14 Japanese Forest Grass Companion Plants & Beautiful Combination Ideas

A perennial that will dazzle your garden in all four seasons!

I think you already know what I am talking about.

Yes, it’s none other than one of my country’s beautiful plants, Japanese forest grass, commonly known as Hakone Grass.

It’s a plant that is admired for its gracefully arching leaves. And, because of its eye-catching presence in the garden all year round, many passionate gardeners plant it.

But, their beauty can be enhanced to the next level by pairing them with some companion plants. And you are here to find those, right?

Now before I introduce you to my top-picked Japanese forest grass companion plants, I want to give you a quick glance at this plant.

Hakone Grass At A Glance

Hakone grass is one of the native Japanese plants that is widely seen in the garden, not only here in Japan but also in other countries.

It is a beautiful ornamental grass that is highly praised for its multi-season charm, color, and texture to the orchard.

The Hakone grass is a beautiful potted plant that is treasured in shade gardens and thrives in the coolness of a forest canopy.

Japanese forest grass

It grows slowly, is cold tolerant, and requires little maintenance, making it excellent for container gardening, especially if you don’t have the time or interest to repot every year.

In the late summer, Japanese Forest Grass blooms with non-showy flower stalks, which will last throughout July, August, and September. The grass heads turn a rusty orange color during the fall and look stunning.

Hakone Grass/ Japanese Forest Grass
Plant Type: Ornamental grasses, perennials
Mature Size: 12 – 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide
Exposure: Full sun, partial sun, shade
Soil Type: Chalk, clay, loam, sand
Soil pH: Acid, alkaline, neutral
Blooming Time: July to August
Flower Color: Yellow-green
Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9
Native Area: Woodland areas of central Japan

Now that you have a quick introduction to this plant, it’s time to find out what plants go with Japanese forest grass well.

10 Showy Japanese Forest Grass Companion Plants That You Will Fall in Love with

Even though it is good-looking on its own, the beauty becomes more stunning when it is grown with companion plants.

Here is my first choice that goes well with Japanese grass, Hellebores.

1. Hellebores: Provides Long-Lasting Flowers

Who doesn’t like the plant combinations of grasses and flowers?

Just imagine your Hakone grass’s slender leaves swaying with a slight breeze and touching some beautiful flowers. An absolute mind soothing scene!

And to do so, you just need to plant Hellebores, also known as Lenten roses, which is a genus of one of the most attractive perennials. With long-lasting (about 6 to 8 weeks) flowers during winter or early spring, these plants are able to decorate your yard with eye-catching colors.

Attractive perennial Hellebores

Even their green foliage makes a lovely partner for variegated and golden collections of different Hakone grass varieties, including Aureola, All Gold, and Alboaurea.

Hellebores are easy to grow, and you can plant them under the filtered sun or even in a shady place.

If you want to beautify your Japanese forest grass in winter, you may choose Helleborus orientalis (Lenten Rose). It provides the widest colorful combination and is among the earliest of the winter bloomers.

Helleborus orientalis (Lenten Rose)

On the other hand, Helleborus ‘First Dance’ will be an excellent option when you need a companion spring bloomer.

While talking about the significance of choosing these perennials is that they are fairly deer, rabbit, and frost resistant. Consequently, if you reside in an area where these things are a concern, then freely choose Hellebores.

Now, you may check the below table for necessary information regarding these plants.

Hellebores
Common Name: Hellebore, Lenten rose, Christmas rose
Mature Size: 1 – 2 ft. tall with a similar spread
Sun Exposure: Shade in summer, sun in winter
Blooming Time: Winter through spring
Soil Type: Moist but well-drained
Soil pH: Neutral, alkaline
Flower Color: White, pink, purple, yellow
Hardiness Zone: 3 to 9
Toxic to: Dogs, cats, and horses

2. Columbine: Available in Colors of The Rainbow

A flowering plant that is available in almost all colors of a rainbow!

Sounds fascinating, right?

Well, the columbine plant is such an example and also perfect for growing in cottage and woodland gardens.

Columbine flowers

They have little flowers that almost look like folded paper lanterns. Depending on the varieties, you will find different colors of flowers, including red, yellow, blue, purple, violet, white, and pink.

