Best and Worst Azalea companion plants

Azalea companion plants

Azaleas are stunning flowers that make good landscape plants. These bushes are popular among home gardeners because of their quantity of spring blooms and unique leaves. Aside from that, the Azaleas are surrounded by companion plants and bushes that aid in their growth. In the article, Garden How  will update information on Azalea companion plants so that gardeners may choose the proper plants for their garden. 

What is companion planting?

Azaleas add color to the yard, but they sometimes require the involvement of Azalea companion plants to fill in the gaps around them. Companion planting also helps to boost soil nutrients, repel pests, and establish a sustainable ecosystem by collaborating with nature. Mixed planting provides numerous health benefits to all plants, allowing them to grow more vigorously and lushly.

Azalea companion plants
Azalea companion plants

Before deciding to grow Azalea companion plants

Before we get into Azalea companion plants, let’s have a look at the ideal conditions for Azaleas so we can choose a plant that will grow in similar contexts.


Azaleas thrive in dappled to partial shade. Azaleas are quite sensitive to direct sunlight and can be destroyed if exposed to it for an extended period of time.

These plants thrive under taller trees that allow less light to flow through them when the sun isn’t shining as brightly.


Azaleas are low-maintenance plants, but they do require a few soil conditions to ensure a healthy plant that blooms all year. Azaleas thrive in soil that is generally fertile and drains well, retaining moisture while draining excess water away from the roots. They do best on soil that has a pH of 4-6.



Azaleas need moist soil and require more frequent watering than some drought-tolerant plants. However, because the roots of these plants are shallow, they require more frequent watering. As a result, they are unable to reach deep enough to obtain water for themselves.

What are the Azalea companion plants?

A good Azalea companion plant is any plant that requires the same climate, soil, and cultural requirements as the Azalea. When choosing Azalea companion plants, bear the following rules in mind:

  • Choose species and types that are native to your area.
  • Plant it in a well-drained, acidic (pH 4.5–6.0) soil with plenty of organic matter.
  • Keep it in filtered, mild shade.
  • Zones 6–8

Colder or hotter conditions are tolerated by some Azaleas and their partner plants. Check the labeling on the plants before you buy them to make sure they’re suited to your climate.

Snowdrops (white blossoms), daffodils (yellow blooms), tulips (various flower colors), coral bells, and other acid-loving plants make excellent early spring companions.

The best Azalea companion plants

Gardeners should examine the traits of companion plants in addition to identifying Azalea companion plants that can survive in the same growing conditions.

Azalea companion plants

Azalea companion plants with the same Bloom Time

Azaleas bloom in the early spring, depending on the variety and your location. As a result, you consider these spring blooms as Azalea companion plants:


Narcissus is their botanical name, and they are one of the most well-known indicators that spring has arrived. They will bloom year after year with little upkeep once they have been planted.

  • The average height: 41 cm.
  • Golden daffodils are available in yellow and orange; pink flowering daffodils are available in coral, peach, and apricot, and white flowering daffodils are available in pale yellow fading to creamy white.
  • Bloom season: early spring
  • Popular varieties: Hawera, Angel’s Breath, Thalia.
Azaleas planted with Daffodils in the garden
Azaleas planted with Daffodils in the garden


This charming plant, which belongs to the buttercup family, can be found in woodlands.

Columbines have exquisite multicolored flowers on short stems that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

  • Average height: Flower height 20-30 cm, plant height 30-60 cm.
  • Many different hues are available, including red, yellow, blue, white, pink, and purple.
  • Blooming season: late spring through early summer.
  • Popular varieties: Crimson Star, McKana hybrid, Rocky Mountain, Clementine salmon-rose.

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding hearts thrive in the shade provided by tall-growing Azaleas. This kind of flower has the advantage of dying back during the hot summer months, making room for other plants. Then, in early spring, around the same time as Azaleas, they blossom with delicate stems of scarlet, heart-shaped blooms.

Bleeding Heart and Azaleas
Bleeding Heart and Azaleas

Azalea companion plants with the same plant type – Shrubs

Landscape designs with woody plants have more solidity all year. Consider when and how shrubs bloom, foliage type, and whether they’re deciduous or evergreen when choosing shrubs to put alongside Azaleas.

