There’s certainly an art to orchestrating your garden. Learning about which flowering plants work well together or which are incompatible due to their unique growth conditions is the key to creating gorgeous and harmonious combinations in your yard.
Below are several examples of flowers you should avoid planting near one another, which prove just how important it is to pay attention to your plant tags.
Hosta and Celosia
Hosta and Celosia can serve as an example of two opposites in terms of their light requirements. Although the sunlight requirements of Hosta plants can vary widely, they are generally touted as shade lovers, whereas the very name of Celosia derives from the Greek word for “burning”.
Therefore, if you are thinking about electrifying the darkest corners of your flower garden, don’t make the mistake of combining your hostas with plants that have trouble holding their own in the shady spots. Instead, you can choose to brighten the shade with Astilbe’s rosy-red flowers or with another shade-loving plant, such as tuberous Begonias, Lily of the Valley, Solomon’s Seal, Dicentra, etc. Similarly, avoid placing short plants that love the sun next to tall ones that will cast a shade over them.
Marigolds and Salvia viridis
There is no other reason why you should avoid grouping these types of flowers other than aesthetics. On the aesthetic front, thinking of plants in pairs or groupings is paramount. For instance, nothing promotes unwinding after a hard day like pastel garden schemes. So, bold reds, bright oranges, vibrant yellows, and other ‘assertive’ shades of annuals are rarely compatible with the gentle pastel hues of a typical perennial garden.
Avid gardeners weave annuals in and out of their perennials, but they site them in recurring themes so that one echoes the hue of another most beautifully. Therefore, instead of plonking down a bunch of Marigolds and Petunias next to rosy pink Salvia viridis, pair the latter with some pale-yellow daylilies to repeat the colour of Japanese anemones further back.
Japanese Iris and Vinca
Plants that like wet soil and those that cannot tolerate extended periods of flooded or waterlogged conditions are another two examples of flowers you should avoid planting near one another. Iris ensata, for instance, can easily turn those swampy spots in the yard into a colourful focal point. This is because Japanese iris, unlike many garden flowers, doesn’t include planting in well-draining soil; instead, this easy-care flower loves wet conditions.
On the other hand, hot weather annuals that need good drainage (such as vincas), and various types of succulents that are mostly considered great indoor plants fit for small spaces like small apartments, deliver a sickly performance in cold, soggy situations.
Gardenias & Gardenias
Gardenias are flowers you should avoid planting near one another because they, in particular, foster leaf pests such as, for instance, the aphids. These gardenia bugs create honeydew on which sooty mould thrives. Thus, it’s best to avoid planting these plants in their immediate vicinity, for it might exacerbate a pest problem in the whole flower bed.
Wisteria trees, billowing roses and lavender framing the meandering stone pathway, and beautiful ivy growing up the walls of the house – It was nanny Davis’s overflowing cottage garden that created the plant lover I am today. I’ve come a long way from helping her pick those graffiti-petaled beauties for her glass vase in the old days. Working as a consulting horticulturist, today I have the opportunity to put my sharpened floral arranging and designing techniques to great use, transforming people’s gardens and patios into spaces of their dreams.