purple and yellow foliage plants

david883(5/6)June 16, 2014

So last year I posted about creating a yellow and purple bed. Well... I'm still struggling. I didn't get very far with it last year and unfortunately haven't had a chance to work on it at all this year except a few small starter balloon flowers, echinops, a clematis franziska maria (now where the stella d'oro is on the far right). I need to kind of let everything fill out so I can realize I hate what I've done and move it all around again. I need to stick in some creeping ground covers eventually but right now my struggle is with foliage colors. I've got a purple sage, purple huechera obsidian and some heliopsis with variegated leaves but I think I need something with a little more foliage WOW factor.
It pretty much gets full sun with some dabbled shade here and there through out the day but its pretty minimal. Any other suggestions for this area are, of course, very welcome. Just be gentle - its a mess :)

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What do you think about Angela sedum as ground cover? It likes to sprawl about and easy to remove if it gets too big. I use it for a splash of color wherever needed. Changes from green to an orange hue to chartreuse/yellow. With all of your purples it would really pop.

I think people either love it or hate it....I'm a lover ;)

Here are some pics. I tried to find in different seasons so this will give you a good idea.....

Fall...bottom of pic(green)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 10:57PM
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Spring close up (orange hue)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 10:59PM
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Back left (yellow)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:02PM
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Last one

Up close (chartreuse)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:05PM
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I had spirea japonica 'magic carpet' at my last house (z6). It was beautiful. It was in a full sun location but I'm in BC. (link below)

I also had acuba. It was in a partial sun location. It grows very big but it looks great when pruned, too. It's an evergreen. http://thatbloomingarden.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/acuba.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:20PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Yellow/chartreuse foliage
Hakone 'Aureola', alchemilla mollis, heuchera 'Tiramusa' & others, heucherella, various ; hosta 'Gold Standard, 'Gold Edger'

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:08AM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

Whoa - love that sedum, lilsprout!
David, you might have enough purples/burgundys, but I just have to say "Penstemon - Dark Towers" - gorgeous! Here's a pic - that's it on the far left, and this is only the second year from a not so dynamic starter plant, so it's only now filling out. Can't wait for next year!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:30AM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

Thought I had a closer pic - here it is:

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:41AM
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Another vote for dark towers
Mine is in its 2nd year

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:43AM
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amna(6 (MA))

What about some yellow creeping Jenny? My friend has it growing withh thyme (purple flowers) and it's a beautiful combo!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:45AM
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princessgrace79(8 PNW)

Lysimachia firecracker has dark purple foliage. And yellow flowers :) I can't remember what the bloom color is, but Agastache golden jubilee is that cool lime green color as well.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:51AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

David, I am currently working in a garden that has lots of chartreuse foliage, some mentioned above. Spireas (Gold Mound), hakone grass, and euonymous Gold Splash. We also have Captain Kirk hostas in there, which aren't quite as chartreusey as expected, but still look good. I'm absolutely SURE you can find hostas to fit the chartreuse bill!

For purple, I have heuchera Midnight Rose, which tends to lose it's dark purple coloring and fade to a lavender green in this garden, but others have had it hold its color, I've read. There is also heuchera Obsidian, that I know of, and probably others available as well.

I just recently started a thread about weigela Midnight Wine that garnered some good suggestions for darker foliage - not exactly purple (which is what I really wanted) but some reds and browns that may still contrast well with the brighter foliage. See link below.

There was also this recent thread: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/peren/msg0617095822413.html

And I know when I first started this bed I posted about purple foliaged plants, so do a search here on those words or similar - I just did and some good threads popped up.

To those with the Dark Towers penstemon - tell me more!! I am intrigued! I have Husker Red, and while it's great in spring, it seems to lose it's dark coloring later in the season. How does Dark Towers hold it's color?


Here is a link that might be useful: purple plants

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 2:24PM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

Dark Towers is a true workhorse.

Here's a shot in it in bloom last June:

And here it is the following month behing my Coreopsis:

It was planted in2006 and has never needed dividing. Comes back beautifully every year and has gifted me with a few babies over theyears which I have given away.

Other dark foliage plants:
Sedum 'Purple Emperor'
Huechera 'Frosted Violet'
Lobelia 'Queen Victoria' (highly recommended)
Huechera 'Obsidian' (already mentioned, but worth repeating. Fabulous plant).

