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25 Best Boxwood Companion Plants: Enhance Your Garden Aesthetics

Boxwood Companion Plants

Boxwoods are a garden staple, known for their versatile use and evergreen charm.

They offer year-round greenery, making them perfect as hedges, borders, or even focal points in a garden setting.

With their dense, rich foliage, boxwoods provide a wonderful backdrop to showcase other plants, helping you create a balanced and beautiful garden landscape.

If you're wondering what to plant in front of these evergreen beauties to make them stand out even more, you're in the right place.

From vibrant annuals and perennials to ornamental grasses and even other shrubs, there are countless options to consider.

The right companion plants can bring out the best in your boxwoods and transform your garden into a stunning, harmonious sanctuary.

What Are The Best Boxwood Companion Plants?

When it comes to finding the best companions for my boxwoods, I've found that variety is truly the spice of life—or in this case, the garden.

My go-to favorites are always perennials like lavender and hostas.

Lavender's fragrant purple spikes alongside the dense, green foliage of boxwoods is like a match made in heaven.

The colors contrast beautifully, and both thrive in sunny spots with well-drained soil.

On the other hand, the large, dramatic leaves of hostas add an interesting texture contrast and do exceptionally well in the semi-shaded spots where I have some of my boxwoods.

They create a perfect balance and make each other stand out in the best way possible.

But don't stop at perennials; annuals can bring a whole new level of vibrancy.

I’ve dotted marigolds and petunias around my boxwoods, and the result is nothing short of spectacular.

Marigolds bring in a burst of orange and yellow, making the garden feel sunny and lively.

Petunias offer a cascade of colors throughout the growing season, painting the garden with shades of purple, pink, and white.

Placing them in front of my boxwoods turned out to be a masterstroke; the green backdrop makes these colors pop even more.

Trust me, when you pair your boxwoods with the right companions, your garden transforms into a living work of art that captivates all year long.

Perennials To Plant With Boxwoods

Boxwood Companion Plants

When it comes to pairing perennials with boxwoods, the possibilities are endless, but there are a few standouts that have particularly impressed me in my own garden.


Boxwood Companion Plants

I can't get enough of this classic pairing.

The striking purple blooms of lavender against the dense, evergreen foliage of boxwoods is simply sublime.

Plus, the aromatic scent of lavender is a delightful bonus.

I usually plant them at the front corners of a boxwood hedge; it's like framing a painting with an ornate edge.

They both love full sun and well-drained soil, making care relatively straightforward.


Boxwood Companion Plants

If your boxwoods are in a partially shaded spot like some of mine, hostas make excellent companions.

Their broad, variegated leaves offer a beautiful texture contrast to the smaller, dense leaves of boxwoods.

I've found that this combination brings a rich, layered feel to the garden, especially in areas that don't get constant sunlight.


Boxwood Companion Plants

For a pop of color, I've gone with daylilies in front of some of my boxwoods.

The tall, colorful blooms of daylilies provide a spectacular contrast to the muted green of the boxwoods.

I particularly love the recurring varieties, as they give me splashes of color throughout the season.

Like boxwoods, daylilies are pretty easygoing when it comes to soil and light conditions.

Coral Bells (Heuchera):

I added coral bells to my garden for their incredible foliage, which comes in a variety of colors like lime green, deep burgundy, and even variegated types.

Positioned near my boxwoods, they add a splash of color that truly shines in the autumn months.

They're another good option for those semi-shaded spots, and their petite size makes them ideal for planting in front of boxwoods as a low border.


Boxwood Companion Plants

For ground cover, I've found that phlox works wonders with boxwoods.

They spread nicely and offer a carpet of colors, like pink, purple, and white, particularly in the spring.

They enjoy the same well-drained soil conditions as boxwoods and fill in the spaces between larger plants quite well.

Annuals To Plant With Boxwoods

Pairing annuals with boxwoods can be like accessorizing a classic outfit—you can really let your creativity shine.

Here are five annuals that I've had success with in bringing dynamic bursts of color and texture to the evergreen background that my boxwoods provide:


Boxwood Companion Plants

These are a no-brainer for any garden, and they look stunning in front of boxwoods.

Their rich orange and yellow blooms create a lively contrast that draws the eye immediately.

And let's not forget their pest-repelling properties; I've found they help keep unwanted critters away from my cherished boxwoods.


Boxwood Companion Plants

If you're looking for a flowing cascade of color, petunias are your best bet.

I usually plant them in containers situated near my boxwoods or directly in the ground in front of them.

