21 Companion Plants to Grow With Petunias This Season

Are you looking for some companion plants to grow alongside your garden petunias this season? There are many different petunia companions to choose from, depending on your hardiness zone. In this article, gardening expert Paige Foley looks at her favirote plants to pair with petunias.

petunia companions

Full of color and life, petunias are a garden classic and are grown by all types of gardeners. With hundreds of varieties to choose from, there is a petunia out there for anyone. Noted for their lasting blooms and low-maintenance tendencies, they will thrive just about anywhere.

Petunias can be grown in flower beds, vegetable gardens, containers, and hanging baskets. Although they look amazing on their own, petunias really shine when planted with certain plants. Companion plants are plants that look best and provide numerous benefits for one another. This is a common practice that gardeners have done for decades.

Petunias are a great addition when creating custom arrangements that suit your area. You can choose plants that need full sun that complement each other. Consider growing plants that get taller than petunias to create different heights in your container, flower bed, or hanging basket.

If you are looking to add some contrast or height to an area where you have planted petunias, consider adding companion plants. In this article, we are going to dive into popular companion plants that thrive when grown with petunias.

Companion Planting Benefits

Close-up of blooming petunias and white geraniums in a sunny garden. Petunias have funnel-shaped, deep purplish-pink flowers with darker throats. Geranium has a round inflorescence of densely growing 5-petalled white flowers with deep pink veins in the center of each flower.
Petunias attract both harmful and beneficial insects.

Companion planting is a long-practiced method of pairing plants that benefit each other in containers, hanging baskets, gardens and landscapes. Planting different species of plants is beneficial in a number of ways.

Petunias have a tendency to attract insects that might harm other plants. When planted in vegetable gardens, petunias are a tasty treat for harmful insects. The harmful insects nibble on the petunias instead of the garden vegetables. You may have bug-infested petunias, but you’ll have less damage with your vegetables.

On the other side, petunias also attract beneficial insects. Pollinators love the sweet nectar that petunias produce and will attract pollinators to your vegetable garden, flowerbeds, and containers. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees all love petunias and will attract them all summer long.

Companion plants not only create biodiversity, but they cover and fill space that you may consider leaving empty. Filling spaces with companion plants will help keep weeds from emerging from the empty spaces.

Salvia

A close-up of a blooming Salvia in a blooming flower bed, surrounded by petunias and colorful marigolds. Salvia appears as a colorful spike of densely spaced flowers with tubular dark purple flowers on square stems and velvety leaves. Petunias are white-pink and rich purple. Marigolds are bright yellow and orange.
Salvia and petunia are excellent companions as their growing conditions complement one another.
botanical-name botanical name Salvia spp.
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 24”-36”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-10

A popular choice for planting with petunias, salvia will grow above petunias giving the area you plant some contrast in height. Salvia produces stalks of flowers that come in red, pink, purple, white, and yellow. Salvia will bloom from spring to fall similar to petunias’ bloom window.

Plant salvia behind petunias to display a contrast of color all season long. Plant salvia in the center of a container or hanging basket and have cascading varieties of petunias around it. Salvia prefers full sun and moist soil conditions, which makes it a perfect companion for petunias.

Snapdragons

Close-up of a blooming flower bed in the garden with colorful Snapdragons flowers and white petunias. Snapdragons flowers are tubular, bilaterally symmetrical, large with a closed heba-shaped mouth in bright yellow, pink and red. The leaves are simple, lanceolate, dark green. Petunia flowers are funnel-shaped, white with yellow throats.
This popular garden flower blooms in yellow, white, purple, red, and pink.
botanical-name botanical name Antirrhinum majus
plant-type plant type Annual,Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12”-36”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-6 annual, 7-10 perennial

Snapdragons are a beloved short-lived perennial that is typically grown as an annual. They have a unique bloom that resembles the nose of a dragon. The stems have towers of blooms that come in yellow, white, purple, pink, and red.

Snapdragons love well-draining soils and can tolerate full sun to partial shade. Planted with petunias, they give a pop of color from spring to fall. Petunias typically don’t get taller than 12 inches which pairs well with tall snapdragons. Petunias will cover the long stems of snapdragons giving your area more color and fullness.

Lantana

Top view, close-up of blooming Lantana flowers against a blurred background of green foliage. Two large orange-yellow globular heads consist of small funnel-shaped flowers of yellow and orange with fused petals. The leaves are oval, rough, dark green with serrated edges.
It is a tropical plant that attracts many pollinators to your garden.
botanical-name botanical name Lantana camara
plant-type plant type Perennial, annual
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 24”-48”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 1-8 annual, 9-11 perennial

Lantana is a beautiful tropical plant that blooms all season long. Lantana can be grown about anywhere in your space as long as it has enough sunlight. Just like petunias, they worship the sun and perform their best in full sunlight.

Lantana produces small clusters of flowers that contrast well with the large blooms of petunias. Not to mention lantana and petunias attract pollinators of all kinds. Lantana may attract pollinators, but due to their aroma, they tend to ward off rabbits in deer. Lantana may protect your petunias from being nibbled if planted together.

African Daisy

Close-up of blooming African daisies in a sunny garden. The large, 'daisy-like' flower heads are purplish with steel blue centres. The leaves are dark green, leathery with distinctive teeth.
African Daisies produce large bright flowers that pair well with charming petunias both in containers and in flower beds.
botanical-name botanical name Osteospermum spp.
plant-type plant type Perennial, annual
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12”-36”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 1-9 annual, 10-11 perennial

A great choice in containers or in the ground, African daisies produce big, bright blooms. African Daisies prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Partial shade will cause African daisies to produce fewer flowers.

Plant in the center of containers to give more height and contrast or behind petunias in a flower bed. Be sure soils are well draining and moist. African daisies don’t particularly like dry soils and do best in evenly watered soils.

Guara

Close-up of blooming multi-colored petunias and Gaura in the garden. Gaura has long, thin stems studded with many small pale pink flowers with four petals each. Petunias bloom with funnel-shaped flowers in white, pink and purple.
Gaura is a low-maintenance plant that blooms continuously with numerous pink flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Oenothera lindheimeri
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 15”-48”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

Also known as wandflower, it is a low-maintenance plant that is a great choice for beginner gardeners. Its long stems are dotted with numerous pink blooms that continuously bloom. Plant behind petunias to add some height and color.

Guara doesn’t come in as many colors as most, only white and pink. When paired with petunias, Guara will stand out and enhance your space with a flood of color and lasting blooms.

Asters

Top view, close-up of blooming asters in a sunny garden. The flowers are medium sized, star-shaped, with long, thin bright purple petals and golden yellow round centers. The leaves are lanceolate, smooth, dark green in color.
Asters are long-lived perennials that grow well in areas where petunias are commonly grown.
botanical-name botanical name Symphyotrichum spp.
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12”-48”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

Although asters are late bloomers, they are a great addition to locations where petunias are grown. Asters produce purple, blue, and white daisy-like flowers from August to October.

They are typically sold as seasonal plants during the fall but are long-living perennials when planted into landscapes.

Candytuft

Close-up of blooming Candytuft flowers in a sunny garden. This is a small evergreen shrub with smooth, oblong, thin, dark green leaves and rounded racemes of white flowers with a flat top.
Candytuft requires the same growing conditions as petunias: full sun and moist soil.
botanical-name botanical name Iberis sempervirens
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12”-18”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

With similar growing conditions to petunias, candytuft will complement petunias with their delicate blooms. Pair with lower-growing, cascading varieties of petunias for a flood of color. Candytuft is lower-growing and could easily be covered by mounding petunia varieties.

Since candytuft is a woody subshrub, they are best grown in landscapes or flower beds. Plant petunias in front or between candytuft for a beautiful contrast of color. Be sure to plant with candytuft that’s in full sun so petunias can thrive.

