Skip to Content

IDEA: Container Garden Colors!

Literally, on the opposite side of the street from the Idea Garden, there is a collection of container gardens that add visual interest to the front of our building. To visually connect the plants in the Idea Garden with plants in the container gardens, we chose plants with similar colors. We were looking for silvers, purples, and blacks. To tie in the chartreuse color from some of our pots, we looked for gold, bright yellow, and chartreuse foliage, too.

To bring in the silver color to our pots, we tapped our classic Dusty Miller and added some licorice vine (Helichrysum petiolare ‘White Licorice’). The Dusty Milled will be a great filler in the pots, while the licorice vine will make an excellent spiller with its fuzzy, gray-green, rounded leaves. We also had a few Caladiums that filled some of our shade pots.

helichysum white licorice

Helichrysum ‘White Licorice’

white caladium



We found purple and black the bold foliage of purple sweet potato vine. This plant makes a great spiller in a container because it will grow over the edges and cascade down the side.


Sweet Potato Vine

Sweet Potato Vine

We fell in love with the black velvety flower of the Petunia ‘Black Velvet.’ Petunias make great fillers in pots, with mounding foliage and lots of flowers.

petunia black velvet

Petunia ‘Black Velvet’

To add chartreuse to our planting scheme, we found hostas and oregano. The large, bold leaves of Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ stands on its own in shadier parts of the container garden collection. Hosta ‘Fire Island’ has yellow-gold leaves with red petioles, providing a good filler (10 to 14 inches high, 15 to 30 inches wide). Other hostas fill in between.

Hosta Sum and Substance

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’

Hosta Fire Island

Hosta ‘Fire Island’




Another splash of bright golden yellow comes from golden oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’), an ornamental herb that loves the sun.

golden oregano

Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’

Coleus is a great go-to plant for gardens and containers. We found several with striking foliage colors that helped blend our color schemes. ColorBlaze Dark Star Coleus (Solenostemon scutellaroides) provided a terrific purple-black foliage with an upright habit. It is reputed to be heat and sun tolerant.

coleus colorblaze dark star

Coleus ‘ColorBlaze Dark Star’

Coleus ‘Wasabi’ gave us a bold, bright chartreuse leaf.

coleus wasabi

Coleus ‘Wasabi’

Coleus ‘Under the Sea Bone Fish’ provided a different look with its purple-and- chartreuse serrated leaves.

coleus under the sea bone fish

Coleus ‘Under the Sea Fish Bone’

With all of these choices, we have lots of combinations to consider! These colors will help visually draw together the plantings in both the island and the containers.

Posted in Herbaceous, Uncategorized. This entry was tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

About sdorn

Sheri is the State Coordinator for the Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program and Extension Specialist for Consumer Ornamentals. When she is not traveling about the state of Georgia admiring the work of Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, she spends time in her own (real and virtual) gardens.