ColorBlaze Coleus Offers Easy Color Palette Companions – Lowell Sun
ColorBlaze El Brighto Coleus will debut in 2022, and make no mistake about it, award-winning color play opportunities await when you select your floral partners. While visiting the 2021 Young’s Plant Farm gardens in Auburn, Alabama this summer, it made a memorable impression on The Garden Guy.
For the past 30 years, I have considered myself a color guru. I talk to master gardeners about color schemes and have put artist color wheels in the books I have written. That day, when visiting the garden, I once again supercharged myself on the use of color and in particular incorporating Coleus.
This particular bed featured two new flowers for 2022: Ladybird Sunglow, a Calylophus hybrid selection of Texas primrose, and Luscious Citron lantana. It would have worked like a monochromatic plantation, but the addition of Vermillionaire Cuphea and ColorBlaze El Brighto Coleus turned it into a dazzling analog color palette.
An analogous color scheme is designed with colors side by side on a color wheel. It doesn’t have to be exact, but close. In this case, the red-orange of Vermillionaire Cuphea and ColorBlaze El Brighto Coleus was perfect. They offered more than that, however, as the yellow tips of Cuphea flowers and the golden yellow margins of Coleus echoed the colors of lantana and primrose.
Just talking about it shows how fun it can be to incorporate foliage plants like ColorBlaze Coleus into your flower and foliage partnerships. ColorBlaze has another new selection for 2022 called Nearly Noir.
It’s such a dark burgundy that it really looks almost black. By all means, don’t be shy on this one. ColorBlaze Nearly Black will offer full contrast no matter what color you combine it with.
When we have full contrast, we usually call it a complementary color scheme. Nearly Noir will sublimate everything around it. In the above plantation with El Brighto, Nearly Noir would have been a great choice as well.
The Garden Guy used Nearly Noir with erect Alocasia elephant ears and Luminary Opalescence phlox. Although there was a great contrast to the phlox, it could be said that there was a color relationship. If you had a paint smart card from the home improvement store that had Nearly Black on one end, the color on the other end would be the pink of the Luminary Opalescence phlox.
CorlorBlaze Coleus varieties can work like flowers in your color palettes, whether analogous, complementary, monochromatic, or even slightly more challenging as a triadic harmony, three colors evenly distributed across the artist’s color wheel.
Two of The Garden Guy’s favorite colors are fiery orange and lime green. So when I had the opportunity to grow Color Coded Orange You Awesome Echinacea and ColorBlaze Lime Time Coleus together, I couldn’t pass it up. The third partner of the combination was Dolce Wildberry Heuchera. It is still one of my favorites today.
Another game-changing trait of using ColorBlaze Coleus in your combo crops is that they will run until frost. Perennials and annuals will both bloom throughout the long, warm growing season, but the Coleus remains ready for the camera.
In the spring, look for the ColorBlaze series and the new El Brighto and Nearly Noir introductions. Regardless of what you choose, incorporate them into your color palettes and you will find your neighbors looking for advice.
Norman Winter is a horticulturalist, garden speaker and author of “Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South” and “Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden”. Follow him on Facebook @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy.