The herbaceous perennial lungwort has a low-growing form, but makes a significant impact. This plant grows in zones 3 through 8, and features green foliage with white specks and an unexpected fuzzy texture. The dainty bell-shaped flowers transition from pink to blue during the bloom cycle, adding more color and visual interest to this already eye-catching plant.
Lungwort works well in a border or part of a mixed planting because it brings color and texture and grows well alongside plants with similar care needs. Partial sun to shade is ideal for lungwort, allowing this plant to grow happily in shade created by trees and large shrubs. This plant has moderate water needs, but since it prefers to grow in more shade than sun, the soil often stays damp longer. Mature plants reach about one foot tall but spread up to 18 inches wide.
Shrubs To Plant With Lungwort
The pink and blue lungwort flowers are similar to the blooms on most hydrangea, making these plants good companions if you want a color-matched space. Lungwort’s blooms fade by late spring or early summer before hydrangeas bloom. Hydrangeas need more sunlight, so position the plants so that the larger hydrangea casts shade on the low-growing lungwort.
Roses are another flowering shrub that complements the good looks of lungwort while creating shade. Feature hydrangeas or roses as a foundation planting with a row of lungwort in front for a tiered appearance. Boxwood is excellent for defining a space and provides a consistent background to help lungwort stand out.
Plant lungwort around the base of a maple tree to fill in the empty area. While maples require full sun, the full canopy blocks and filters the light, creating ideal conditions for lungwort. As an herbaceous perennial, the greenery will fade after the leaves fall for easy end-of-season cleanup. In warmer climates, lungwort will keep its leaves during the winter and provide extended interest.
Perennials To Plant With Lungwort
Goatsbeard is a perennial that also lives in zones 3 through 8 and introduces texture and flowers into a space. The frilly flowers of goatsbeard offer a nice contrast against the bell-shaped lungwort blooms. Bear's breeches is another unusual name for a lovely perennial. Bear's breeches has massive leaves and can grow several feet tall, so plant it behind lungwort so both plants can be admired. Its dramatic snapdragon-like flower spikes stand over glossy foliage. Bear’s breeches grows in full sun to partial shade but will have to live at the lower end of its sunlight requirements to grow alongside lungwort.
Primroses bloom from early spring through summer and have a low profile like lungwort. The whorl of foliage is usually evergreen and sets off the stalks of colorful flowers. This plant does best in woodland settings and has similar care needs to lungwort. Place these plants in a mixed shady bed with rich, loamy soil and water regularly throughout the summer months.
Annuals To Plant With Lungwort
Lungwort pairs well with annuals made for shade. Create a modern and non-traditional look by planting lungwort with shade-loving coleus or caladium. The brightly-hued foliage of coleus or caladium thrives in lower light and makes the lungwort greenery stand out.
Best Companion Plants For Lungwort in Containers
Sometimes, plants with a similar but slightly different appearance make for an attractive mixed container. The silvery-green foliage of lamium is distinct from the white-speckled lungwort leaves, and while they are different, they work together to create a cohesive appearance. Lamium is often used as a filler and boasts clusters of flowers that bloom on tall stems during the summer. Planting lamium in a container keeps it from spreading and ensures an easy-care design year-round. Place the container in partial shade for both plants to thrive.
Begonia is another shade-loving plant that is hard to miss. The often full and ruffled flowers are vibrant and bloom from spring through fall. Choose a begonia with white flowers to coordinate with the lungwort’s foliage, or go bold with an orange or red begonia. While both plants appreciate even moisture, they do not tolerate wet feet and need proper drainage.
Plants Not To Grow With Lungwort
Plants that require full sun and thrive in hot temperatures are not good companions for lungwort. The care requirements for plants like zinnia, sedum, and geraniums are too different from lungwort for all plants to thrive. Lungwort also requires consistent moisture and will not grow well in dry shade alongside sweet box and epimedium.
Best Plants To Grow With Lungwort
Plant lungwort with other partial shade plants like lamium, primrose, coleus, or caladium. This perennial is also a good pick for areas near tall trees and shrubs that will filter sunlight, creating the ideal shady spot. Maple trees and hydrangeas will give lungwort a break from the intense sun while providing a nice background for the showy foliage and flowers.