By Amanda Rose Newton
Making Blue the New “Green”
The color blue is synonymous with feelings of melancholy, loneliness, and cold. Nature seems to disagree, and blue takes on a new cheery light in the presence of green, yellow, and orange hues of the garden.
Blue curls (our spotlight plant this week) are no exception! This vivacious Florida native is found from sandy hills to hardwood hammocks and is an excellent addition to the home landscape.
With their bright green foliage and unique blue curved flowers, it adds a pleasing contrast to your existing plantings. They open their flowers in the morning providing a show just for those in the know each day and close them by the day’s end.
Perhaps their best feature is their extra-long stamens (pollen-producing parts of the flower) that are a bright purple, which plays off the color of the blue foreground in a striking way.
After planting this surprise beauty, it’s hard to look at blue the same way again!
Blue Curls – Planting Tips
By planting it in the right place with complimentary plants, you are setting it up for a lifetime of success with fewer input needs from you.
To keep it at its blue best, make sure to plant it in well-drained, sandy soil in full sun. Blue curls will keep on blooming from late spring through late fall, and will easily reseed. This gives you the flexibility to thin them out to achieve the desired look or you can let them do their thing and have an explosion of blue throughout the landscape.
They tend to flower the most in the cooler months, offering an additional nectar source for pollinators when almost everything else has shut down for the season.
Since blue curls get about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide, they offer the flexibility of placement in the landscape. If April Native Plant Awareness month has you inspired to plant an all-native bed, here are a few color-wheel opposites that pair well with this week’s blue curls.
St John’s Wort (Hypericum spp.)- Yellow bloom, 1-8 feet depending on species
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)- Yellow and Black Blooms, 3 feet
Starry Rosinweed (Silphium asteriscus)- Yellow blooms, sunflower-like, 3 feet tall
Tickseed (Coreopsis spp.)- Yellow to Red Blooms, 1 to 2 feet tall
Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens)- Yellow foliage, 3 to 5 feet tall in bloom.
Plant blue curls in the landscape and we promise you will be feeling anything but blue! Enjoy the long lasting color, biodiversity, and low maintenance offered for months as you choose blue to go green.