Their wide range of colors, from deep purples to pastel pinks, look absolutely spectacular against the green backdrop.


Boxwood Companion Plants

For the shadier parts of the garden where I have boxwoods, I often turn to begonias.

Their waxy leaves and delicate flowers add a soft touch of color and texture that pairs beautifully with the rigidity of boxwoods.

I love using both the fibrous and tuberous varieties to create a layered effect.


Boxwood Companion Plants

For a taller, more structural annual, I've found that zinnias work wonderfully.

Their upright stems and vibrant, daisy-like flowers make them an ideal contrast to the lower, more compact shape of boxwoods.

Zinnias come in an array of brilliant colors, and their height can create an eye-catching tiered effect in the garden.

Sweet Alyssum:

This one is for those who love to play with texture. Sweet alyssum produces tiny clusters of white or purple flowers that make for a fluffy ground cover.

I often use them as a "skirt" around my boxwoods, and the contrast between the fine texture of alyssum and the thicker foliage of boxwoods is truly delightful.

Shrubs To Plant With Boxwoods

While boxwoods can certainly hold their own in any garden, pairing them with other shrubs can create a more complex and visually engaging landscape.

Here are five shrubs that I've successfully incorporated alongside my boxwoods to achieve varying layers, textures, and colors:


Boxwood Companion Plants

These are one of my all-time favorites to plant near boxwoods.

Azaleas offer breathtaking, vibrant flowers that come alive in the spring.

The contrast of their bright blooms against the boxwoods' evergreen foliage creates a magnificent show that's hard to beat.

And they can thrive in similar semi-shaded areas, making them an easy companion choice.


Boxwood Companion Plants

The large, mophead flowers of hydrangeas offer a striking textural contrast to boxwoods' small, dense leaves.

I particularly love the blue and pink varieties, as they add a pop of color to my green-dominated space.

Plus, hydrangeas prefer the same well-drained soil conditions as boxwoods, making them fairly easy to care for.


Boxwood Companion Plants

While commonly thought of as an herb, rosemary can grow into a beautifully woody shrub under the right conditions.

I’ve found that its slender, needle-like leaves and delicate blue flowers complement the boxwood’s denser form.

The aromatic foliage is an added bonus that keeps the garden smelling fresh.


Boxwood Companion Plants

These are great for adding a softer texture to your garden landscape.

With their wispy leaves and clusters of small pink or white flowers, spirea shrubs create a flowing, almost dreamy backdrop behind my boxwoods.

They’re pretty low maintenance and adaptable to different soil types, which is always a win in my book.

Dwarf Lilac:

Boxwood Companion Plants

For a heavenly scent, I've added some dwarf lilac bushes next to my boxwoods.

When they bloom in the spring, their intoxicating fragrance fills the air, and their lavender-colored flowers make for a visually pleasing contrast.

They’re a bit taller than boxwoods, which creates a nice tiered effect in the garden.

5 Ornamental Grasses To Plant With Boxwoods

Mixing ornamental grasses with boxwoods has been a real game-changer for my garden.

The juxtaposition of flowing grasses with the structural formality of boxwoods adds a unique dynamic that's both eye-catching and pleasing.

Here are five ornamental grasses I've found to work exceptionally well:

Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca):

This grass brings in a unique blue-gray hue that I find absolutely enchanting.

I usually plant clumps of blue fescue at the front corners of my boxwood arrangements.

The contrast in color and texture between the two is a stunning visual treat, and both prefer well-drained soil, making them a low-maintenance pairing.

Pennisetum (Fountain Grass):

Boxwood Companion Plants

The arching plumes of fountain grass are a soft, whimsical contrast to the sturdy, formal appearance of boxwoods.

I've placed them at the back or sides of my boxwoods to create a "flowing mane" effect, and it’s striking how well they set each other off.

The warm tones of the grass in fall provide a wonderful contrast to the evergreen nature of the boxwoods.

Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra):

If you have boxwoods in a shaded or semi-shaded area like I do, this grass is an excellent companion.

Its cascading, golden leaves create a waterfall effect that's a complete showstopper when planted next to or in between boxwoods.

The contrast of form and color brightens up those dimmer areas of the garden beautifully.

Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'):

For a more exotic look, I've opted for Zebra Grass with its eye-catching horizontal stripes.

The tall, arching blades add height and motion to the garden, making my boxwoods look like they're framed by natural artwork.

They're great for creating a focal point and making the green of the boxwoods pop.

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum):

This native grass brings an air of the wild to my cultivated garden.

I like the way its upright form and feathery flower spikes add a sense of natural grace.

