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What's Your Color? Chartreuse

Learn about ways to use Chartreuse in the garden, along with plants that sport the color.

Contributors: Kerry Meyer

Using Chartreuse in the Garden

There are as many ways to use color in the garden as there are gardens.  When designing a bed or container it is always good to think about the impact you want that bed to have.  Are you looking for something soothing and calm, or are you looking for something bright and invigorating?  Are you trying to make the space feel more open and spacious, or are you going for cozy and enclosed?  Are you looking to make something fade into the background - like your air conditioner or are you trying to draw attention - like the main entry for your home? Which colors you choose are one of the methods you can use to achieve your goal.

Let's take a look at chartreuse and talk about the effects this color has in the garden. 

Green functions as a neutral in the garden and the yellow-green color often known as chartreuse is no different.  It is versatile and can be paired with virtually every other flower and foliage color you can find.  It is also quite bold and will enliven plantings.  It is a bright color and will draw attention, as well as making smaller spaces feel more spacious. 

What a difference a plant makes.

I think there is a tendency to believe that changing the look and feel of a space needs to mean drastic changes.  The reality is that swapping out a single plant can make a big difference.  In the two photos on the left below, both combinations have Supertunia® Raspberry Blast and Diamond Frost®The two combinations on the right both have Superbells® Grape Punch and Superbells® Miss Lilac.  The only difference is that in both pairs, the combination on the left has a deep purple to black sweet potato vine and the two on the right have a chartreuse sweet potato vine.  The planters with the dark colored sweet potato vines recede on the page, while those with the chartreuse really jump out at you. 

The two examples below demonstrate the same thing.  The two combos to the left both have Superbells Cherry Star and Superbells® Yellow Chiffon.  The two combos to the right are a slightly different case.  They both share Superbena® Royale Peachy Keen, but the one to the left gets its red color from Supertunia® Red, while the one on the right contains Superbena® Royale Iced Cherry.  The one on the left has a dark colored sweet potato vine, the one on the right has a chartreuse version.  By looking at these examples you should be starting to see how adding chartreuse to a combination can brighten a combo and add more contrast.

This works in landscapes, just as it does in containers.  The photos are harder to come by, so I have one example. 

Highlight a Feature

Because bright colors are eye-catching, they are a natural choice if you want to highlight something in your garden - a seating space, your front door or a piece of art, for instance.  By utilizing bright colors, such as chartreuse, you can subtly draw your guests' eyes to important features.  For instance, if you have two doors visible when guests arrive at your home.  Brightly colored plants near one of the two can innately draw your guests to the preferred entry.

 

Bring Light to Shady Spots

Since chartreuse is so good at adding brightness, it is a natural for shady spots that could use an infusion of light. 

Create a Lively Space

Chartreuse used with other bright colors like red, orange, yellow and gold will create a sunny, happy space or combination planter.  Warm colors such as these are wonderful to use in outdoor rooms where you host parties or the kids like to play.  These color combinations put people in the mood to have a fun time. 

Create Contrast

Chartreuse is excellent at creating contrast and drama.  While ColorBlaze® Kingswood Torch is always eye-catching, but when it is combined with chartreuse, it has tons of drama.  Knot Gardens are precisely laid out gardens and the chartreuse is what really defines the pattern in this version.  Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum® looks even better when chartreuse is used as a foil.  With highly contrasting foliage, flowers aren't even necessary for color and drama.


 Combination Inspiration

Chartreuse works with every color of the rainbow.  Here are a few examples of combinations of red and chartreuse.

   

Now, a few that use purple and pink.

Finally, a few that use mostly yellow along with the chartreuse.

For more ideas, check out our Pinterest board.

Plants to Use - Annuals and Perennials

Chartreuse can be a great addition to any garden or combination.  Here are some plants to consider, if you want to try the color chartreuse in your garden. 

Illusion® Emerald Lace Ipomoea

'Sweet Caroline Light Green' Ipomoea

'Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Lime' Ipomoea

ColorBlaze® Lime Time Solenostemon

 

 

 Lemon Coral Sedum

'Coast to Coast' Hosta

'Leapfrog' Heucherella

 

 

Plants to Use - Shrubs

Sunshine Blue® II Caryopteris

Lil Miss Sunshine Caryopteris

Marie Gold® Ceanothus

Chardonnay Pearls® Deutzia

Goldy Euonymus

 

 Summer Shandy Humulus (Hops)

Dream Catcher Kolkwitzia

Castle Gold Ilex

Good Vibrations® Gold Juniperus

 

 

Lemony Lace Sambucus

Double Play® Gold Spiraea

Glow Girl® Spiraea

 

 

Anna's Magic Ball Thuja

'Filip's Magic Moment' Thuja

Ghost Weigela

My Monet® 'Sunset' Weigelia

 

 

 

