Color Me Fabulous: How to Style your Hollywood Hibiscus
There are entire books about color because color can affect your mood, boost your energy, and reflect your personality. Most people know what their “best” color is, or the hue they “can’t” wear, but how many think about the color scheme for their gardens as much as they do about their wardrobes or interior spaces?
It’s time to start.
While your trees, shrubs, and perennials are in the ground for a more permanent amount of time, annuals are temporary spots of color that can alter the atmosphere of the entire landscape. And when working with tropical plants like Hollywood Hibiscus, you get an added layer of “party vibe” from their bright and bubbly colorations.
So, how do you create successful color combos with the saturated hues of hibiscus? We’ve got some easy tips for you!
Killer Color Combos
Let’s take a quick look at some simple combos that are easy to remember, using some of your favorite Hollywood Hibiscus as models. (After all, they’re naturals at striking a pose.)
Any color + white
Classic is always in style, with white adding a crispness that makes any other color pop. It goes with everything — white and red (almost nautical), white and yellow (nothing more cheerful), white and orange (instant mood-lifter) or white and pink (decidedly feminine and cheeky). You could start with Hollywood Hibiscus Drama Queen™ in all her creamy white beauty or the heavenly pure white of Earth Angel™, then add any other color to it. Or, flip the scenario by building your color scheme with First to Arrive™ red, then adding white flowers (vinca, gardenia, or roses) to allow this bold beauty to shine.
All tones of one color
Pick literally any color, and think of all the colors that are similar to it. This is, loosely, a “monochromatic” color scheme that creates drama and cohesiveness. Let’s say you love Hollywood Hibiscus Heartbreaker™ — and honestly, who wouldn’t? His deep orange shade is a no-brainer attention-getter. If you’re planting a monochromatic garden starting with Heartbreaker™, simply select some orange-red or orange-yellow flowers that like lots of sun and moisture to be his companions and you’re good to go. Any orange-tinged shade will work here, because it will blend so well with the original color. But boring? No way — it’s hot, lively, and energetic, without a hint of dullness.
For over 30 years the Pantone Color Institute selects the Pantone Color of the Year. In 2021 they’ve chosen two colors, Illuminating (a bright and cheerful yellow) and Solid Gray (solid and dependable) that highlight how different elements come together to support one another. Pantone’s color choices influence what’s trending from fashion to home furnishings, product packaging and more. Each year you can easily update your little black dress thanks to new accessories (think purse, shoes, earrings and/or a scarf) or your living room (with new pillows and a blanket) utilizing the latest trending color, in this case a brilliant yellow or a subdued gray. It’s just as easy to make the on trend color, in this case bright yellow, as the dominant color in your outdoor living space. Consider making a bold statement by featuring Hollywood Hibiscus Social Butterly™ or Leading Lady™ and show them off in a gray deco pot. You can also mix in other brilliant yellow annuals (like petunias, calibrachoa or bidens) or pair with gray/silver plants like Senecio Angel Wings, dichondra or artemesia.
Here’s a color tip for those of you who love high drama — choose one color (we’ll go with yellow here), then bring in the opposite color on the color wheel (that would be purple). No blending allowed; these colors prove that opposites attract! So, let’s start with Rico Suave™ and his golden yellow petals. Invite some purple petunias or calibrachoa to the part provide balance and contrast — their smaller flower size and royal hue create bold, unforgettable interest.
What about foliage?
Ahhh, so glad you asked. Foliage size, texture, and color also lends a polished, designer touch to any garden, no matter the color scheme. The absolute last thing you’ll want to do is have all the leaves on your plants delivering the same medium green shade and medium size — it’s akin to being overly matchy matchy with your shoes, belt, and purse.
To keep the excitement level up and style high, look for other plants that have leaves with characteristics like:
- Jumbo size: Elephant ears, cannas, caladiums, philodendron, and palms all bring the same tropical feel to the garden with leaves that are oversized. Huge foliage plants like these ground a garden while providing extra drama.
- Variegation: You’ll want to choose a few plants with leaves that have some veining or striping to them — this creates a pattern play that enlivens every garden. Try dianella, lemon-lime canna or abelia, society garlic, or variegated liriope.
- Contrasting colors: Most hibiscus have medium-green leaves, so look for shrubs and trees that offer something different — like chartreuse or burgundy foliage. Tropical plants tend to have that effervescent, beach-comber personality, so chartreuse leaves add another volt of electricity while burgundy foliage creates sophistication.
- Fine texture: Look, not everything can be the focal point. That’s just gauche. When you add plants with leaves in a finer, frillier texture, you’re taking your garden to a whole other level. Plants like ferns, firecracker fern (not a true fern) and ornamental grasses provide a respite for your eyes with their softness and refinement.
What will your garden be “wearing” this summer? We’d love to see pics! Tag us on Instagram @hollywoodhibiscus