Flower Bed Color Scheme Question

I’ll be ordering for a new black, white, and lime-green bed I’m planning (and super excited about it!) I’d love to hear your advice (if you’ve got the time) on plants you’d recommend for that color scheme, in my Zone 7, mostly sunny garden. Thanks again. Donna

Answer: Lime green and black plants are quickly becoming the most sought-after colors in the horticulture world. Hybridizers and growers are working diligently to create these relatively new flavors. The majority of these two colors are going to be found in foliage and not in blooms…especially the black, which is not really black but very dark versions of purples and reds. So for your garden design, you might consider using the lime green and black foliage as a background for white flowers, for which there are abundant choices.

For foliage, the sweet potato vine ‘Marguerite’, several Heucheras like ‘Pistache’, ‘Electric Lime’ and ‘Citronelle’ are good choices, and their cousin Heucherella ‘Yellowstone Falls’.  Sedum ‘Angelina’Centaurea ‘Gold Bullion’Euphorbia ‘Polychroma’ all have bright green leaves. For a more shady area look for hostas with bright green leaves.  In annuals you might try, Alternanthera ‘True Yellow’Plectranthus ‘Troy's Gold' and Tickseed ‘Cherry Lemonade’.

Don’t forget that a number of Coleus offer both lime green leaves as well as some that would be close to black. You can also look to the many tropicals for these colors as well, colocasias which come in both chartreuse and black and a new blend of both; Hibiscus ‘Athens Select Panama Red‘.

Black will be the hardest to find in flowers. The only ones that comes to mind are Hollyhocks ‘Chater’s Maroon’ or the stunning Black Velvet Petunia. In shrubs Buddleia ‘Black Knight’, Sambucus ‘Black Lace’ and some of the Weigelas offer black or very dark foliage choices. Other dark foliage perennials are Actaea ‘Black Negligee‘; Heucheras ‘Amethyst Myst’, ‘Obsidian’, or ‘Stormy Seas’; and ‘Chocolate’ Eupatorium. In annuals check out: ‘Black Varnish’ PseuderanthemumPennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’; and the Ipomoea batatas, the sweet potato vine, also has several offerings that are near black.

There are way too many choices for white blooms to cover and new ones are being introduced every year. However, one perennial that offers both dark foliage and abundant white blooms is the Chocalate Eupatorium. Check our website for the wide selection of perennials  and annuals that best fit the sunlight and soil needs of your area.

Have fun designing your themed garden.

Master Gardener

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