Lobelia

Close-up of a flower bed in a garden with blooming petunias and lobelia. Petunias have large, funnel-shaped, bright red flowers with yellow throats and dark purple flowers. The leaves are simple, oval, green, slightly pubescent. Lobelia blooms with small dark blue bell-shaped flowers against a background of spectacular green leaves.
This is a compact plant that pairs well with mounding varieties of petunias.
botanical-name botanical name Lobelia erinus
plant-type plant type Perennial, annual
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 6”-9”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9 annual, 10-11 perennial

Lobelia is a compact, spreading plant that produces a dainty flower from summer to fall. Since lobelia is a spreading plant, they are best paired with mounding varieties of petunias. Blooming in purple, white, pink or lilac with a tiny white “eye” in the center of each flower.

Lobelia will spill over the edges of containers and hanging baskets providing a flood of continuous color. Plants can become leggy in late summer and benefit from pruning. Deadheading isn’t necessary but can help keep the plant clean and neat.

Tomatoes

Close-up of a beautiful decorative hanging flower pot with blooming petuia and ripe tomatoes on a brick wall of a house. Petunias have charming funnel-shaped deep pink flowers with dark throats and beautiful green oval foliage. The tomato plant has spreading curly stems with alternate, pinnately compound leaves, which consist of 2-8 pairs of ovate leaflets. Rounded, juicy, plump fruits of green and orange color ripen on hanging stems.
Tomatoes and petunias grow well together as petunias attract many pollinators.
botanical-name botanical name Solanum lycopersicum
plant-type plant type Annual
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 24”-48”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 1-11

Are you surprised to see a vegetable on the list? Surprisingly, petunias thrive next to vegetables and are proven to be beneficial to vegetables and fruits. When tomatoes are companion planted with petunias, they will enjoy the pollinators that the petunias attract.

You plant your petunias anywhere near your tomatoes, no matter if they are in the garden or in containers. Petunias and tomatoes both enjoy the sun and are happy with regular waterings.

Lettuce

Close-up of growing mulched Lettuce in the garden. Lettuce is a deciduous herbaceous plant with large, oval, green leaves that form a dense rosette.
Petunias planted next to lettuce will repel bugs and prevent weeds.
botanical-name botanical name Lactuca sativa
plant-type plant type Annual
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 6”-9”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 1-11

Lettuce and petunias, who would have thought? Plant petunias next to lettuce to help keep bugs away from your lettuce. Bugs will choose to nibble on the petunias, then snack on the tender leaves of lettuce.

Not only do petunias deter bugs, but they will add a pop of color to a sea of green lettuce. Petunias will fill in empty space between and around lettuce to help prevent weeds from emerging.

Strawberries

Close-up of a small Strawberries bush growing in the garden. The leaves are compound, with three leaflets, sawtooth-edged, hairy. Tiny white flowers with yellow centers on thin stems. Small, bright red, soft berries grow on thin stems among green foliage.
Petunias and strawberries make excellent companions as they prefer moist soils and plenty of sunlight.
botanical-name botanical name Fragaria x ananassa
plant-type plant type Annual
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 6”-9”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

Strawberries are an excellent companion plant for petunias. Or rather petunias may they be a better companion plant for strawberries! Petunias attract the pollinators necessary for the fruit production of strawberries.

Petunias and strawberries have about the same requirements for sunlight and soil moisture. Planted together and they will cover the ground and prevent the growth of weeds.

Blueberries

Close-up of a large blueberry bush in a sunny garden. The plant has oval dark green leaves and small round dark blue berries.
Petunias make an excellent ground cover for blueberries as they can retain soil moisture.
botanical-name botanical name Vaccinium angustifolium
plant-type plant type Woody Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12”-14”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-10

Blueberries are a great companion for petunias which also produce a tasty fruit to enjoy. The bright growth of the blueberries will compliment petunias very well. The petunias will keep bugs away from your blueberry bushes.