Just pick a variety with your favorite color and plant it along with your Hakone grass. Since Columbine thrives in partial shade or in the sun, make sure your forest grass is under the same condition.

Colorful columbine flowers

During spring, Columbine flowers emerge from dark green foliage. These leaves then turn into maroon color in fall.

By the way, these bell-shaped flowers are favorites of hummingbirds. So be prepared to listen to the birds happily whistling in your yard.

Columbine
Botanical Name: Aquilegia spp.
Mature Size: 1 – 3 ft. tall, 1 – 2 ft. wide
Sun Exposure: Full sun, partial shade
Soil Type: Sandy, loamy, moist but well-drained
Soil pH: Neutral to slightly acidic
Blooming Time: Spring to summer
Flower Color: Red, purple, orange, yellow, pink, blue, violet, white
Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8
Toxic to: Humans

3. Astilbe: Looks Amazing All Summer Long

Astilbe blooms are known for their long, fluffy plumes that rise above frilly, fern-like foliage. They can be an excellent focal point of your shady summer flower bed.

Astilbe blooms

Since it’s a shade-tolerant plant with contrasting foliage and attractive blossoms, it makes an excellent partner for Japanese forest grass shade plants.

Their foliage provides a pretty contrast with the slender, arching leaves of Hakone.

Purple Astilbe flowers

Astilbe blossoms come in a variety of colors, ranging from white to dark purple, but the majority are pastel.

Different cultivars bloom at different times and come in a variety of heights. Depending on the astilbe plant you choose, flowers can range in height from a few inches (7.5-10 cm) to a few feet (1 m).

Pink astilbe cultivar

Astilbe thrives in shaded, wet areas. They are able to brighten up shady spots, perennial borders, forests, moist areas, containers, and groundcovers.

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Astilbe
Other Common Name: False spirea, false goat’s beard
Mature Size: About 1 to 4 ft tall, 18 to 30 inches wide
Sun Exposure: Partial, full
Soil Type: Loamy, moist
Soil pH: Acidic, neutral
Blooming Time: Spring, summer
Flower Color: Pink, red, purple, white
Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8
Toxic to: No toxic effects

4. Hardy Geranium: Incredibly Tough

Hardy geraniums feature showy flowers and lush foliage. They are incredibly tough as they are pretty resistant to pests and diseases. Also, they require low maintenance.

Hardy geraniums showy flower

You can easily grow them if your garden has well-drained, fertile, and moist soil.

No matter what type of orchard you own, there is a hardy geranium that will suit the situation. Some types do well in sunny borders. Some are suitable for fabulous weed-choking ground covers, while others require woodland settings.

Blooming hardy geraniums

A few hardy geraniums bloom only once, generally early in the season, but the majority begin blooming in mid-summer and continue to bloom on a regular basis throughout the growing season.

Newer kinds, such as ‘Rozanne,’ bloom continuously throughout the summer.

Hardy Geranium
Other Common Name: Geraniums, wild geranium, perennial geranium, bloody geranium, cranesbill geranium
Mature Size: 6 to 24 inches tall
Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade (varies according to variety)
Soil Type: Medium moisture, well-drained soil
Soil pH: 5.8 to 6.3
Blooming Time: Spring, summer, fall (varies according to variety)
Flower Color: Blue, white, pink, purple
Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9 (differs according to type)

5. Rhododendrons: One of My Favorite!

Don’t know why, but I have a special place for Rhododendrons in my heart. From the first day I saw this beauty; I immediately fell for its captivative look, especially the flowers.

Beautiful Rhododendrons

And I think you are too after seeing them in the picture.

Well, I have had these plants in my garden for years. Then, when I planted Hakone, I bought more to accompany it.

In my opinion, rhododendrons are one of the shrubs that go with Japanese grasses. Even they both like the same type of soil.

Such a partner!

In the spring, rhododendrons will light up your landscape with flashy, colorful blooms. They produce big branches covered with flowers of a wide range of colors.

Flashy color of rhododendrons

You can plant them in rows around your house or scattered across a garden.

No matter what size you prefer, there is a type of them that can fulfill your needs. You will find low-growing ground cover rhododendron and also plants that grow to 25 ft. tall.

