July 11, 2015
I have always been a fan of landscape and garden plants that have dark foliage that proudly show off colorful flowers or fruit. Let’s take a look at some of my garden must haves. I’m really impressed with these new dahlias and their dark chocolaty brown foliage. Dahlightful Sultry Scarlet produces season long semi-double scarlet red flowers that make a seductive combination with the almost black foliage. Dahlightful Georgia Peach has deep blackish-green foliage that shows off the warm apricot colored semi-double flowers. Both of these plants have strong branching and will grow 16 to 24 inches tall when grown in the full sun. But if you’re looking for a bigger plant then the Mystic Illusion dahlia is a must have. This plant produces loads of star-shaped bright lemony yellow flowers that seem to be leaping off the burgundy black foliage. A tip for growing dahlias is to be patient and wait to plant in the spring at the same time as your tomatoes. Another group of landscape plants I like with dark foliage are ornamental peppers. One selection that is definitely a garden blessing and not a curse is Black Pearl. The round marble sized fruit start off as shiny black and transition to bright red. Another dark-leaved All-America Selection from 2012 is Black Olive, which has a nice upright habit and produces small fruit clusters of dark purple fruit along the stems that also mature to bright red. So go ahead and try some plants with dark, dark foliage in your landscape. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.