Petunias and blueberries have similar growing conditions. Blueberries enjoy 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day, which is exactly what petunias enjoy as well. Blueberries like very moist soils, and petunias will help cover the soil to help trap soil moisture for the blueberries.

Garden Peas

Close-up of a flowering Pisum sativum plant in a sunny garden. The flowers are small, white bracts. The leaves are alternate, petiolate, pointed, entire, dark green.
Garden Peas is a fibrous green plant that produces attractive small flowers and delicious vegetables.
botanical-name botanical name Pisum sativum
plant-type plant type Annual vegetable
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12”-48”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-11

Traditional garden peas are an excellent vegetable to grow in the garden. But they don’t offer much visual appeal. They are stringy green plants that produce delicious vegetables, but that’s about where it ends.

Planting petunias will add pops of color and give the aphids something else to nibble on. As peas begin to finish their lifecycle, petunias will continue to bloom and fill in the space where peas once thrived.

Dracaena Spike

Top view, close-up of three Dracaena Spike plants in the garden. Plants form lush rosettes of showy, long, thin, narrow, dark green, sword-shaped leaves.
Dracaena Spike prefers well-drained soil and full sun.
botanical-name botanical name Dracaena
plant-type plant type Perennial, annual
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12”-24”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-7 annual, 8-11 perennial

Spike is a dramatic plant that has sword-shaped leaves. This plant does not produce any flowers, just long, narrow leaves. It thrives in full sun with well-draining soil but can tolerate drier soils at times.

Place in the center of pots for added dramatic height. Spike can be planted directly into the ground and should act as a backdrop to more colorful flowers. Plant with cascading varieties of petunias to create a custom pot or hanging basket.

Fountain Grass

Close-up of a growing ornamental grass Pennisetum alopecuroides in a flower bed in a garden. The plant has long, narrow, dark green foliage and showy, beige, bristly flower spikes reminiscent of bottle brushes.
Fountain Grass is an ornamental grass that produces bristly flower spikes and narrow, long, dark green leaves.
botanical-name botanical name Pennisetum alopecuroides
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 18”-24”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-10

A beautiful ornamental grass that produces pink, copper, or purple flower spikes above the leaves. Grown best in full sun, they are an excellent pair for petunias.

The tall stems tower above shorter flowers. If you are looking to make the petunias the vocal point, fountain grass is a great option.

Periwinkle

Close-up of a blooming Periwinkle in a sunny garden. The plant has small, funnel-shaped, purple-blue flowers and oval, shiny, smooth, dark green leaves.
This popular plant is a delightful groundcover with vibrant purple-blue flowers and glossy green leaves.
botanical-name botanical name Vinca minor
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12”-48”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Periwinkle goes by many names but is usually just called vinca. A versatile ground cover that has glossy, leathery green leaves and violet-blue flowers. You can also find them in white flower varieties and variegated foliage.

Plant in containers with mounding petunias and watch as the vinca cascades down the sides. In some parts of the United States, periwinkle is considered invasive. Contact your local extension office to learn the status of periwinkle in your state.

Celosia Spicata

A close-up of a flowering Asthenia Celosia Spicata in a sunny garden surrounded by bright green foliage. The plant has erect peduncles with pink flower spikes with more intense pink tops.
Celosia Spicata produces showy bright flower spikes that pair beautifully with delicate petunias in your garden.
botanical-name botanical name Deeringia spicata
plant-type plant type Annual
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 24”-48”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-11

This annual has an upright spreading habit and has showy blooms that can reach heights of 4 feet or more. They provide color all season long with their bottle-brush blooms.

They enjoy the full sun, similar to petunias. Petunias will cover the leggy stems of the Celosia and provide a flood of color.