Height of rhododendron

Pink, purple, crimson, white, and yellow are among the flower colors available.

Rhododendrons prefer moist, temperate summer areas with moderate rainfall. Since they require a certain degree of freezing to form blossom buds, they do not thrive in hot areas.

Rhododendrons
Botanical Name: Rhododendron spp.
Mature Size: 6 inches to 25 feet (depending on varieties)
Sun Exposure: Full sun, partial shade
Soil Type: Moist, well-drained
Soil pH: Acidic
Blooming Time: Spring (varies according to varieties)
Flower Color: Purple, red, orange, white, pink, yellow
Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9
Toxic to: Dogs, cats, horses

6. Lady’s Mantle: Capture The Water Droplets

Do you know what makes Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla) stand out from others?

Well, it’s their scalloped, circular leaves that can hold water droplets. Following rain, when the sun in the early morning rises, these droplets will sparkle like a tiny pearl.

Ladys mantle with water droplets

In early summer, hundreds of airy sprays of chartreuse blossoms appear above the leaves. At first, the blooms are erect, but as they age, they begin to cascade.

These long-lasting blossoms are ideal for adding to cut flower bouquets. Although the flowers are not that much showy, the foliage looks stunning all season.

 Ladys mantle long lasting blooms

Since not everyone is a fan of flowery colors in their garden, if you are the same, these are the perfect example for you.

Alchemilla can be planted in a variety of locations in your garden, but it looks best under growing Japanese maple trees or in the foreground with Hakone grass.

Lady’s Mantle
Botanical Name: Alchemilla mollis
Mature Size: 12 – 24 inches long and wide (some varieties)
Sun Exposure: Full sun, partial shade
Soil Type: Medium moisture, well-drained
Soil pH: Acidic to neutral (6 to 6.5)
Blooming Time: June to September
Flower Color: Yellow-green
Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8

7. Black Mondo Grass: Dramatic Foliage

All my black enthusiasts, here is your treat!

Although it’s unusual for someone to choose a black-colored plant for the garden, not everyone has the same preference.

Dramatic foliage of Black Mondo Grass

So, if you want to add a dramatic twist, black mondo will be a perfect choice. It produces dense tufts of arching, strap-shaped, grasslike leaves that range in color from dark purple to practically black.

In the summer, a single flower stalk emerges, bearing little pinkish bell-shaped flowers. This grass-like plant is commonly used as a ground cover for semi-shady locations and a border or edging plant.

Bell shaped flowers of Black mondo grass

It’s a popular plant in rock gardens as well as Japanese zen gardens because of its unique black leaf. And, of course, the dark color makes a dramatic contrast with Hakone grass.

Note that black mondo grass grows slowly and germinates even more slowly, taking three months or more to sprout from seed. Therefore, you have to plant it in the spring to provide a strong foundation before the first winter.

Black Mondo Grass
Botanical Name: Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’
Mature Size: About 8 inches tall and 12 inches wide
Sun Exposure: Full sun, partial shade
Soil Type: Moist, well-drained
Soil pH: 5.5 to 6.5
Blooming Time: Late spring to early summer
Flower Color: Pink
Hardiness Zones: 6 to 9

8. Coral Bells: Have a Variety of Foliage Color

Another plant to pair with Japanese ornamental grasses is coral bells also known as Heucheras.

They are native to North America and grow in spherical mounds with a woody rootstock or crown at the base and little bell-shaped blooms that bloom on tall stems in the spring or early summer.

Coral Bells bloom

The nectar-rich blossoms allure hummingbirds and butterflies and also make attractive cut flowers.

Depending on the temperature, their leaves are spherical, lobed, hairy, and evergreen or semi-evergreen. Newer types of coral bells feature leaves in purple, rose, lime green, gold, and other colors and the classic green leaves.

coral bells lime green leaves
Coral Bells
Botanical Name: Heuchera spp.
Mature Size: 8 to 18 in. tall, 12 to 24 in. wide
Sun Exposure: Full, partial
Soil Type: Rich, moist but well-drained
Soil pH: Acidic, neutral
Blooming Time: Spring, summer
Flower Color: Red, white, pink, orange
Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

9. Hosta: Have Fast, Medium, & Slow Growing Varieties

Hostas are extremely addicting!

