Be Bold, Use Orange Perennials


Many gardeners are intimidated by intense color of orange and shy away from this wonderful color. I have even heard some people comment that they would never use orange in their perennial borders and some going so far as to call it an ugly flower color. While do we agree that flower colors don’t come any hotter than orange, and that it’s best to use it judiciously;  if you are avoiding this bold color all together you are missing the most cheerful color nature has to offer. Fiery oranges bring warmth to a gardens color scheme and will light up dark areas of the garden with it’s strong radiance, not to mention that the brilliant colors will attract swarms of butterflies and humming birds.

 The key to using orange in the landscape is not to get carried away with it’s use but instead place it strategically into the garden so that it provides sudden highlights. As with all garden design bringing out the best of any color is accomplished by combining shades that both compliment and contrast each other. To bring out the best of both soft and bold oranges by mixing them with complementing shades of blue, add in some yellows and the color scheme will sizzle with excitement. Intense purples also combine well with orange and since they both contain red the effect of contrasting the two bright colors together is magnificent. If you are looking for a color that will moderate the brightness of orange use pale yellows and whites to calm the color down.

Using orange in the garden:

  • Unlike many softer colors, orange holds it’s own in bright sunshine
  • A little known fact is that orange enhances appetite and encourages social interaction it is the perfect color for planting near outdoor entertaining areas.
  • Orange mixes in perfectly with brick walls, copper accents, concrete statuary, birdbaths, and of course terra cotta pottery.
  • Use non flowering plants that also provide shades of orange such as pyracantha, nandina, as well as some roses that bear orange hips.

Splendid orange perennials:

Gorgeous orange flowering annuals and summer bulbs:

  • Marigolds
  • Calendula
  • Zinnias
  • Dahlias
  • Tiger Lillies
  • Nasturtiums
  • New Guinea Impatiens

Easy to grow orange and salmon roses:

Complimenting shades of blue and soft purple perennials:

Dark purple perennials  for contrasting:

  • Aconitium napellus
  • Geranium ‘New Hampshire Purple’
  • Hibiscus ‘Plum Crazy’
  • Siberian Iris ‘Caesar’s Brother’
  • Lamium ‘Purple Dragon’
  • Liatris ‘Kobold’
  • Monarda ‘Pardon My Purple’
  • Penstemon ‘Pinacolada Violet’
  • Phlox ‘Laura’
  • Salvia ‘Marcus’
  • Salvia ‘May Night’
  • Tradescantia ‘Concord Grape’
  • Veronica ‘Royal Candles’

The best white and pale yellow flowering perennials for calming down bright orange:

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2 Responses to “Be Bold, Use Orange Perennials”

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