Foliage Lasts Throughout the Season
One year, these three plants were used in two pots and the foliage rich result was eye-catching.
One of the benefits of focusing on plants for their foliage features is foliage lasts throughout the growing season. In many cases, annual plant blooms will wither away towards the end of the summer from heat exhaustion or repeat blooming.
So when you use foliage with a captivating thriller plant, like the yellow shrimp plant, you result with a stunning combination which is easy to assemble and maintain.
Echoing Foliage Colors
Notice how the dark purple plum like color (violet-red color on the color wheel) of the sweet potato vine’s heart shaped leaves are repeated in a band of the same rich purple plum color in the leaves of the Coleus ‘Kong Rose’ plant.
Repeating a color of one plant in another plant is a way to add impact to a design. This holds true in containers, patio pots, and in gardens of the ground.
Complementary Color – Yellow and Purple
The yellow shrimp plant’s yellow parts (technically bracts) represent a color opposite to purple on the color wheel so they seem to pop near each other. This is especially true when two plants with pure yellow and purple colors are used together in a container garden – but either way – what I loved about this trio is how lush and full they got and stayed all summer long with little to no problems.
The plants used in these two pots are what I consider reliable performers.
The ‘Ace of Spades’ sweet potato vine just kept growing and growing, dangling over the rim of the pot to the ground and even down the railing. It served as a “spiller” in the container gardens.
The Coleus ‘Kong Rose’ has very large leaves; and is an exceptional “filler” in the container gardens. I would have to say the ‘Kong’ cultivars are one of my fav’s as well – because of their lush leaves.
Then, of course, is the shrimp plant, the “thriller“, with its amazing yellow bracts and white blooms. The flower structure is fascinating, so the minute I saw some available at a local garden center, I grabbed two that year.
See the Yellow Shrimp Plant during the Winter
Visit the Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens in South Deerfield, Massachusetts; you will spot this plant there growing in their greenhouses filled with fluttering butterflies. The butterflies love the blooms, and the tropical like feel in this place is perfect for growing this tropical to sub-tropical loving Peruvian shrub.
Yellow Bracts with White Flowers
As I noted in my prior blog post about spotting this plant there, you can see why it is called a golden or yellow shrimp plant. The flowers are not the yellow parts you see here; these are the bracts. The white tubular flowers extend from the yellow bracts, and in my container garden, the hummingbirds and butterflies loved them.
Long Lasting Blooms – Feeds the Butterflies
Another bonus of the yellow shrimp plant’s blooms are they are long-lasting in summer, and grow upright and tall – you really notice them, plus they are a bit unusual or nontraditional – and are definitely exotic looking in my book. If you are looking for something out of the norm – this is the plant to try.
Part to Full Shade or Full Sun to Light Shade – Easy to Grow
Yellow shrimp plants enjoy part to full shade and this worked out well because its companion plants in this container gardens do as well. Although I found if situated in part sun – it didn’t do much harm at all.
This plant combination was featured in the GMPRO magazine in 2008, titled “Foliage Fanatic.”
Check it out to read the exact growing requirements.
Other plants similar to the yellow shrimp plant are Jacobinia carnea (pink shrimp plant, Brazilian plume) and Pachystachys coccinea (cardinal’s guard). They are not hardy to our Connecticut planting zones, so just be sure to wait to put them out in season when things are warmed up appropriately during the summer months – which is far away at the moment, but viewing these photos gives us inspiration until then.
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Don’t forget to note the May 2015 dates for Cathy T’s Container Garden Workshops:
May 16th and May 23rd, 2015
Thanks, Cathy. I sort of knew this, but it helped greatly to see your explanation.
John, Not surprised you know – for many folks it is intuitive. But for others, new – but I sure did love those two containers that year! 🙂