Honeysuckle Companion Plants

The honeysuckle or diervilla bush is a natural fit in a cottage-inspired landscape, but these shrubs are versatile and have much to offer. These shrubs are known for their sweet-scented, tubular flowers, but the foliage is also attractive and may come in different colors, depending on the variety. Choose companion plants that fit the scale and color of your honeysuckle while sharing the same growing needs.

These shrubs can reach up to 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide, making them useful for privacy screens or concealing a fence. Smaller cultivars are also available to introduce color and texture into a mixed bed. Plant honeysuckle in full sun to full shade, in moist, well-drained soil throughout zones 4 through 9. 

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

Shrubs To Plant With Honeysuckle

Elderberry is an unassuming deciduous shrub with green foliage and white flowers. This bush provides color and texture that complements honeysuckle. The summertime flowers of elderberry turn into dark purplish-black berries by late summer and fall, adding more color and interest while supporting birds and other animals, much like the honeysuckle.

Hawthorn shrubs are large and match the scale of honeysuckle. Both of these plants can share a space without overwhelming the other. Hawthorn is engulfed with white, 5-petaled flowers during the spring. Like honeysuckle, hawthorn can live in partial sun but performs best in full sun.

Roses are as diverse in appearance as honeysuckle, so you can mix and match these plants to land on a pairing that works for your space. Consider planting a climbing rose with honeysuckle in front of a fence, or give the plants a trellis to support their vertical growth. Both plants will need plenty of room so they are not competing with one another for space on the same trellis or support.

Perennials To Plant With Honeysuckle

Some honeysuckle cultivars grow best with a trellis, making them a good match for clematis. This flowering vine can share a large support and will intermingle with the shrub. Enjoy the clematis flowers from summer through fall. Clematis grows best in full sun with its roots in the shade. Position the honeysuckle to cast a shadow on the base of the clematis to protect against the afternoon sun and heat.

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Photo by K M, unmodified, Flickr, copyright CC BY 2.0 DEED

Annuals To Plant With Honeysuckle

Plant verbena in front of the honeysuckle to fill in the gap between the ground and the lower branches. Verbena needs full sun, so make sure the much larger honeysuckle does not block the sunlight. The tiny flower clusters bloom during the spring, summer, and fall, so the verbena provides consistent color to complement the honeysuckle.

Best Companion Plants For Honeysuckle in Containers

Select a smaller honeysuckle variety to display in a container and enjoy flexible placement options throughout your space. Good companions for honeysuckles in containers include creeping phlox and ornamental grasses. The phlox will trail over the sides, softening the edges of the design, while the grass provides contrasting texture and shape. Potted honeysuckles can add privacy to a porch or patio space or separate different areas of a yard.

Plants Not To Grow With Honeysuckle

Full sun is important to growing a healthy honeysuckle, so low-light plants, like coral bells, lungwort, and astilbe, cannot share the same space. Plants with increased water needs, like canna and Siberian iris, will fail to thrive in the same conditions required for honeysuckle. Avoid aggressive growers, like barberry, which may try to overtake honeysuckle.

Best Plants To Grow With Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is a charming flowering shrub with green or deep burgundy foliage, so it introduces a lot of visual interest. Pair honeysuckle with roses for a classic look, clematis or verbena for consistent flowers, or more honeysuckle or Diervilla to make the most of the fragrant flowers. Honeysuckle can vary in height, so choose a plant that fits your space and select companion plants with similar care requirements.