Hmm, confused!!

Well, you will only know what I mean after planting a couple of hostas in your garden.

Hosta in garden

These super-easy perennials are extremely popular because they come in such a seemingly endless variety of colors, heights, and textures. There are hosta variations to meet any scenario, from broad borders to tiny rock gardens, ranging in size from 4-inch dwarfs to 6-foot-wide giants.

And when you plant them along with Hakone, they will make a beautiful pair.

By the way, they also look great in containers!

This incredible plant also comes in a variety of colors, including green, blue, chartreuse, and bi-color. The form and texture of the plants’ leaves differ depending on the type.

Colorful hosta

And don’t forget about the hosta blooms. Every hosta type produces magnificent spikes of fragrant pink, lavender, or white flowers during the summer.

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Hosta
Common Name: Hosta, plantain lily
Mature Size: 6 to 48 in. tall, 10 inches to 6 ft. wide
Sun Exposure: Shade, partial
Soil Type: Rich, fertile, well-drained
Soil pH: Slightly acidic (6.0 to 6.5)
Blooming Time: Summer
Flower Color: White, lavender, pink
Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9
Toxic to: Dogs, cats, horses

10. Holly Fern: A Drought Resistant Plant

For a full shady spot in your orchard, holly fern can never go wrong. They will thrive even in the darkest area of your garden.

When planted with forest grass, their green foliage offers an attractive contrast as a background. They are drought-resistant and native to both Asia and Africa.

Drought resistant holly fern

This large plant grows to a mature height of 2 feet (0.5 m.) with a spread of around 3 feet (1 m.). So keep this much space while planting them.

Holly fern can be planted as a ground cover or as a border plant. You may also grow holly fern in a container and use it as a houseplant or outdoors.

Holly Fern
Other Name: Japanese holly fern
Mature Size: Around 2 feet tall with 3 feet spread
Sun Exposure: Full shade, partial shade
Soil Type: Well-drained
Soil pH: Between 4.0 to 7.0
Characteristics: Showy foliage
Foliage Color: Green
Hardiness Zones: 6 through 10

By far, I talked about individual plants to pair with Japanese forest grass. Apart from that, a combination of different plants together with Hakone can make your yard more pleasant to look at.

That’s why I offer you some plant combination ideas with Hakone grass.

Let’s dig in.

11. Tiarella

Tiarella (also known as foamflower) is a good companion plant for Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa). 

Tiarella is a low-growing perennial plant that has similar growing conditions to Japanese forest grass, such as preferring moist, well-drained soil and partial shade.

The foliage of Tiarella features attractive heart-shaped leaves with intricate veining that can complement the fine texture of Japanese forest grass. 

Tiarella also produces delicate, spiky flowers in the spring that add a burst of color to the garden bed.

When planting Tiarella and Japanese forest grass together, it’s best to position the Tiarella in front of the Japanese forest grass to create a layered effect. 

This way, the intricate foliage of the Tiarella can be fully appreciated without being overshadowed by the taller Japanese forest grass. 

Overall, the two plants make a beautiful and harmonious pairing in a shade garden or woodland setting.

Tiarella
Botanical NameTiarella spp.
Mature Size6 and 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) tall and spread between 12 and 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) wide
Sun ExposurePartial to full shade
Soil Typemoist, well-draining soil, rich in organic matter
Soil pH5.5 and 7.0
Blooming Timespring
Flower Colorwhite, pink, or lavender
Hardiness Zones3 to 9

12. Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding hearts (Dicentra spp.) can be a good companion plant for Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa), depending on the specific variety of each plant and the growing conditions in your garden. 

Both bleeding hearts and Japanese forest grass prefer partially shaded to shady areas with well-drained soil. 

However, bleeding hearts prefer slightly more moist soil than Japanese forest grass, so it’s important to ensure that the soil doesn’t dry out too much.

Bleeding hearts can grow to be relatively tall (up to 2-3 feet), so it’s important to choose a variety that won’t completely overwhelm the smaller and more delicate Japanese forest grass. 