It looks particularly stunning in the fall when the foliage turns to a reddish-purple hue, offering yet another layer of color contrast to the boxwoods.

Vines To Plant With Boxwoods

Vines can add an entirely new vertical dimension to a garden that's dominated by the horizontal presence of boxwoods.

I've experimented with a range of vines over the years and found that they can either frame my boxwoods beautifully or serve as a dramatic backdrop.

Here are some of my top picks:


Boxwood Companion Plants

This vine is a star in any garden but becomes particularly striking when it's climbing a trellis or an arbor behind a row of boxwoods.

The large, showy flowers in colors like purple, pink, and white provide a stunning visual contrast to the boxwoods' dense, green foliage.

They prefer full sun to partial shade, making them versatile companions for various boxwood placements.


Boxwood Companion Plants

If you're like me and enjoy not just visual but also olfactory delights in your garden, then jasmine is a must-have.

Its fragrant, white flowers can be intoxicating, especially on warm evenings.

I've trained mine along fences behind my boxwoods, and the combination of scent and sight is absolutely heavenly.


Boxwood Companion Plants

This one's for those who don't mind a bit of drama in their gardens.

Wisteria vines grow quickly and produce long, cascading clusters of bluish-purple flowers.

Because they can be robust, I make sure they're well-supported on sturdy structures away from my boxwoods.

But when they bloom, the sight is jaw-dropping, especially with the contrasting green backdrop of boxwoods.

Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans):

Boxwood Companion Plants

For a burst of fiery color, I've found that the trumpet vine does the trick.

Its large, trumpet-shaped flowers in vivid shades of orange and red create a focal point like no other.

I usually plant this one near taller boxwoods or as a backdrop, and its aggressive nature means you'll need to keep an eye on it, but the visual payoff is well worth it.


Boxwood Companion Plants

This fast-growing vine brings sweetly-scented, tubular flowers to the garden.

I love the yellow and pink blooms, and so do hummingbirds and butterflies, making it a win-win for everyone.

I've planted honeysuckle on trellises behind some of my shorter boxwood hedges, and the combination attracts a lot of attention (and wildlife)!

What types of plants work best as companions for boxwoods in shady areas?

In my experience, hostas, ferns, and Japanese Forest Grass are great choices for adding variety and visual interest when your boxwoods are planted in shaded or partially shaded spots. These plants not only thrive in similar lighting conditions but also offer contrasting shapes and textures that make the boxwoods stand out even more.

Can I mix flowers with different blooming seasons as boxwood companions?

Absolutely, and that's one of the best ways to ensure you have a colorful garden throughout the year. I've paired spring bloomers like tulips and azaleas with summer favorites like lavender and daylilies. This way, as one set of blooms fades, another takes its place, keeping the garden vibrant across seasons.

How can I use ornamental grasses and vines with boxwoods to add height to my garden?

If you're looking to add a vertical dimension to your garden, using taller ornamental grasses like Zebra Grass or Fountain Grass behind or alongside your boxwoods works wonders. For an even more dramatic vertical effect, consider planting flowering vines like clematis or jasmine on trellises behind your boxwood hedge. I've found this creates an eye-catching layered look.

Are there companion plants that can help deter pests from my garden?

Yes, integrating certain plants like marigolds or lavender can help to repel specific garden pests. I've interspersed my boxwoods with these aromatic plants not only for their beauty but also as a natural form of pest control. Their scents tend to deter critters that you might not want munching on your garden plants.

Can I use companion plants to create a particular theme or style in my garden?

Certainly! The companion plants you choose can help evoke specific garden styles. For example, if you're aiming for a cottage garden vibe, consider pairing your boxwoods with billowing perennials like peonies and bellflowers. For a more Mediterranean feel, herbs like rosemary and thyme, along with lavender, pair exceptionally well with boxwoods.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the beauty of a garden lies in its ability to evolve and surprise, season after season.

Boxwoods, with their timeless appeal, provide the perfect canvas for this ever-changing tapestry of colors, textures, and scents.

Whether you pair them with vivid annuals for a summer spectacle, or more subdued perennials for a year-round display, these companions add layers of depth and interest that elevate the humble boxwood to a starring role in your outdoor sanctuary.

Your choices for boxwood companions are as varied as they are exciting.

From the ethereal plumes of ornamental grasses to the heady fragrances of flowering vines, the possibilities are almost endless.

Remember, the best garden is one that reflects your own personal style and sensibilities.

So don't be afraid to experiment, take some risks, and most importantly, have fun creating your own garden masterpiece.

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