Yellow Houseplants

Yellow is one of the best colours to add as an accent in small quantities to change the mood of a room. There is no better way to introduce this colour temporarily than with flowering plants. Cool colours like blue, lilac and violet create a tranquil background which can be a little too cold and uninviting unless you introduce a few small splashes of bright colour. This can be achieved with cushions, pictures or lampshades but flowers and plants are the quickest and simplest way to introduce colour.

One or two plants with yellow leaf variegations added to a plant display could be just enough to provide some subtle warmth. If a larger splash of sunny colour is required, group a number of identical plants instead. Bring colour to a north-facing window with an arrangement of yellow flowering or variegated leaf plants.

Yellow for bright colouryellow plants

Muted shades like beige and grey or the soft brown of natural wood are popular for a spacious yet comfortable background, but they need a touch of bright colour to stop them from appearing too bland. Try using one species of plant but mixing the shades. This could be Primroses in bright primaries or go for warm tones with Chrysanthemums in deep rusty brown and orange, bright yellow and the pale cream. Show them off in a large copper pot for an instant welcome on a hall table.

A soft touch

Yellow is a wonderful colour to use for decorating a north-facing room, but it needs to be used with care in a tiny area if it is not to become overpowering. Use green plants or those with blue or violet flowers to contrast or, for a tonal effect, add pale yellow Primroses to a bright yellow room or deep buttercup yellow Pocketbook plants to palest pastel.

Yellow is a very ‘forgiving’ colour and its many shades will provide lots of opportunity to experiment.

Quick and easy display ideas

  • Provide sun in a cool blue bathroom with a group of Black-Eyed Susan plants in hanging baskets.
  • Line up Primroses in shades of yellow for a sunny scene at the window, whatever the weather.
  • Create spring colour with a basket of yellow flowering Primroses in the centre of a coffee table. In summer the display could change to Black-Eyed Susan plants with
  • their climbing stems trained around the basket handle and in autumn these could be replaced by a bowl of yellow fruited Christmas Peppers.
  • Train a yellow-flowering Allamanda on a narrow piece of trellis over part of a window with an ugly view.
  • For a bright highlight add one buttercup yellow Chrysanthemum to a group of deeper gold and rust flowering specimens.
  • If no flowering plants are easily available include a bowl of bright yellow cut flowers with a green plant display.
  • Turn a giant green plant into a spring flowering Easter display with silk or tissue paper yellow blooms.
  • Planting yellow blooming flowers in a window-box will enable you to look out upon a sunny display that will cheer up the dullest of days.

Some yellow plants

  • Chrysanthemums come in brightest yellow and deep gold as well as many other warm colours.
  • Flaming Katy, apart from the standard bright red, also comes in a clear yellow.
  • Flowering Maple can have buttercup yellow flowers as well as white, red or pink.
  • Zebra Plant has flowerheads of overlapping yellow bracts.
  • Black-Eyed Susan is a climber with sulphur yellow flowers that have a chocolate brown centre in summer.
  • Allamanda is another climber with bright yellow trumpet-shaped flowers that appear during the summer.
  • Elatior Begonia comes in many colours including primrose-yellow double flowers.
  • Canary Island Broom has a mass of yellow, pea-like flowers in spring.
  • Pocketbook Plant has unusual speckled, pouch-like yellow flowers in mid-spring. Flowers also come in orange and red.
  • Primroses come in many colours but the pale yellow of the wild form is one of the prettiest heralds of spring.

Green plants with yellow variegation

  • Flame Nettle has multi-colour leaves that can be yellow and bronze splashed.
  • Euonymus is a bushy evergreen shrub with leaves splashed in pale yellow.
  • Spotted Laurel has shiny green leaves with yellow spots.
  • Sanchezia has blue-green leaves with distinctive yellow veins.
  • Crotons come in a wide range of variegated leaf colours that include shiny green leaves with bright yellow veining or yellow blotches, such as the attractively marked ‘Disraeli’.

The folklore of yellow

  • Yellow is for warmth, the colour of the life-giving sun.
  • The symbol of spring, yellow is the colour of so many spring flowers, including primroses, daffodils, crocus and iris.
  • Yellow is the colour of gold, a sign of wealth and transitory happiness. It is also the colour of friendship.
  • Yellow, the sign of sickness, is the colour of the quarantine flag that was used by ships at sea.

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