Aralia Sun king companion plants are common for this plant – also known as Japanese Spikenard or Aralia Cordata ‘Sun King.’ The best companions for this plant are coral bells, astilbe, and columbine. 

Aralia Sun King Companion Plants

Do they have the same aralia sun king requirements? Stay here to find out the answers to these and many more.

👩🏻‍🎓 Scientific Reference

“Stanford University research shows that using companion planting methods helps to protect against soil erosion.” Stanford University Research

The Different Aralia Sun King Companion Plants To Have

1. Coral Bells

These are perennial plants that belong to the Saxifragaceae family and are native to North America. The plants have a woody rootstock and tiny bell-shaped flowers on tall and slender stems.  You can also add some Coral Bells companion plants as well!

Coral Bells

These flowers are full of nectar and are a source of attraction for hummingbirds and butterflies. The leaves are rounded, hairy, lobed, evergreen, and sometimes semi-green, depending on the climate, while the newer varieties have purple, rose, gold, etc., leaves.

Plant them next to your King plant to create a beautiful contrast between the aralia plant’s green foliage and the bell plants’ colorful blooms. Furthermore, they do not attract pests and, therefore, are a way to ward off aralia sun king pests.

– Growing Season

The best season to plant them is in early spring or late fall. They grow at an average pace and are low-growing plants with a height of 8 to 18 inches and a width of 12 to 24 inches. They are great for ground-covering in containers, rock gardens, borders, etc.

– Specific Needs

Most varieties grow well in partial shade, especially when the hot climate is hot. The leaves lose color when the plant is kept in the sun for too long. But when planting in partial shade, check that the area is not damp, as it leads to conditions like fungal diseases and root rot. he plants prefer well-draining soil rich in humus and with a slightly acidic to neutral pH.

They like the soil moist and have average watering needs. The mature plants tolerate drought but appreciate about an inch of water per week. If the plant is grown outdoors under full sun, water them extra as the shallow roots need water during the hot days.

The plant isn’t a heavy feeder and requires half an inch of compost layer or a slow-release fertilizer. Do not add quick-release fertilizers, as it restricts the plant’s bloom. Add a water-soluble one to your indoor-growing plant as it fulfills its nutrient needs.

– Propagation

The most common way to propagate it is by dividing the root clumps. You can do it in spring or fall, but most gardeners do it in fall.

The plant has offsets ground around, and it is quite easy to dig these offsets and replant them. The divisions should be replanted in a way barely covered by any soil. You can do this while transplanting aralia sun king.

2. Astilbe

The perennial belongs to the Saxifragaceae family and is native to Asia and North America.

Saxifragaceae Astilbe

Its flowers are long and slender in subtle shades of white, pink, purple, and red held on tall stalks above the foliage. The leaves are compound, ovate, and toothed leaflets, while the leaves are usually joined at the base.

They’ll provide perennial borders, damp areas, containers, and groundcovers with a burst of color. The plant draws butterflies and repels animals and rabbits. The vibrant blossoms are great for dried arrangements or floral cuts.

– Growing Season

It is planted in either spring or fall but make sure that you do not plant it during the hottest summer days, but if such a condition is unavoidable, make sure you water it well until you see new growth.

The plant has a slow growth-rate, similar to the aralia sun king, but blooms for many years before it is time to divide it. It is 6 to 24 inches tall and 6 to 60 inches wide. It makes a great colorful bordering companion plant.

– Specific Needs

The best thing you can do to these plants is to grow them in part shade, but they do tolerate full sun or shade. They bloom in partial shade but need a little sunlight to reach their maximum height. The leaves burn in full sun in hot weather or droughts, so they give them relief from the scorching afternoon sun. The plants do well in rich and moist soil with a slightly acidic pH.

The watering needs of the plant depend on the weather. The warmer the weather, the more water it needs, especially when it is grown outside in the full sun. The leaves turn brown and dry if exposed to droughts for too long. Suppose a long period has gone by without no rain, then water the plant thoroughly every week.

It blooms in a phosphorus-rich fertilizer. Feed the plant once it matures every spring and the soil is moist. Avoid getting the fertilizer on the leaves, especially when wet, to avoid the fertilizer sticking to them and “burning” them. 

– Propagation

Divide the plant every four years to keep it healthy. It can be propagated through seed, but it is a difficult method. The easiest way to propagate it is through a plant or by division.

3. Columbine

It is a perennial that belongs to the Ranunculaceae family and is native to Europe and North America. The plant grows in a bushy, upright clump with small, rounded leaves and tall stalks that bear flowers above the foliage. It has an average lifespan of 2 to 3 years.

Aquilegia Columbine

Columbines stand out for having five-petaled flowers with long, backward-extending spurs resembling the nectar-containment petals’ pouch-like extensions. Compound leaves often have rounded and notched leaflets.

– Growing Season

It adds visual interest to the garden most of the year. Expect the plant to stay for less than 2 years when grown from seeds. Most of its varieties bloom for four weeks and are more sturdy than they appear.

The plant is 15 to 20 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide. It does not bloom when planted in containers indoors but does have attractive foliage. You can transplant them in much larger containers to help them grow stronger and larger!

– Specific Needs

It produces its signature blooms when grown in partial shade, just like the aralia sun king plant, but it can handle full sun in cooler climates. After it has finished blooming in such cooler conditions, it does need a bit of shade to restore its energy.

The plant is not picky regarding the soil type but grows well in sandy, loamy, and well-drained soil. Mulch the plant to help keep the moisture in and keep the roots cooled down.

The young plants need regular watering until they are established. It indicates that they have matured if they start growing out a lot. It is also essential to water them during dry spells. Moreover, feed the plant with a water-soluble fertilizer once a month to have dense foliage and vibrant blooms.

– Propagation

The plant is easier to propagate through seeds even though the blooms do not appear for a long period for this method. It is also propagated through division, but there is a chance that the soil ball might break, and you would have to start all over again. 

Harvest the ripened seed pods that are still inside the dried flower petals and crack them open to gather the lustrous black seeds. Over the winter, keep them in the refrigerator, and plant them in the garden the following spring.


You can always be confident with a perennial in your garden. While it grows well and thrives alone, the right companions can make all the difference to the Aralia Sun King plant.

Whichever companion you decide to give to your Aralia plant, always remember the following important points from the article above:

  • If you are on the look for good ground cover plants, think no further than the bell plants.
  • The astilbe plants are great for adding a pop of color to the borders of your gardens.
  • Columbine has a short lifespan if you like to revamp their garden every once in a while.

After knowing more about these plants, which one would you like to grow?


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