Some smaller cultivars of bleeding hearts, such as ‘Luxuriant’ or ‘King of Hearts’, may work better in combination with Japanese forest grass.

Bleeding hearts typically bloom in the spring and may stop blooming by the time Japanese forest grass reaches its peak in the summer. 

However, some cultivars of bleeding hearts, such as ‘Gold Heart’ or ‘Valentine’, may bloom later into the summer months, providing continued interest and color to the garden.

Overall, bleeding hearts can make a lovely companion to Japanese forest grass, as their delicate foliage and unique heart-shaped flowers provide a nice contrast to the fine, flowing texture of the grass. 

Just be sure to choose the right variety and growing conditions to ensure that they will thrive together in your garden.

Bleeding hearts
Botanical NameDicentra spp.
Mature Size1 and 3 feet (30 to 90 cm) tall and wide
Sun ExposurePartial to full shade
Soil TypeMoist, well-draining soil
Soil pH6.0 and 7.0.
Blooming TimeSpring
Flower ColorPink, red, white, or a combination of these colors
Hardiness Zones3 to 9

13. Lungwort (Pulmonaria)

Lungwort (Pulmonaria) can be a good companion plant for Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa), as both prefer similar growing conditions and have complementary features. Here are some things to consider:

Both lungwort and Japanese forest grass prefer partial to full shade and moist, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Lungwort can tolerate a slightly more alkaline soil than Japanese forest grass, but generally, the two plants have similar growing requirements.

Lungwort is known for its attractive, mottled foliage, which can range from green to silver and sometimes even to pink or purple.

The foliage of lungwort can provide an interesting contrast to the fine texture of Japanese forest grass, and the two plants can create a visually pleasing combination.

Lungwort blooms in the early to mid-spring, usually around the same time as Japanese forest grass. The flowers of lungwort are usually blue, pink, or white and can add a pop of color to the garden bed.

Overall, lungwort can make a great companion to Japanese forest grass, as the two plants have similar growing requirements and can create a beautiful contrast with their foliage and flowers. Just be sure to choose the right varieties and growing conditions to ensure that they will thrive together in your garden.

Lungwort (Pulmonaria)
Botanical NamePulmonaria spp.
Mature Size6 and 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) tall and wide
Sun Exposurepartial to full shade
Soil Typemoist, well-drained soil 
Soil pH6.0 and 7.5
Blooming Timeearly to mid-spring
Flower Colorpink, blue, purple, or white
Hardiness Zones3 to 9

14. Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum)

Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum) can be a good companion plant for Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa), as both prefer similar growing conditions and have complementary features. Here are some things to consider:

Both Solomon’s seal and Japanese forest grass prefer partial to full shade and moist, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.

Solomon’s seal can tolerate slightly more sun than Japanese forest grass, but generally, the two plants have similar growing requirements.

Solomon’s seal is known for its arching stems and graceful, lance-shaped leaves that can add a striking vertical element to the garden bed. The foliage of Solomon’s seal can provide an interesting contrast to the fine texture of Japanese forest grass.

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Solomon’s seal blooms in the late spring to early summer, usually after the foliage of Japanese forest grass has had a chance to fully emerge. The flowers of Solomon’s seal are usually white or greenish-white and can add a delicate, understated beauty to the garden bed.

Overall, Solomon’s seal can make a great companion to Japanese forest grass, as the two plants have similar growing requirements and can create a beautiful contrast with their foliage and flowers. Just be sure to choose the right varieties and growing conditions to ensure that they will thrive together in your garden.

Solomon’s seal
Botanical NamePolygonatum
Mature Size12 and 48 inches (30 to 120 cm) tall and 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm) wide
Sun Exposurepartial to full shade
Soil Typemoist, well-drained soil
Soil pH5.5 and 7.5
Blooming TimeLate spring to early summer
Flower ColorWhite or greenish-white
Hardiness Zones3 to 9

Plant Combination Ideas With Japanese Grass

You probably know that the most popular types of Japanese forest grass are ‘Aureola,’ ‘All Gold,’ and ‘Alboaurea.’

Now I will tell you which plant combination will look good with each of these types.

1. ‘Alboaurea’ + ‘Petite Jenny’ + ‘Catlin’s Giant’

Hakonechloa macra ‘Alboaurea’ (Hakone Grass) is an extremely eye-catching golden variegated grass that adds drama to any garden.

