonymus around the base of a pine tree or other conifer to fill in the area where grass will not grow. Select an evergreen euonymus variety with foliage color to complement the pine needles. 

The glossy green foliage of holly coordinates well with euonymus. The bold fall foliage of euonymus is a stunning precursor to the holly’s berries, creating a festive appearance. Both plants prefer partial sunlight and require minimal care once established, ensuring a low-maintenance landscape.

Weigela is a flowering shrub that combines seamlessly with euonymus. Weigela has a long blooming season in late spring and often features foliage in bold colors. These are both easy shrubs to maintain and adaptable to a range of growing conditions. 


Perennials To Plant With Euonymus

Upright euonymus shrubs make a nice backdrop for ornamental grasses. The grasses provide contrasting texture and movement to the planting. You can also plant the euonymus in front of a tall variety of ornamental grass for a tiered look. The tall blades of grass and flower plumes provide visual interest against the glossy foliage of the euonymus. 

Select a flowering perennial like the Japanese anemone to introduce a pop of color. While euonymus shrubs bloom, the flowers are not very showy, which means the bright, daisy-like blooms of the Japanese anemone will stand out. The medium green basal foliage creates lush greenery at the ground level when planted next to a creeping euonymus.


Photo by Leonora (Ellie) Enking, unedited, Flickr, Copyright CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

Annuals To Plant With Euonymus

Nemesia is a flowering annual that reaches up to 18 inches tall and a foot wide. Alternate nemesia with creeping euonymus along a stone wall or the edge of a patio to define the space while maintaining an open feeling and sightlines. Allow euonymus to creep, and the reaching vines will spread around the nemesia, creating a mat of foliage.

Best Companion Plants For Euonymus in Containers

Feature euonymus in a container as a spiller and allow the reaching stems to fall over the edge of the pot. Add begonias or geraniums to the same container for color. Create a full-sun container by combining euonymus with sedum and lantana. The upright growth habit and tiny flowers of lantana mix well with the spreading euonymus, while the sedum provides texture and will fill any gaps. 

Plants Not To Grow With Euonymus

When using euonymus as a ground cover, avoid combining it with other groundcovers, like the aggressive growing bugleweed (Ajuga). Both plants will infringe on one another’s space and end up competing instead of coexisting. Otherwise, avoid plants that crave full shade, like certain ferns, or wet soil, like marsh marigold and rush. 

Best Plants To Grow With Euonymus



Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental Grasses




Whether you grow euonymus as a creeping groundcover or a mounded shrub, select companion plants that complement the look in terms of color and growth habit. Perhaps most importantly, choose plants with similar care requirements so everything can thrive. Full to partial sun and moist but well-drained soil are vital to growing euonymus.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 09-28-2023