Rose of Sharon Companion Plants

Informal hedges and garden borders can take on a romantic look by including a Rose of Sharon. Compact varieties work to fill the middle area of a garden bed, while the vertical shapes of columnar common Hibiscus draw the eye to the back of a yard or away from a property line. This well-loved cottage garden favorite is extremely cold hardy and a beautiful long bloomer in the summer. 

The best companions for Rose of Sharon appreciate full sun and well-draining but consistently moist soil. Rose of Sharon does not demand supplemental fertilizing throughout the growing season and will grow perfectly well with one application of a slow-release formula in early spring as the new foliage begins to grow. The root systems of Rose of Sharon are not considered invasive or aggressive, but regular deadheading may be a good idea to control self-seeding. 


Shrubs To Plant With Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon has a long list of compatible shrub partners. Classic combinations include viburnum, hydrangea, lilac, forsythia, butterfly bush, spirea, and smokebush. Think about varying the bloom time amongst shrubs so that there is always something to catch your eye throughout the spring, summer and fall. Plant conifer or broadleaf evergreens to provide a dramatic backdrop for Rose of Sharon’s brightly colored flowers. Evergreen viburnum, juniper, holly, barberry, and euonymus are all great choices with interesting foliage. Lower-growing shrubs can be used as facer plants to cover the often bare bottom stems of Rose of Sharon. Boxwood, clipped yew, carpet roses, or spreading junipers are perfect for this purpose. 

Perennials To Plant With Rose of Sharon

The cottage garden mixed border is a great spot to feature Rose of Sharon with some traditional herbaceous perennials. Early bloomers like foxglove, shasta daisy, tall phlox, daylily, and heuchera can all be used to provide a first flush of color before Rose of Sharon produces its own buds. Mums, asters, coreopsis, oriental lilies, and coneflowers can be used to extend the flowering season. Ground covers like creeping Jenny, ornamental oregano, low-growing ornamental grasses, and lamb’s ear are wonderful for adding a bit of color and foliage texture to the overall planting design. 


Annuals To Plant With Rose of Sharon

The best annuals to plant with Rose of Sharon are trailing and spreading types that can be used as weed-suppressing ground covers. Sweet potato vines, petunias, and alyssum work well for this and can be selected to either contrast or complement Rose of Sharon’s flowers. Try growing more upright and open annuals to give the whole garden bed an airy and light feeling. Cosmos, cleome, snapdragons, and the annual baby’s breath come in subtle pastel colors that will continue to look fresh throughout the growing season. 

Best Companion Plants For Rose of Sharon in Containers

Rose of Sharon grows best in a container on its own as a specimen plant. The large, fibrous root system requires all of the moisture and nutrients it can get in a pot. Grouping pots of individually planted perennials and annuals is a good way of creating a vignette while accommodating Rose of Sharon’s care needs. 

Rose of Sharon trained into standard tree shapes makes for an interesting container display. Often shallow-rooted annuals can be planted at the base of the plant to trail over the sides and soften the look. Look for bacopa, alyssum, or calibrachoa, which are quick to fill in empty areas of a container and require only light fertilizing through the growing season.   


Plants Not To Grow With Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharons will not grow well in extremely wet soil or shady locations, making them unsuitable neighbors for ornamental rhubarb, rice paper plant, and marsh marigold. Equally poor companions include drought-loving desert dwellers, such as cacti, most succulents, and yucca. The dry conditions needed for these plants will not allow Rose of Sharon to establish a healthy and thriving root system.

Best Plants To Grow With Rose of Sharon

Juniper Bushes






Rose of Sharon pairs well with a variety of widely available shrubs, perennials, and annuals. Select companions that require at least 6 hours of sun exposure, well-draining but moist soil, and light fertilizing once a year. Also, take into account the different bloom times so complementary flowers will appear at the right time. Staggering the bloom times between plants keeps the landscape interesting and dynamic from early spring through late summer, or even autumn.

Robbin Small Profile Pic

Author Robbin Small - Published 9-13-2023