Companion Planting -- What colors/textures Work Best?

jxa44October 13, 2006

Hi Everone,

There's always a post or two asking what color companion plants work well with salvias, but I've found in my garden it's not just color but textures as well that make a pretty planting bed. For instance, I have a difficult time finding plants that I think compliment my s. canariensis and make it "pop" because of its fuzzy texture and contrasting striking flower color.

What colors and textures worked best in your garden? I live in California, so I'm planting my spring garden now -- trying to take advantage of the coming rains. So please help me spend some money! ;-)

jxa44

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brenda_near_eno(Z7a)

My favorite combo this year was 'Black and Blue' underplanted with coleus 'Inky Fingers'. It won on color combo, leaf shape combo, and texture combo. I am getting converted to the idea of combining perennials with annuals, a la Singing Springs Nursery philosophy. Coleus and others give a lot of fast color and texture, and complement perennials - another winner was a red/yellow abutilion with coleus 'Red Roof'. Now that I think about it, the white butterfly ginger looked great with Coleus 'Masterpiece' coming up thru it.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 6:47AM
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youreit

These are some of my Salvia combos -

S. clevelandii 'Allen Chickering' grouped with both Vitis californica 'Roger's Red' [CA wild grape, which currently has the red leaves of autumn] and S. azurea var. grandiflora.

S. coccinea 'Lady in Red' with S. guaranitica 'Black and Blue'. (Intense!)

S. darcyi grouped with a dark brown/pink/tan?-striped Phormium hybrid [flax] and S. 'Indigo Spires'.

S. farinacea 'Rhea' grouped with an orange Arctotis hybrid [African daisy], S. 'Nuevo Leon', Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' [fountain grass], S. officinalis 'Purpurascens', and a cluster of faded orange Chrysanthemums.

S. greggii 'Teresa' with Cistus x pulverulentus 'Sunset' [rock rose].

S. x jamensis 'Sierra San Antonio' growing up through a sea of Lantana montevidensis.

S. mexicana 'Limelight' with S. microphylla 'San Carlos Festival' spread at its feet. (This is a new planting, so we'll see how it goes.)

S. nemorsa 'Caradonna' with Sedum telephium 'Matrona' [stonecrop], as suggested by Betsy Clebsch in her book -surrounded by more of the Lantana. :)

S. elegans with S. uliginosa and Hebe x franciscana 'Variegata' (the purple blooms of which occur at a different time of year, so as to prevent any clashes).

I just realized how much I typed. Too much coffee. :D

Brenda

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 9:45AM
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jxa44

Wow! Great suggestions all! Funny, I never thought about coleus. There are even coleus' that can take full sun now -- but I wonder if they'd be deer food?

I love all of the suggested combinations -- especially the ones that are considered intense. I'm not much of a pale pink and soft blue kinda gal ;-)

Thank you both so much. I've got my gardening catalogs out now. Brenda, I'm going to have to wait til next year to plant out my coleuses, but I can just envision future color/texture combos now.

Does anyone have planting companion suggestions for my salvia carniensis? Should I try to compliment the white color? The fuzzy texture? The lavender pink flowers?

Help!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 11:58AM
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joydveenc7(7a)

How about white swan echinacea or shastas? Silvery variegated abelia? I haven't grown or seen canariensis but it seems from photos to get pretty large.

I have been tinkering with the idea of coral nymph salvia coccinea (sp?) with peachy/pink tout a tois dahlia,lambs ears, and a little farinacea.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 12:21PM
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robinmi_gw

Just a thought re companion planting. 3 years ago I was given seeds of a Dahlia species "coccinea yellow form" which hardly makes sense! However this has proved to be a hardy plant (well, it survived -10C ..14F underground) This tends to seed around and grows up to 6 ft. plus. Needs loads of water, but it has lots of of medium-sized bright yellow, single flowers throughout summer, and looks good amongst the sprawling uliginosa, Indigo Spires, and darcyi. If you don't want yellow flowers, then forget it, otherwise an attractive addition, maybe not to everyone's taste, but it works for me.

Also the rather weedy Verbena bonariensis seems to blend well with Salvias, wherever it decides to seed itself.

Best wishes from a warm October in the UK,

Robin.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 6:57PM
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annette68_gw

I like the combo this year off the Salvia Chiapensis with salvia miniata the red and hot pink look great together.

I also liked the combo of van houteii and salvia elegans the red with the wine colours of the vh looked pleasing.

Cheers Annette

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 5:03AM
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susan82(So. CA)

I wanted a big rose garden, and found that Salvia is the perfect companion to them! Now I love all kinds of Salvia - especially the blues/purples :)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 2:09PM
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wardda

I'm not that fond of the industrial park daisy Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm but it makes a great fence for a patch of guarantica that grows up against my porch. The stems are just stiff enough to keep the salvia from flopping. The green-eyed Rudbeckia hirta Prairie Sun is the most stunning black-eyed susan I've ever grown. The outside ring on the petals is almost white and looks especially beautiful on the moonlit summer night This year I'll try it with Salvia sagittata. Another combination that seems to work is coccinea and Zinnia. There is something about their shared texture that makes them a pair. A few years ago the accidental pairing of Lady in Red and a semi-double pink Zinnia attracted a lot of comments.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 12:39PM
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hummersteve

Glad to see this post for I was in need of Ideas of how to mix some plants and have got some from these posts. This is my first year to really have a lot of plants as Ive been growing them indoors. I have coccinea coral nymph, lady in red, scarlet sage, also salvia subrotunda, also shades of orange and apricot spite and sunset hyssop, also trying sal. bonfire and foxglove strawberry. Im also trying guaranitica, hoping for b & b.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 5:20PM
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ocdgardener(8)

I have a salvia greggii bed with ummm about 12 different greggiis and microphyllas mixed together. I'm enjoying adding plants of similar type like Anisacanthus wrightii. My newest plan is to plant around the base of the upright skinny stemmed plants, fat stocky puffy sedums like matrona and autumn joy for contrast. Aren't Salvias fun!!!!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 6:16PM
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matias_busch

I have s. guaranitica behind a Dodonea and like a lot the blue flowers and soft green in contrast the erect and brilliant leaves of dodonea.

Other companion plants that I like is salvia gregii rose with teucrium fruticans (grey leaves and blue flowers)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 6:48AM
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