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 3:50PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Oxalis regnellii triangularis

Here is a link that might be useful: Purple & Black False Shamrock

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 8:54PM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

Diggerdee - my Dark Towers penstemon has held it's color, though it is overshadowed somewhat by the taller plants, and so has less strong direct light, so this may be a factor. However, I believe it will stand true even in several hours of full sunlight. I plan to take cuttings and/or divisions later in the season.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 9:46PM
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sandyslopes z5 n. UT

I'm not sure if pink flowers are okay, but there are lots of dark colored sedums out there. Also, if you want something taller, Sambucus black lace gets light pink turning whitish flowers for a short time, but the dark purple (in sun) foliage is what is stunning. I have one I'm shaping more like a small tree.

Tradescantia (spiderwort) 'Sweet Kate' is a yellow grassy plant with purple flowers. The yellow really lights up the spot it's in, and mine has been well behaved. If you have some areas that are a bit more shaded then there are some nice yellow / gold hostas that would look great.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:47PM
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Wow - thanks for the suggestions everyone!

Lilsprout - I have that creeping sedum in a few other spots! Can't believe it never occurred to me put some here!

Pwin - love both of those but I'm pretty fond of that spirea. I'll look into that for sure!

mnwsgal - I've got lady's mantle (thriller) just planted it. Always loved it!

samhain10 and nirenjoshi - love the dark towers - its perfect for what I'm looking for!

amna - I have both creeping thyme and creeping jenny in different beds or containers but never thought of growing them together. My apprehension from creeping jenny is that I've heard they can get a little carried away in a garden. What's your experience?

princessgrace79 - I LOVE that Lysimachia firecracker! I'm definitely looking into this one. Do you grow it? Pictures? :)

Dee - thanks for the suggestions. I love that weigela - I'll have to check out that thread and do a search for your other purple thread. I have Obsidian and love it so I might be getting more!

a2zmom - I'm really starting love this Dark Towers. And those coreopsis are beautiful. Which ones are they? I have a small coreopsis I just planted ($0.99 starter plant - I can't find the name but it kind of looks like cosmic eye). Also love lobelias, and still might get some for a different garden, but I'm trying to stick to shades of purple and yellow flowers in this area.

wantonamara - always liked false shamrocks. I'll have to read into them and see if they're hardy here and find a nice spot for them.

sandyslope - There are a few dark foliage sedums that I've seen and love (Lydia Windsor is one, I think). I also love Sweet Kate. I have some "regular" spiderswort and love it thought I wouldn't call it "well behaved" here lol


    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 6:07AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Yellow: Tanacetum 'Isla Gold' (spectacular), Spirea 'Golden Elf' (ditto) or the much larger Spirea 'Ogon'

Purple; Euphorbia 'Chameleon', Sedum 'Purple Emperor'

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 6:59AM
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tepelus(6a SW MI)

Caryopteris 'Sunshine Blue', aka blue mist spirea, has nice golden foliage and pretty blue flowers in the late summer-early fall. The plant acts more like a perennial up here in the north than a shrub, and looks its best when pruned hard in the late winter or early spring before new growth emerges. I lost the original plant this year due to the cold winter, but last year I let some of its babies grow and they survived beneath a thick blanket of snow (momma plant was exposed to the cold due to the snow drifting away from where it was planted) and so I now have five nice looking babies that need moving. So yes, it does reseed a bit, but that could be a good thing, in the case of this last winter. The plant gets to be about three feet around, so you would need to make some space for it. The scent of the foliage reminds me of lemon Pledge when bruised, and the bees love the flowers.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 7:28AM
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I like combining foliage plants with yellow and purple/burgundy leaves:

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 9:57AM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

Have you thought about adding an ornamental grass? Pannicum 'Ruby Ribbons' might work. Here's a link

For a yellow grass how about yellow foxtail grass .

I think a grass can add a lot to a planting. Here's a shot of my Pannicum 'Chyenne Sky' with 'Red Velvet' yarrow.

That coreopisis in the earlier shot is Zagreb. Very hardy, it will spread but it's easy to rip out and give away from you don't want.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:26PM
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