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Combining perennial plants with your spring flower bulbs is a great way to keep your garden bright and cheerful after they have flowered. As perennials are short, this means that when bulbs are in full bloom they are not blocked out of sight.
Another great reason for companion planting is to protect against insect infestation. Basil is one of the best companion plants for this and will remove the need for insecticide application. If your garden is suffering from fungal diseases, chives are the best thing to plant. You will need to keep them chopped down when they start to flower though!
Tips For Choosing Companion Plants
1. Choose companion plants that have similar growing requirements to your bulbs - for example, those that prefer the shade or the sun.
2. Opt for perennials that stay quite short so don’t block the bulbs when they flower.
3. Plant perennials first, then the bulbs around 6-12 inches away.
4. Choose perennials with dense foliage so they hide the yellowing bulb leaves.
5. Choose plants that bloom later than the bulbs for a brighter garden for longer.
Bulb Companions For Hot, Dry Conditions
· Geranium plants - these are renowned for adding colour to the garden from late summer through to early autumn, and they produce masses of stunning flowers.
· Peony plants - these eye-catching, herbaceous perennials produce large fluffy flowers in a wide range of colours including reds, coral pinks, whites and yellows. They flower mid-spring to early summer and bring lovely fragrances to the garden too.
· Thyme herbs - these are evergreen perennial plants that bloom into white, pink or lilac-coloured flowers in the summer. Thyme likes to grow in low-nutrient soil, with minimum moisture.
Spring Bulb Companions For Moist Soil
· Bergenia - these evergreen perennials produce pink and purple flowers when in bloom, turning purple-bronze in autumn. The stalks are 25-30cm high so are best planted alongside a tall bulb such as Allium Gladiators.
· Heuchera (Coral Bells) - a versatile perennial that has colourful foliage in a variety of vibrant shades. These are best planted where there is morning sun and afternoon shade to prevent the leaves from bleaching.
· Tricyrtis hirta (Toad lily) - this unique perennial is perfect for adding an exotic look to your garden. They prefer moist, acidic, fertile soil and are ideal for complementing late-blooming bulbs.
Spring Bulb Companions For Shade
· Lamprocapnos spectabilis (Bleeding Heart) - these produce pink or white flowers hanging from arching stems. The foliage tends to die back in summer, so plant in moist, well-draining soil.
· Hosta plants - these popular perennials love shade, and make a beautiful addition to any garden. They are easy to grow, staying dormant over winter before bursting to life from new shoots each spring.
· Vinca (Periwinkle) - these low-growing ground cover plants produce stunning violet, purple-blue or white flowers all summer long. With their dark green leaves, they are perfect for planting under trees to help cover up bare ground.
So, there you have it, some companion planting ideas for bulbs in your garden. Not only are companion plants great for keeping your garden healthy and free from fungus and insects, but most of them look really stunning too. By adding different heights of plants to your flowerbeds they can really create dimensions and pretty waves of colour. For your spring bulb needs, head over to our shop today.