Azalea companion plants with the same plant type - Shrubs

Here are some shade-tolerant and acid-loving shrubs that make great Azalea companion plants:


One of the best Azalea companion plants is hydrangea. When Azalea plants are mixed with hydrangea flowers, the result is a pleasing sight. You’ll be relieved to learn that these plants like many of the same conditions as Azaleas.

A fascinating fact about hydrangeas is that the color of their flowers is determined by the pH of the soil. Their blossoms are pink in alkaline soils.

Their blossoms, however, are blue in acidic soils. This makes them even more important for Azaleas of all colors to brighten up the garden.

Hydrangeas prefer a little more light (but not direct sunlight) than Azaleas. This is quite acceptable and can be remedied by planting the Azaleas under a pine or oak tree.

The hydrangeas, on the other hand, can be planted slightly outside the tree’s shade and shadow.

Both hydrangeas and Azaleas can thrive in the shade of pine trees. As a result, it’s a fantastic way to fill the empty space beneath these towering trees!

The oak-leaf hydrangea is one hydrangea that looks fantastic with Azalea. This particular hydrangea makes an excellent Azalea companion. Not only are the blooms interesting, but the oak-like leaves are also intriguing.

These plants can be planted anyplace an Azalea would be. Both plants thrive in semi-shade, which is primarily given by towering trees.

The Oak-leaf hydrangea is very easy to come by, as it is endemic to most of North America’s Southeastern states. Tennessee, Alabama, and even North Carolina are included. In fact, this plant is Alabama’s official state wildflower!

Hydrangea and Azaleas in the garden

Mountain laurel

Rhododendron, Azalea, and blueberry are all members of the heath family, as is mountain laurel. As a result, it is one of the good Azalea companion plants. Deer and bunnies avoid them because of their thick, glossy leaves.

This dense, bushy shrub produces enormous clusters of beautiful blossoms with glossy evergreen foliage. They have an average height of about 1 m. Off-white, pinks, scarlet, rose, and burgundy are among the colors available. Late spring and early summer are the best times to see the flowers. Bay laurel, California laurel, and English laurel are all popular varieties.

Mountain laurel
Mountain laurel


Low-bush blueberry bushes grow well in acidic soil and provide delicious berries. They are excellent pollinators for butterflies and native bees and do not attract pests. Although blueberry bushes prefer full sun, they can still thrive in partial shade. Lingonberry, Bilberry, and Huckleberry are some of the other berry bushes that make ideal Azalea companions.


Witch Hazel

Witch hazels come in a variety of sizes, from enormous bushes to little trees. Because they have neutral summer leaves that become golden in the fall, they make wonderful Azalea companion plants.

They also have tiny blooms that bloom in the fall, which makes them a nice complement to an Azalea landscape.

Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel


Barberry shrubs add a splash of color to your Azalea yard. Winter fruit in red and gold attracts pollinators to this plant. It’s simple to grow and works well as a border or a hedge. They need the same conditions as Azaleas to thrive.


Oak and Pine Trees

Many people may be perplexed as to how two huge trees might be the ideal Azalea companion plants.

The reality is that their greatest advantage is their height, which benefits the Azalea plants. Azalea shrubs may only flourish if they get enough light and shade.

This need is met by both oak and pine trees. Both trees are notable for having poorly distributed leaves on their branches. This allows the sun to travel through the leaves, resulting in a dappled light pattern.

Oak trees, like pine trees, thrive in bright sunlight. This is ideal since it prevents the Azaleas from being drained by direct sunlight. Both trees may thrive in a variety of soils, even acidic ones.

Apart from that, they, like their Azalea buddies, like moist, well-drained soil.

Spotted dead nettle (Lamium maculatum)

Also called beacon silver, this plant, sometimes known as beacon silver, stands out against a brightly blooming Azalea. It’s perfect for surrounding Azalea bushes and other companion shrubs because it fills in the gaps with lovely ground cover.

Oak and Pine Trees
Oak and Pine Trees


The holly contrasts nicely with the Azaleas. It features vivid red berries and dark green, evergreen foliage. Hollies, like Azaleas, prefer acidic soil with adequate drainage. Mockingbirds and other songbirds flock to Holly.

