Colour Contrasting With Houseplants

Some colours are hot and others cold in the effect they create, and it is best to bear this in mind when creating a colour scheme. But the quality of any colour is shown off best if a contrasting colour is added. Plants are an effective way of making this contrast.

Hot and cold colours Red, orange and yellow are warm colours, whereas blue, green and violet are cool. Blue shades can be made warmer by adding in some red, or by choosing a blue that contains some pink to soften it.

Complementary contrasts

When harmonious colours are used together like red, yellow and orange or blue and green, these colours will naturally blend into each other, as will different tones of one colour. Add the complementary colour or one close to it and the contrast will enliven the whole effect and show off the colour’s richness.

Adding the contrastcolor contrasting

A group of plants, or even a single specimen in the contrasting colour can be used very successfully to create this effect. Think of a bathroom decorated in pale blue, perhaps with darker blue towels. Add a clear yellow Begonia or Chrysanthemum and that touch of sunshine would bring the room to life.

In the same way a soft blue Italian Bellflower or a climbing Leadwort with its clusters of pale blue flowers would considerably soften a yellow or orange hall, or a group of green leafed plants-would be very effective with red.

Plants for contrast

With a blue scheme use:

  • Black Eyed Susan
  • Daffodils
  • Golden Chrysanthemum
  • Yellow flowering maple

With a green scheme use:

With a red scheme use: color contrasting with plants

With a yellow scheme use:

  • Grape Hyacinth
  • Blue Cape Primroses
  • Blue African Violets
  • Persian Violets

Adding contrast to a plant group

Green leaved plants can look bland together but by adding colour with a flowering or variegated leaf plant the depth of colour will be displayed.

Choose a white flowering plant to highlight white or silver streaked leaves (Canary Island Ivy, Silver Vine) or draw out the gold in a Spotted Laurel or Screw Pine with a yellow Begonia.

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