Lilies are renowned for their elegant and vibrant blooms, but did you know that pairing them with the right companion plants can elevate their beauty even further?
Companion planting is an age-old gardening technique where plants with complementary qualities are grown together to enhance growth, deter pests, and create a harmonious garden environment.
By selecting the right companions for your lilies, you can create stunning color combinations, attract beneficial insects, and even improve soil fertility.
In this article, we’ll explore 17 fantastic companion plants for lilies that will not only make your garden a visual feast but also promote a healthy and thriving ecosystem.
From low-growing ground covers to towering perennials, we’ve got you covered with a diverse selection that will suit any garden style or preference. So, let’s dive in and discover the perfect partners for your lilies!
1. Daylilies (Hemerocallis):
With their overlapping bloom times and complementary color palette, daylilies make exceptional companions for lilies.
These perennial beauties come in a wide range of hues, and their long-lasting flowers will keep your garden vibrant throughout the summer. Plus, their name is “daylily,” so they’re practically made to be best buds with lilies!
Hostas, with their lush foliage and varied leaf shapes, offer a striking contrast to the tall, slender stems of lilies. It’s like having a leafy entourage surrounding your elegant lilies. And the best part? Hostas can handle some shade, so they’re perfect for those areas in your garden that receive a bit less sun.
3. Bee Balm (Monarda):
Attract pollinators and create a delightful color scheme by pairing lilies with bee balm. The vibrant red, pink, or purple flowers of bee balm will not only provide a stunning visual contrast but also entice beneficial bees and butterflies to visit your garden.
It’s a win-win situation: your lilies get a pop of color, and the pollinators get a delicious treat. It’s like a garden party everyone’s invited to!
Add a touch of elegance to your lily beds by planting salvias nearby. These upright perennials come in a range of vibrant colors and their long-lasting blooms will extend the visual interest of your garden.
It’s like having a royal court around your lilies, with salvias standing tall and proud, showcasing their majestic colors.
5. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia):
Russian sage’s delicate silver foliage and tall, airy spikes of lavender-blue flowers provide an ethereal backdrop to the showy blooms of lilies.
This drought-tolerant perennial is a perfect choice for arid or xeriscape gardens. It’s like adding a touch of magic to your lily patch, with Russian sage waving its enchanted wands of lavender-blue.
Geraniums, with their vibrant blooms and attractive foliage, make excellent companions for lilies. Choose varieties with contrasting colors to create an eye-catching display. It’s like having a flower fashion show in your garden, with geraniums strutting their stuff and lilies stealing the spotlight.
7. Shasta Daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum):
The cheerful white petals of Shasta daisies act as a perfect foil for the vibrant hues of lilies. These low-maintenance perennials are a great addition to any lily garden.
It’s like having a symphony of colors in your garden, with lilies hitting the high notes and Shasta daisies harmonizing with their pure and cheerful white petals.
8. Nepeta (Catmint):
Catmint is not only loved by cats but also adored by gardeners. Its aromatic foliage and delicate purple flowers create a soft and dreamy ambiance, harmonizing beautifully with the regal presence of lilies.
It’s like creating a secret oasis for your lilies, where they can relax and bask in the calming fragrance of catmint.
9. Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia):
Inject a burst of sunny yellow into your lily garden by planting black-eyed Susans nearby. These cheerful perennials provide a cheerful contrast to the rich colors of lilies and attract beneficial insects as well.
It’s like adding a splash of sunshine to your garden, with black-eyed Susans bringing their warm and joyful personalities to the party.
10. Coneflowers (Echinacea):
Coneflowers, with their sturdy stems and daisy-like flowers, are a popular choice for lily companions. Their vibrant petals and nectar-rich blooms attract pollinators, ensuring a buzzing and lively garden. It’s like opening a flower buffet for butterflies and bees, with coneflowers and lilies offering a delectable feast.
11. Ornamental Grasses:
Interspersing lilies with ornamental grasses adds texture and movement to your garden. Opt for feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) or fountain grass (Pennisetum) for a graceful and dynamic effect.
It’s like adding a dance floor to your garden, with the lilies twirling and the ornamental grasses swaying to the rhythm of nature.