Holly bush
Holly bush

Azalea companion plants with the same Foliage Type

Azaleas have lovely foliage that contributes to the beauty of the flowerbed long after the spring petals have faded. Consider choosing Azalea companion plants with leaf forms, textures, and colors that complement one another. Here are a few suggestions:


These plants are both evergreen and deciduous. They thrive in moist environments and will benefit from the shade given by taller Azaleas. Depending on the variety, average height ranges from 1 centimeter to 25 meters. Unless it’s a colorful foliage variation, which can be red, yellow, or brown, the foliage is light green to dark green. There will be no flowers in bloom. Maidenhair fern, Ostrich fern, Royal fern, and Boston fern are some of the most popular types.

Ferns and Azaleas in the garden
Ferns and Azaleas in the garden


Hostas are shade-tolerant foliage plants with clusters of mauve or white flowers in the spring. They are native to East Asia. They are resistant to slugs and snails, which is something that every gardener wishes for. The average height of Hostas is 40 cm. The following colors available Trumpet-shaped blooms in blue, lavender, or white. The bloom season of hostas is between May and September for 3 weeks, depending on the variety. Blue Mouse Ears, Golden Tiara, Whirlwind, and Komodo Dragon are some of the most popular kinds.

Hostas and Azaleas in the garden
Hostas and Azaleas in the garden

Plants to avoid planting with Azalea

The worst Azalea companion plants are those that don’t have the same requirements as Azaleas. It’s possible that they’ll need alkaline soil, less water, and poor soil.

However, Azaleas do not thrive in these conditions, so these are plants to avoid planting alongside your Azalea.

Black Walnut

Only a few plants thrive in the vicinity of the Black Walnut tree. These trees emit a chemical that inhibits the growth of other trees and plants. Unfortunately, Azaleas are not immune to this chemical. The black walnut produce the chemical – Juglone. It’s found in large amounts in the nuts, hulls, and roots. Juglone is also found in the leaves and stems, albeit in smaller amounts.

This means that none of these flowers can plant close to or beneath the canopy of a black walnut tree. Many plants, in fact, are ineligible for this location. It may be in your garden’s best interests to remove or isolate the black walnut tree.

Black Walnut
Black Walnut


Regarding Lavender, it is a flowering herb with beautiful blossoms. Lavender and Azaleas can appear to be a refreshing combination.

We agree that if they could truly grow together, this duo would make the garden seem lovely!

There are numerous distinctions between these two plants, so don’t get too enthusiastic about picking lavender just yet. The lavender and Azalea plants have different preferences:

  • Azalea prefers acidic soil, while lavender prefers alkaline soil.
  • Although all lavenders like dry soil, Azaleas require damp soil.
  • Azaleas can withstand more shade and less sunlight, whereas lavender requires more sunlight and little shade.

Obviously, these two plants cannot coexist because the only thing they have in common is a well-draining soil. Due to the disparities in their conditions and care, one of them would die if they were grown together.


Questions and Answers

Can you plant Azaleas under trees?

Many gardeners believe that Azaleas prefer to grow in full sun. The truth is that they require some light to function properly.

Excessive shade can result in lanky growth, scant foliage, and few or no blooms.

A site with early sun and afternoon shade or all day dappled light under a tree canopy is perfect.

Azaleas thrive in woodlands and under trees, but they thrive when they grow up alongside the trees. When Azaleas were transplanted later among the much larger, established roots of mature trees, their shallow, delicate roots were unable to compete for nutrients and moisture.

Can I plant Azaleas in the vegetable garden?

Azaleas aren’t suitable for vegetable gardens because most veggies require full sunshine to develop. Furthermore, Azaleas grow into big bushes with underground roots that are unsuitable for vegetable growth.


In a nutshell, Garden How has provided comprehensive information on Azalea companion plants as well as the best growth conditions for Azaleas. With the top list of top plants that are good companion plants for Azaleas above, you can choose from a wide variety of options to suit your garden.

Related posts:
All about Azalea: Azalea plant care guides for your lovely garden
Types of Azaleas – Stunning flowers for your fairy garden
Azalea Flower Festivals – Azalea Paradise for flower lovers
When does Azaleas bloom? How to promote blooming Azaleas?
Cutting Azaleas: The easiest way for propagating Azaleas

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