Speedwell Companion Plants

Garden designing with perennials, shrubs, and annuals is a fun way to mix and match the colors and shapes of different plants to achieve either a formal or naturalistic feeling for your garden. The highly architectural flower spikes of Speedwell add a wonderful sense of height and vertical movement for just about any type of garden. The deeply colored flowers can be used to give a feeling of calm when combined with pastel colors, or used to energize a deck or patio area when mixed with other bright and eclectic flowering plants. Speedwell is low maintenance, appealing to the busy gardener who does not have time for constant deadheading or fertilizing. 


Shrubs To Plant With Speedwell

Speedwell is an excellent plant for adding a long season of color and shape to a mixed shrub and perennial garden. The tall flower spikes last for weeks in shades of blue, purple, white, and red. Plant Speedwell at the base of broadleaf evergreen shrubs such as rhododendron, holly, camellia, and laurel. Choose flower colors that will highlight or contrast the dramatic foliage colors of evergreen choisya, pieris, and loropetalum shrubs. 

Speedwell also grows well with deciduous shrubs such as abelia, roses, spirea, and weigela. Select shrubs that thrive in full sun and moist, free-draining soil. Shrubs with a mounded or rounded form allow Speedwell to really show off its vertical spikes.  

Perennials To Plant With Speedwell

The list of perennials that grows well with Speedwell is very long. Almost any herbaceous perennial or perennial bulb is a good choice. Late spring and early summer bulbs and tubers such as daffodils, allium, iris, English bluebells, grape hyacinth, or lilies look great next to the fresh foliage growth of the Speedwell. When the bulbs begin to die back for the season, Speedwell will be large enough to camouflage the flagging foliage. Later in the summer, more drought-tolerant perennials such as artemisia, seaholly, coneflowers, gaura, and crocosmia enhance the deep colors of Speedwell, giving the whole garden a lift when other perennials have finished their yearly display. 

Annuals To Plant With Speedwell

Planting any Speedwell with annuals is a great way to ensure that your garden has color all the way to the first frost of fall. Combine Speedwell with annuals that attract pollinators and other wildlife to give your garden a more naturalistic feel. Cosmos, snapdragons, four o’clocks, sunflowers, and zinnia all come in a wide range of colors to mix and match with Speedwell. A more refined and formal garden bed can be created using annuals as edging or front plants for Speedwell. Newer sun-loving cultivars of coleus, petunias, sweet potato vine, and licorice plants add bold color and form, and create a bold statement when grown with Speedwell. Adding a slow-release fertilizer to the soil at planting time will keep all of the plants growing vigorously and blooming all season. 

Best Companion Plants For Speedwell in Containers

Planting up containers for your deck or patio is a fun way to use more traditional plants in a creative way. Both annuals and perennial plants can be considered when designing a container for season-long color. Try planting smaller varieties of salvia, lantana, bee balm, catmint, and speedwell together for an eclectic mix of color and shape. The root system of Speedwell is not aggressive and grows nicely alongside companion plants as long as the container is large enough to allow room for growth. A 16-inch diameter pot will comfortably hold one Speedwell and two other small companion plants. 


Be sure to keep the container well watered so all of the plants stay hydrated during hot weather. Fertilizing with a diluted liquid feed once a month will keep all of the plants growing strong and blooming well.  

Plants Not To Grow With Speedwell

Aquatic plants that grow in inches of water or seasonally boggy soil are not a good match for Speedwell. Water iris, Siberian iris, cattails, or rush reeds grow in conditions that would damage Speedwell’s root system. Cacti, succulents, and other xeriscape plants grow best in sandy, dry soils, making them also unsuitable to grow alongside Speedwell. 

Best Plants To Grow With Speedwell

Holly Bushes






Speedwell grows and blooms best in full sun to part shade, and in well-drained soil that retains moisture. Any plant that demands the same conditions will combine well with Speedwell. In the landscape, try planting Speedwell between a backdrop of perennial sunflowers and a ground cover of coleus. The wide range of coleus colors keeps this combination looking lively from spring until fall, while the Speedwell does a great job of covering any naked stems of the sunflowers. Heavy fertilizing should be avoided with this combination, making it a low-maintenance design. 

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Author Robbin Small - Published 9-18-2023