Hakonechloa macra Alboaurea

Its leaves cascade down in a beautifully arching mound of vibrantly striped creamy-white, bright yellow, and green leaves. The foliage takes on a reddish hue in full sun and turns scarlet in the fall before collapsing to the ground in the winter.

You can pair it with any of my previously described plants. Or, you may unify it with petite jenny and catlin’s giant both.

Lychnis Flos-Cuculi ‘Petite Jenny’ (Ragged Robin)

Ragged Robin can rock your yard all summer long with its lavender-pink double flowers, clustered on slender branching stems.

The fluffy blossoms rise above the foliage of rectangular, dark green leaves. The flowers make a lovely contrast with Hakone grass.

Lychnis Flos Cuculi flowers above foliage

This double-flowered little beauty is a child of Blooms of Bressingham’s popular Lychnis ‘Jenny,’ which blooms for an extraordinarily long season from late spring to fall.

Since its flowers are sterile, it has a prolonged blooming time. This dwarf Ragged Robin grows in bushy clumps up to 12 to 14 inches tall and 18 inches broad and is also easy to care for.

Ragged Robin flowers

Moreover, Lychnis Petite Jenny is a well-known pollinator attractor. Therefore, butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees will add color and movement to the beautiful blossoms.

Lychnis Petite Jenny
Botanical Name: Lychnis flos-cuculi Petite Jenny
Common Name: Catchfly, Ragged Robin
Mature Size: 12 to 14 inches tall with 16 to 18 inches spread
Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Soil Type: Moist, well-drained
Soil pH: Acid, alkaline, neutral
Blooming Time: Early summer to early fall
Flower Color: Pink
Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8

Ajuga Reptans ‘Catlin’s Giant’ (Carpet Bugle)

Ajuga reptans ‘Catlin’s Giant’ (Carpet Bugle) is a pleasant evergreen perennial with big, glossy purplish-bronze leaves that produce a dense mat of lovely rosettes quickly.

Their small blue-violet flowers are arranged on 12 in. long spikes that rise from the center of the rosettes, creating a spectacular show when in full bloom from mid to late spring.

Ajuga Reptans small blue violet flowers

They are also known as Bugleweed. Among wide varieties, this one is commonly utilized as groundcovers in shaded gardens. This is also one of the fastest-growing types.

Spring-flowering bulbs, particularly yellow tulips, daffodils, or Japanese forest grass, go well with it.

It prefers rich, moist soil but will endure brief droughts in the summer.

Catlin’s Giant Ajuga
Mature Size: 6 inches – 1 foot tall and 10 inches – 2 feet wide
Sun Exposure: Sun to shade
Soil Type: Moist, well-drained
Soil pH: Acid, alkaline, neutral
Blooming Time: Late spring and early summer
Flower Color: Blue
Foliage Color: Bronze
Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9

2. ‘Aureola’ + Centranthus Ruber ‘Albus’ + ‘Siberian Spurge’ + Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’+ Hosta ‘Plantain Lily’

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ is able to brighten up any garden with its gorgeous golden leaves.

It is widely known as Golden Japanese Forest Grass, and the reason is, of course, the foliage color. The leaves are golden-yellow with green stripes that arch gently into the light.

Hakonechloa macra Aureola foliage

Even though this grass spreads via rhizomes, it is a slow grower that will not overrun its neighbors quickly. The yellow tones in the leaves are most noticeable when grown in part shade.

The variegation will be lime green under a spot with a deep shade. And the golden foliage becomes infused with tones of pink and scarlet throughout the chilly fall days.

Golden Japanese Forest Grass infused tones of color

Some of the popular golden Japanese forest grass companion plants are Red Valerian, Siberian Spurge, Reblooming Daylily, and Hosta. And if you combine them all along, the view will be breathtaking.

Since I already described Hosta before, it’s time to learn about the others.

Centranthus Ruber ‘Albus’ (Red Valerian)

The red valerian (Centranthus ruber) is a low-maintenance plant with a profusion of star-shaped flowers that bloom for an astonishingly long time. It’s a hardy perennial that brings a burst of vibrant color to any garden.