Sedums are low-growing succulent plants that create a striking contrast to the upright stature of lilies. Their fleshy leaves and star-shaped flowers come in a variety of colors, making them versatile companions.
It’s like having a lily-red carpet event in your garden, with sedums creating a stylish and textured backdrop for the main stars.
Alliums, with their spherical flower heads held high on sturdy stems, bring architectural interest to lily beds. Their late-spring to early-summer blooms extend the flowering season and add a whimsical charm to the garden.
It’s like having tiny fireworks explode in your garden, with alliums lighting up the sky and lilies applauding their enchanting display.
14. Yarrow (Achillea):
Yarrow is a hardy perennial that offers a wide range of flower colors, from soft pastels to vibrant reds. Planting yarrow near lilies adds texture and height variations, creating a visually captivating display.
It’s like creating a work of art in your garden, with yarrow and lilies combining their colors and forms to paint a masterpiece.
Known as blazing star or gayfeather, liatris produces tall, spiky flower heads that attract butterflies and bees. Its upright structure and fluffy blooms make it an excellent complement to the graceful presence of lilies.
It’s like adding a touch of wild beauty to your lily garden, with liatris standing tall and lilies admiring its unique and enchanting charm.
16. Columbines (Aquilegia):
Columbines are known for their unique and intricate flowers that resemble tiny dancers. Their delicate blooms in shades of pink, purple, and blue add a whimsical touch to lily gardens.
It’s like having a garden full of delicate ballerinas, with columbines and lilies performing a graceful dance that captivates all who behold.
With their aromatic foliage and vibrant tubular flowers, agastache plants make fabulous companions for lilies. They attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, ensuring a lively and enchanting garden.
It’s like throwing a party in your garden, with agastache inviting the most fascinating guests, and lilies serving as the stunning backdrop for their lively interactions.
Tips for Lily Companion Plants:
Consider the sun and water requirements of both the lilies and their companion plants. Group plants with similar needs together for easier maintenance. Remember, happy plants make for a happy garden party!
Choose companion plants that bloom at different times:
Choose companion plants that bloom at different times to ensure a continuous display of color throughout the season. You want the fun to last as long as possible, so plan for a garden that keeps the festivities going!
Mix annuals and perennials:
Incorporate a mix of annuals and perennials to provide variety and flexibility in your garden design. It’s like having a diverse guest list at your garden party, with some friends staying for the long haul and others popping in for a short but sweet visit.
Pay attention to the height and structure:
Pay attention to the height and structure of companion plants. Select plants that complement the upright nature of lilies without overpowering them. You want everyone to be able to dance together without stepping on each other’s toes!
Plant aromatic herbs:
Plant aromatic herbs, such as lavender or thyme, near lilies to deter pests and add a delightful fragrance to your garden. It’s like having a natural air freshener and pest control team in your garden, ensuring that everyone enjoys the party without any uninvited guests.
Avoid planting aggressive or invasive species:
Avoid planting aggressive or invasive species as companions for lilies, as they may overshadow or smother the lily plants. It’s all about maintaining a harmonious and balanced garden, where everyone gets their fair share of attention.
Mulch around your lilies and their companions:
Mulch around your lilies and their companions to suppress weeds and maintain soil moisture. It’s like providing a comfortable and clean dance floor for your garden party, ensuring that your plants can move and groove without any unwanted intrusions.
Monitor and manage:
Regularly monitor and manage pests and diseases to protect both the lilies and their companion plants. It’s like having a vigilant bouncer at your garden party, making sure that everyone plays nicely and stays healthy throughout the festivities.
Pairing lilies with companion plants not only enhances the visual appeal of your garden but also promotes a thriving ecosystem. By choosing the right combinations, you can create stunning color schemes, attract beneficial insects, and ensure optimal growth for your lilies.
Whether you opt for the vibrant blooms of daylilies or the delicate foliage of hostas, these 17 companions will transform your lily patch into a vibrant and lively gathering that leaves everyone mesmerized.
So go ahead, let the lilies and their companions dance together and create a garden party that’s truly unforgettable.