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5 Companion Planting Ideas for Begonias


Begonias are well known flowering plants for hanging baskets, planters and garden beds. These bold flowering bulbs brighten shaded garden areas and add loads of colors to patio planters. While begonias alone in a planter or bed make a statement, combining begonias with other garden plants adds additional interest to shade gardens. If you are looking for garden ideas for shaded garden corners here are 5 ideas that incorporate begonias, perennials and other bulbs that do well in a shady garden setting.

Ferns and Begonias Collection

Ferns & Begonias Collection

You may or may not know this by now, but I love ferns! All types of ferns and their green fronds make me a happy woman. Begonias are another favorite of mine, with their large and showy blooms. The fine texture of Lady Fern makes the perfect backdrop for the bold blooms of begonias. Any begonias will look great planted with Lady Ferns, but my choice for combination is Apricot & Scarlet Begonias with Scarlet Double Begonias. There is something about the bright and bold blooms of these begonia varieties combined with the greenery from the ferns that make for the perfect shady garden plant combination.

Red White and Blue Shade Collection

Red, White and Blue Shade Garden

Red, white and blue is a famous color combination. They are seen in the colors of the United States flag, as well as France, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Chile, and other countries. These colors make for a classic and traditional appearance in the garden, one could almost say a formal appearance. Petunias are often planted in deep purple, white and red around Memorial Day. This color scheme is not as easy to achieve in shade gardens but can be done.

Planting the large blue Big Daddy Hosta which has blue leaves sets the stage for this classic color combination. The fine texture of the red blooms and green/red leaves Fanal Red Astilbe plays nicely off the blue leaves of the hosta. White Double Begonias can be planted in the foreground of this combination, or in a near-by hanging basket. White Begonias, Big Daddy Hosta, and Fanal Astible are a classic, crisp and clean combination of red, white and blue for shade gardens.

Golden Glory Shade Collection

Golden Glory Shade Garden

Shady garden spots are nice and cool in the summer and sometimes they need a little golden glow to warm them up. Yellow Double Begonias and White Double Begonias will brighten up a patio planter all by themselves. Typically, you can fit 3-5 begonia tubers in a 10-12” diameter planter, depending on how full you want the planter to look. If you want to combine the begonia tubers with some green, white and gold foliage plant with Candidum Caladium and Color Festival Hosta for a fresh appearance.  These bulbs and perennials don’t have to be planted in a container – they would also fill a shaded garden nook just as well!

Twilight and Light Shade Collection

Twilight and Light Shade Garden

Combining contrasting colors, such as black with white is popular in fashion as well as garden design. This combination of light and dark is no different, the light colors stand out against the deep purple foliage that adds dimension and depth to the garden. Chocoholic Snakeroot is a tall-growing perennial reaching height of 4-6’ with a slightly more narrow spread. It grows best in a partially shaded garden area where the leaf color can stand out. Adding the white and pink blooms of Bouton de Rose Begonias in a planter near the snakeroot or in the foreground helps each plant’s colors stand out better. Plant 3 begonia tubers for every 1 Chocoholic Snakeroot for the biggest impact.

Peppy Shade Garden Collection

Peppy Shade Garden Collection

Purple, orange and yellow are a dazzling combination in the garden. This combination of perennials and begonias will definitely add some pep to your step when you see it in the garden. Birch Double Cranesbill is a sprawling ground cover that reaches 18” in height. The double purple blooms present themselves in early summer and sporadically throughout the summer and early fall. When combined with the green and yellow foliage of the Lakeside Paisley Print Hosta which is a low growing hosta to only 12” tall, it makes for a bold statement. Orange Double Begonias bring the biggest splash of color with their large 2-3” diameter blooms that go from summer through frost. If you are looking for a combination for the front of the border, or to fill in a tight spot in a part-shade location, this peppy garden combination should fit the bill.

Shady Garden Ideas

While it may seem it is hard to get color in the shade, that is definitely not the case. Planting perennials and bulbs in shady garden corners, shaded hanging baskets, and shady garden beds is fun and exciting with the right combination of plants. Combining foliage textures with bold blooms is a great way to achieve a diverse shade garden. These 5 ideas above can be applied to garden containers, hanging baskets, garden nooks, beds, borders and anywhere you need to add a little color. Hopefully, these ideas inspired you to add color, and texture to your garden.

Need Gardening Help?

If you need any help with gardening or if you have plant-related questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to Jenny San Filippo. She can provide you with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed with your next project!

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