Geraniums

Close-up of flowering petunias and geraniums in a clay pot in the garden. Petunias have funnel-shaped white flowers with bright pink petal margins and yellow throats. Geranium has terminal clusters of small bright pink flowers.
Geraniums pair well with petunias in container arrangements.
botanical-name botanical name Pelargonium x hortorum
plant-type plant type Annual, perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12”-24”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9 annual, 10-11 perennial

A popular bedding and potted plant, geraniums have similar requirements as petunias and pair well in flower beds and containers. Geraniums come in a number of colors, from white, red, pink, orange, and purple. The long stocks produce clusters of colorful flowers above the dark green foliage.

Geraniums love the sun and the heat and are at their peak during mid-summer. Petunias will keep blooming right beside geraniums adding color during the hottest days.

Coneflower

Close-up of blooming Echinacea and petunias in a sunny garden. The Coneflower has a large, daisy-like flower consisting of long thin purple petals surrounding a copper cone. Petunias bloom with funnel-shaped flowers of bright pink.
Coneflower produces delightful daisy-like flowers in full sun with regular watering.
botanical-name botanical name Echinacea
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 24”-36”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Similar to daisies in appearance, coneflowers are a beautiful perennial that continuously blooms all season. They are best planted in areas that receive sunlight all day.

They will thrive if given regular waterings. You can plant in the center of the container or in the back on petunias for lasting color.

Dusty Miller

A close-up of many blooming red petunias and large masses of the Dusty Miller plant. Petunias have medium-sized funnel-shaped deep red flowers with darker throats. Dusty Miller has silvery-white, delicately divided leaves.
This unique plant has gorgeous silvery leaves that are a great contrast to the brightly colored petunias.
botanical-name botanical name Jacobaea maritima
plant-type plant type Perennial, annual
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 24”-48”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-7 annual, 8-11 perennial

Dusty miller is a compact, old-fashioned plant that has been around for decades, and for good reason. They are excellent filler plants that procure silvery leaves with green undertones. Planted with petunias, dusty miller gives contrast to the green leaves of the petunias.

Dusty miller loves the heat and will thrive in dry conditions. It’s able to produce small yellow flowers in midsummer but aren’t considered showy and is hardly noticeable. Similar to petunias, dusty miller benefits from mid-summer pruning.

Creeping Jenny

Close-up of a hanging basket with flowering petunias, marigolds, Impatiens and Creeping Jenny. Creeping Jenny has long hanging stems with green-golden heart-shaped leaves arranged in pairs along the stems. Petunias have beautiful funnel-shaped silver flowers with rich purple veins. Impatiens bloom with bright red, pink and purple-white flowers.
Creeping Jenny is an invasive plant that makes an excellent addition to containers and hanging baskets.
botanical-name botanical name Lysimachia nummularia
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 24”-48”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-11

Considered to be an invasive plant, creeping jenny is a popular trailing plant used in containers and hanging baskets. A great choice when planted with mounding petunias to give a spiller-filler-thriller effect to containers. With yellow to lime green foliage, it will stand out and complement bright flower colors well.

Creeping Jenny is a hardy perennial that can grow in colder and warmer regions of the United States. Be cautious, as creeping jenny is invasive and if allowed, will spread quickly into unclaimed areas.

Plants To Avoid

Close-up of blooming sunflowers against the backdrop of a blooming sunny garden. The sunflower has large flower heads with large black centers and bright yellow petals arranged around the centers.
Avoid planting sunflowers next to petunias, as they have different requirements for growing conditions.

There are endless options for companion plants that benefit or complement petunias but are there any plants you shouldn’t plant with petunias? Avoid the following as their growth conditions may not be similar, or they may compete for nutrients when planted near each other.

Avoid Planting With Petunias

    • Sunflowers
    • Cactus
    • Corn
    • Squash
    • Zucchini

Final Thoughts

There are a number of companion plants that complement petunias. Finding what works in your area can be tricky and might take some trial and error. There are endless combinations for plants that complement and benefit petunias. This is a chance to be creative and create a one-of-a-kind combination. Have fun and happy planting!

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