This old-fashioned wildflower thrives in the cracks of chalky walls and pavers, making it an excellent choice for cottage gardens.

Centranthus ruber flowers

Cut flowers look nice in a bouquet as well. The plant’s roots and young, fresh, yet bitter leaves can also be used in soups and salads.

Centranthus Ruber (Red Valerian)
Common Name: Spur valerian, red valerian, Jupiter’s beard
Mature Size: 2 to 3 feet tall with 1 to 2 feet spread
Sun Exposure: Prefer full sun, can tolerate light shade
Soil Type: Tolerant to a variety of well-drained soil types
Soil pH: Prefers alkaline
Blooming Time: Early summer to fall
Flower Color: White, red, pale pink
Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8

Euphorbia Seguieriana Subsp. Niciciana (Siberian Spurge)

Siberian Spurge (Euphorbia seguieriana subsp. niciciana) is an upright, bushy, clump-forming perennial with remarkable flowers and attractive foliage. It is ideal for brightening any border.

It blooms in late spring with stunning clusters of bright lime-green flowers that linger for months. The slender, blue-green leaves of the semi-evergreen foliage radiate from the elegantly branched mahogany-red stems.

Siberian Spurge clusters of green flowers

Moreover, it is drought-resistant, deer and rabbit tolerant, and resistant to most pests and diseases.

Siberian Spurge
Mature Size: 12 – 18 inches tall and 30 – 45 cm wide
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil Type: Chalk, loam, sand
Soil pH: Acid, alkaline, neutral
Blooming Time: Late spring
Flower Color: Lime green
Hardiness Zones: 6 to 11

Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’ (Reblooming Daylily)

The award-winning Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’ is one of my favorites among the most popular reblooming Daylilies!

Wanna know why? Well, it’s small, aromatic, and produces a lot of flowers over a lengthy period of time.

Hemerocallis Daylily

Atop mounds of arching, blade-like leaves, this Daylily produces masses of canary yellow spherical flowers that are somewhat crimped. This Daylily is dormant because it is so early in the season.

Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’
Mature Size: 18 inches tall with 18 to 24 inches spread
Sun Exposure: Full sun, partial sun
Soil Type: Chalk, clay, loam
Soil pH: Acid, neutral, alkaline
Blooming Time: Early summer
Flower Color: Yellow
Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9

3. ‘All Gold’ + ‘New Zealand Hair Sedge’ + Astrantia major ‘Roma’

Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’ can add a jolt of color to any garden with its brilliant golden color.

It retains its brilliant color throughout the spring and summer, develops a pinkish blush as fall approaches, and becomes a golden tan in the winter before dying to the ground.

Hakonechloa macra brilliant golden color

But what a lovely death it was, with its leaf illuminating dismal areas of the garden adorning the beauty of the winter.

And late in the summer, delicate-looking reddish-brown flower spikes bloom.

After you pair these Hakone grass with ‘New Zealand Hair Sedge’ and Astrantia major ‘Roma,’ they will look more mesmerizing.

Carex Comans Bronze-Leaved (New Zealand Hair Sedge)

Carex Comans, also known as Hairy Sedge, are ornamental grasses native to New Zealand. With clusters of fine-textured leaves, usually pale silvery green, that drape over walls or rocks in a pleasing manner, these grasses are an absolute beauty.

New Zealand Hair Sedge

These ornamental perennial grasses are prized for their foliage rather than their small blooms.

Hairy sedge grass is a low-maintenance grass that grows to a mature height of around 1 foot. Although this beautiful grass is drought tolerant, it does not thrive in hot, dry areas.

New Zealand Hair Sedge
Mature Size: 8 to 12 inches tall with 12 to 24 inches spread
Sun Exposure: Full sun, partial shade
Soil Type: Chalk, clay, loam, sand
Soil pH: Acid, alkaline, neutral
Foliage Color: Bronze
Hardiness Zones: 6 to 9

Astrantia Major ‘Roma’ (Great Masterwort)

Astrantia Major ‘Roma’ can never fail to amaze onlookers!

It’s hard to resist the beauty of its blooms. The tiny pink flowers are crowded together in a dome-shaped flowerhead, just like a pin in the cushion.

Astrantia Major Roma flower beauty

The blooms are carried on long wiry stems, attached above the attractive deep green maple-like leaves.

Flowerheads remain lovely for a long time. Astrantia is a traditional cottage-garden favorite, but it also works nicely in modern-style gardens. Perfect for the front of a mostly sunny property or at the edge of a wooded area.

Astrantia Major ‘Roma’
Common Name: Masterwort
Mature Size: 1 to 2 feet tall with 1 to 1.50 feet spread
Sun Exposure: Part shade
Soil Type: Chalk, clay, loam, sand
Soil pH: Acid, alkaline, neutral
Flower Color: Pink
Hardiness Zones: 4 to 7

Well, that’s all I got for today. Let’s conclude it here.

Conclusion

After exploring all of these Japanese forest grass companion plants, hopefully, you will be able to find the most suited ones for yours.

Try to pair it with any of the mentioned ones or mix some of them with your Hakone grass. They will look good in any way.

And don’t forget to snap some instagrammable pictures and share them with your fellow gardeners.

For today, I am signing out here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Japanese forest grass tolerate sun?

Partially shaded locations, such as those found in woodland regions, are ideal for Japanese forest grass. It can tolerate more sun in cooler areas.

Part-shade circumstances provide the brightest yellow in the leaf color; complete shadow may make the leaves less variegated, and the full sun might scorch the leaf tips.

How far apart do you plant Japanese forest grass?

Japanese Forest Grass should be spaced eighteen to twenty-four inches apart, center on center.

When planting as a border plant, in a mass planting, or among other plants, make sure to leave at least 2 ft. of space for your plant to spread and flourish.

Do you cut back Japanese forest grass?

Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa) is a deciduous grass that goes dormant in the winter, and it can benefit from a bit of maintenance in the spring to keep it looking tidy and healthy. Here are some tips for cutting back Japanese forest grass:

  1. Timing: Wait until early spring, after the last frost, to cut back Japanese forest grass. This will allow the grass to benefit from any protective insulation that the foliage provides during the winter.
  2. Pruning: Use sharp, clean shears to prune the dead or damaged stems back to the base of the plant. You can also remove any older or overgrown stems to encourage new growth and maintain the plant’s shape.
  3. Cleanup: Once you’ve finished pruning, clean up any debris around the base of the plant, and dispose of it properly.
  4. Maintenance: After pruning, you can fertilize and water Japanese forest grass to encourage healthy growth throughout the growing season.

Overall, pruning Japanese forest grass is not necessary for the health of the plant, but it can help to keep it looking tidy and healthy. Be sure to use sharp, clean tools to prevent damage to the plant, and wait until the right time of year to perform any maintenance.

How far apart should Japanese forest grass be planted?

Japanese forest grass should be spaced approximately 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) apart for smaller varieties, and 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm) apart for larger varieties.

When planting Japanese forest grass, it’s important to give each plant enough space to grow and spread. For smaller varieties, you should space the plants about 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) apart, while larger varieties need to be spaced about 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm) apart. 

Can Japanese forest grass grow in full shade?

Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa) can grow in full shade, but it will thrive best in partially shaded areas. 

This plant prefers light to moderate shade, as direct sunlight can scorch its delicate leaves. When planted in full shade, Japanese forest grass may become thinner and less vibrant than when it is grown in partial shade.

If you are growing Japanese forest grass in full shade, it’s important to ensure that the soil is well-drained and that it receives adequate moisture, as excessive dryness can stress the plant. 

You can also provide some supplemental light or reflect light onto the plant to help it thrive.

In summary, Japanese forest grass can grow in full shade, but it is more suited to partially shaded areas where it can receive some sunlight without being exposed to excessive heat or light.

How fast does Japanese forest grass grow?

Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa) is a slow-growing plant, which means that it can take some time to establish and reach its mature size. 

It typically grows about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) per year, with a mature height of 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) and a spread of 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm).

The growth rate of Japanese forest grass can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the amount of sunlight and water it receives, the quality of the soil, and the climate. 

In general, this plant prefers cooler temperatures and moderate moisture levels, and it will grow more slowly in hot, dry conditions.

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