Patent Info: Lil Miss Sunshine Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Janice' USPP 22,160; Sunshine Blue® II Caryopteris incana 'SMNCVH' USPPAF, Can 2,316; Marie Gold® Ceanothus ' Minmadore' USPPAF, Can PBRAF; Chardonnay Pearls® Deutzia gracilis 'Duncan' PP: 16098 Can. PP: 2640;  Summer Shandy Humulus x 'Sumner' USPP 24,913, Can PBRAF;  Castle Gold Ilex x meserveae 'Gold Princess' USPPAF, Can PBRAF; Good Vibrations® Gold Juniperus horizontalis 'Hegedus' USPP 22,743, Can 4,643; Lemony Lace Sambucus racemosa 'SMNSRD4' USPPAF, Can PBRAF; Double Play® Gold Spiraea japonica 'Yan' USPP 21,615, Can 4,074; Glow Girl® Spiraea 'Tor Gold' USPPAF, Can PBRAF; Anna's Magic Ball Thuja occidentalis 'Anna Van Vloten' USPPAF, Can PBRAF; 'Filip's Magic Moment' Thuja occidentalis 'Filips Magic Moment' USPP 21,974, Can PBRAF; Ghost Weigela florida 'Carlton' PP: 20025 Can. PP: 3860;  My Monet® 'Sunset' Weigela florida USPP 23,212, Can 4,691; Illusion® Emerald Lace Ipomoea batatas 'NCORNSP012EMLC' PP: 21744 Can. PP: 4162;  'Sweet Caroline Light Green' Ipomoea batatas PP: 15028 Can. PP: 2975; 'Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Light Green' Ipomoea batatas PP: 18572 Can. PP: 2901; ColorBlaze® Lime Time Solenostemon scutellarioides USPPAF; 'Coast to Coast' Hosta USPPAF, Can PBRAF; 'Leapfrog' Heucherella USPPAF, Can PBRAF; Dolce® Key Lime Pie Heuchera 'TNHEU042' USPP 16,735, Can 2,564; Supertunia® Raspberry Blast® Petunia hybrid 'Temari' USPP 16,588, Can 3,314; Diamond Frost® Euphorbia hybrid 'Inneuphdia' USPP 17,567, Can 2,830; Superbells® Grape Punch Calibrachoa hybrid 'USCAL84704' PP: 23231 Can. PP: 4592; Superbells® Miss Lilac Calibrachoa hybrid 'USCAL87502' PP: 23230 Can. PP: 4593;  Superbells® Cherry Star Calibrachoa hybrid 'USCAL91001' USPP 23,232, Can 4,594; Superbells® Yellow Chiffon Calibrachoa hybrid 'USCALI4021' PP: 19480 Can. PP: 3631;  Superbena® Royale Peachy Keen Verbena hybrid 'VEAZ0003' PP: 23596 Can. PP: 2173; Supertunia® Red Petunia hybrid 'USTUNI223' USPP 14,871, Can 1,937; Superbena® Royale Iced Cherry Verbena hybrid 'INVEBROICH' PP: 23218 Can. PP: 4587;  Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum® Petunia hybrid 'USTUNI6001' USPP 17,730, Can 2,871;

105 Readers Rated This: 12345 (3.3)
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Fri, 12/30/2016 - 9:21am

I love all the pictures you used as examples this time. Usually I don't care for the green sweet potato vine, it is very common and I try to have other trailers in my containers but yours look spectacular. I really enjoy your column, keep them coming.
Thank you so much!
Bonnie Frain in Stillwater Minnesota.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Sat, 07/18/2015 - 5:03am

I bought some plants this year called Bowles Golden. It is a carex. It is useful in part shade to shade and brings drama and light to the space. Love it. Good zones 5-8. 2 -3 feet tall

Kerry Meyer's picture
Kerry Meyer Mon, 07/27/2015 - 2:54pm

Golden colored grasses are wonderful.  I love finding bright foliage plants for shade areas and carex is a good one:-)

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Tue, 05/12/2015 - 1:00pm

I did not choose, but I did choose white, and I also use a lot of blue.

Kerry Meyer's picture
Kerry Meyer Mon, 07/27/2015 - 2:53pm

White is another great way to act as a contrast to other colors and to pull attention.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Fri, 04/17/2015 - 8:43pm

In the fall of 2013, I started a new flower bed. All lime green and hot pink, it's been easier to fill up than I thought! it started with a "Limelight" hydrangea, 2 " Little Lime" hydrangeas, and 2 "Double play" spiraea, I've added some dianthus, a clematis, phlox and some coneflowers. It has a stacked rock border, birdbath, small trellis for the clematis and wind chimes. It's gotten off to a nice start this spring. I'll see what gets added this year!

Kerry Meyer's picture
Kerry Meyer Mon, 07/27/2015 - 2:51pm

It sounds gorgeous!  I love it.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Fri, 03/27/2015 - 6:15am

Loved the entire chartreuse article. The photos really helped emphasize the dramatic difference that that color can make. I volunteer in my development to do the gardening and I was resetting my plans as I read the article. I live I PA mountains & the article is helping to cure my cabin fever.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Fri, 11/07/2014 - 7:16pm

What a dramatic difference with chartreuse. I've only used the sweet potato vine in

two planters. With this "wow" article and photos I will use much more.

Love the idea of your series following the colors of plantings.

Best wishes! Stay warm! Stay well!

Kerry Meyer's picture
Kerry Meyer Tue, 11/11/2014 - 10:45pm

I'm glad you enjoyed the article, it was fun to write.  I thought the photos did a pretty good job of conveying the information I was trying to give.  It is great to know that you found the information helpful.  Thank you for taking the time to drop me a note.  I appreciate the feedback and input.

Kerry

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