Tips for Pairing Plants
Eye-catching plant combos are easy with these tips.
Like any beautifully composed work of art, the success of eye-catching plant combinations relies on following a few basic rules. Consider the following as you plan your own distinctive plantings:
- Suitable sites: Mix plants that share the same soil, light, and moisture requirements.
- Bloom times: Pick plants that will bloom around the same time and that will continue to flower together over a similar period of time.
- Companionable colors: Choose flowering plants with blooms that harmonize with each other and with surrounding plantings. Complementary hues—two colors situated across from each other on the color wheel—make for more dramatic displays. Bright-shaded flowers will appear to advance in the landscape, while lighter-colored blooms will seem to recede.
- Good forms: Stagger tall, medium and low-growing plants for an interesting interplay of heights and incorporate plants with varying shapes. Blend plants with prostrate, trailing or tidily mounded forms with bushier and upright statures for a garden that looks great from ground level on up.
- Fine-tuned foliage: Employ plants with varying shaded, shaped and sized leaves to create a garden that continues to please after flowers fade. Add plants that bear silver, sage-gray, dark green, chartreuse, deep purple, burgundy and variegated foliage. Fashion a textural tableau by weaving together plants that boast strap-like, feathery, smooth, shiny, bristly, spiky and grass-like leaves.