Viburnum Companion Plants

Viburnums are a well-loved garden shrub with many varieties to fit  any garden plan. They make lovely informal or formal hedges, or can be a backdrop for a perennial bed. Viburnums offer fragrant flowers, often copious amounts of berries, and year-round shelter for wildlife. This is one shrub that is easy to care for and will grow in practically any spot in the garden.

Picking plants that grow well and complement Viburnums is easy to do. Viburnum thrives in rich soils that drain well while staying moist. A position in part shade to full sun ensures that Viburnums will flower well and develop richly colored berries later in the summer. Depending on the amount of space you have, there are varieties and cultivars to suit any garden. 


Shrubs To Plant With Viburnum

Viburnums are available as either broadleaf evergreens or deciduous shrubs, making them great for defining and giving a garden its structure four seasons of the year. Combine other broadleaf evergreens to form a flowering informal hedge that will attract wildlife all year. Gardenias and Camellias will provide colorful flowers through the winter and early spring, setting the stage for the long-lasting flowers of Viburnum early in the summer. Viburnum will also tolerate acidic soil, which both Azaleas and Camellias prefer. 

Deciduous shrubs such as Hydrangeas and Elderberry can be used as mid-level plantings in front of larger Viburnums. They are both able to tolerate any shading from taller shrubs and are also long blooming during the summer.  Because Viburnum fruits better when planted near other varieties, planting different types and sizes of Viburnum is a great idea. Choose varieties that bloom at roughly the same time to improve pollination, or select varieties with different colored flowers or berries to help each shrub stand out. 

Perennials To Plant With Viburnum

Viburnums are extremely versatile and can be grown in either part shade or full sun, making them great partners for almost any garden filled with herbaceous perennials. In a full sun location, try pairing tall ornamental grasses with flowing fountain shapes to contrast with the more compact and horizontal branches of evergreen Viburnum. Shasta daisies, black-eyed Susan, and Echinacea pair well with Viburnum and lend an informal, meadow feel. A shadier area of the garden can be planted with Hostas, ferns, and coral bells to add interesting leaf shapes and color. Perennials that bloom at different times during the season provide long-lasting color and will highlight the stable planting of a broadleaf evergreen such as Viburnum. 

Annuals To Plant With Viburnum

Use annuals to fill in the gaps under Viburnums. Any trailing type of annual that can tolerate a fair bit of shade will help to smother weeds and elevate the look of your design. Supertunias, Bacopa, Alyssum, and Lobelia come in a wide range of colors and will bloom from early summer to late fall with little maintenance required. 

Best Companion Plants For Viburnum in Containers

Smaller-sized Viburnums are good candidates for containers on a deck, patio, or porch. They can be planted singly to highlight their dramatic foliage and long-lasting flowers, or they can be combined with other seasonal plants in large planters. Use Viburnum as the thriller of the grouping. Look to add a filler and a couple of spillers to finish off a display that will provide color all summer long. 

Annuals are the best choice to grow in containers with deep-rooted shrubs such as Viburnum. Tender perennials that are grown as annuals are also great choices. English ivy, Vinca vine, and Licorice plants make the perfect spillers. Alyssum and Lobelia can fill in larger spaces and contrast with the often large and thick leaves of Viburnum. 

Fertilize any mixed container once a month with a diluted liquid feed such as seaweed or fish emulsion to promote blooming and healthy growth.

Plants Not To Grow With Viburnum

Viburnum is such an easy-growing plant that it pairs with just about any perennial or shrub. It would not grow well in a location with poor drainage such as a bog garden or the middle of a rain garden. Viburnum could be included in the outside zones of a rain garden, which tend to be drier.  Plants that thrive in highly alkaline soil are not great companions. Lavender, lilac, and forsythia require a higher pH than Viburnum prefers, causing the shrub to flower less and grow much slower. 

Best Plants To Grow With Viburnum



Shasta daisies

Shasta daisies



Vinca vine

Vinca vine

Viburnums grow well with any shrub or perennial that can be planted in well-draining, slightly acidic-to-neutral soil. Companions that prefer full sun or part shade sites will ensure all plants are happy with little maintenance required.

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Author Robbin Small - Published 8-23-2023