Coral Flowers: The Trending Color Your Garden Needs Now
People who work in interior design, graphic design, fashion or homewares, are always tracking color trends. They find clues in unexpected places, from top travel destinations and movie sets, to food, art, books, social media and even gardens!
One of the most respected authorities for color trends is the Pantone Color Institute. Pantone’s color matching system has long been the global standard for both the print and the textile industries. Each year, the company identifies a set of trending colors – ten for spring and ten for fall. From these they also select a “color of the year.”
This Year’s Color of the Year
For 2019, Pantone’s color of the year is “living coral.” It’s a warm, pink-orange that’s brighter than peach, but softer than carrot. Think salmon and you’ll be very close. Pantone describes it as “sociable and spirited…vibrant, yet mellow…an animated, life-affirming shade of orange, with golden undertones that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.”
Most gardeners don’t pay much attention to color trends, but we can all can use a creative nudge now and then. This year’s color of the year is the most garden-friendly choice in a long time. It’s a lovely hue on its own and can inspire all sorts of satisfying combinations.
Dahlias That Play Into the Coral Theme
If you’re looking for flowers with coral-colored blossoms, dahlias offer lots of fabulous choices. In the world of wedding flowers, coral has been coming on strong for several years now. Brides are leaving pale pink behind in favor of flowers with warmer, bolder hues.
Some of the most popular dahlias for weddings are dinnerplates. The flowers have the same lushness as peonies, with a slightly more contemporary look. Floral designers are especially fond of dinnerplate dahlia varieties with frilly petals such as Belle of Barmera, Fairway Spur and Penhill Watermelon.
Decorative dahlias offer an even wider range of color combinations and flower styles, with varieties such as Great Silence, Karma Corona and Felida Solar Flare. For containers and borders, Gallery Pablo is a winner.
Last summer, gardener and floral designer Alicia Schwede developed two new dahlia collections for us to offer in 2019. Both the Flirty Fleurs Sorbetto Collection and the Flirty Fleurs Ravenna Collection have a coral theme. Gardeners may be more tuned into color trends than we thought!
Other Coral-Colored Flowers
There are many annuals, perennials and bulbs that bloom in this beautiful color. Here are some plants — and suggested varieties — that have coral flowers:
- Snapdragons: Madam Butterfly Bronze with White or Potomac Orange (Johnny’s)
- Zinnias: Oklahoma Salmon, Dreamland Coral and Benary’s Giant Salmon Rose (Johnny’s)
- Diascia: Coral Belle, Coral Canyon
- Impatiens: Infinity Salmon, Accent Salmon, Tumbler Salmon
- Coleus: Henna, Wizard Coral Sunrise, Copper Coral
- Sweet Peas: Valerie Harrod
- Dianthus: Coral Reef, Zing Salmon, Supra Salmon
- Roses: Coral Knock Out rose, Abraham Darby, Christopher Marlowe
- Peony: Coral Charm
- Poppy: Princess Victoria Louise, Helen Elizabeth,
- Calla: Natural Bouquet
- Tulips: Apricot Impression, Jimmy, Charming Beauty
- Daffodils: Pink Pride, Delnashaugh
- Hyacinth: Gypsy Queen
Color Partners for Coral Flowers
Not every color harmonizes with coral, so you’ll want to give some thought to creating good partnerships. This warm, tropical hue looks great with flowers that have a similar warmth, such as burgundy, red, pink, ivory, yellow, gold and orange. Or, for an even bolder combination, pair coral flowers with periwinkle or violet-blue.
Foliage gives you another opportunity to play up the beauty of coral-colored flowers. Teal blue is coral’s complementary color, so plants with blue-green foliage such as lavender, juniper and eucalyptus are always good companions. The same goes for grey-blues such as lamb’s ears and dusty miller. Olive green foliage also looks great with warm, orangey-pinks.
If coral is not a color that you normally gravitate to, this is the year to stretch your boundaries! If you’re already a fan of this lovely hue, this is the year to indulge yourself! To learn more about making the most of this trending color, check out these related articles: How to Use Pink in Your Flower Garden and How to Use Orange in Your Flower Garden.