The garden colour of 2024 is orange! With so many beautiful flowering plants, grasses and ornamentals to choose from, it will be a year to remember. We'll take a look at why orange is such a fun colour to garden with, which native plants to use and which ones to avoid!
In the kaleidoscope of colours that paint the canvas of a garden, orange stands out as a beacon of warmth and vibrancy. From blossoming flowers to bountiful fruits, oranges are fascinating in gardening. Let's embark on a journey to explore the lesser-known facets of the colour orange in the garden.
Symbolism and Psychology:
The colour orange is often associated with enthusiasm, warmth, and energy. In the garden, it can evoke a sense of positivity and excitement. According to a study published in the journal "Color Research & Application," orange is perceived as a stimulating colour that promotes joy and creativity.
Beneficial Insects and Pollination:
Orange flowers, such as marigolds and zinnias, act as magnets for pollinators like bees and butterflies. The University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food and Environment highlights the importance of attracting these beneficial insects for pollination, which ultimately contributes to the health and productivity of the garden.
Orange Fruits and Health:
The orange colour in fruits, such as oranges, pumpkins, and persimmons, is due to the presence of carotenoids, including beta-carotene. These compounds give the fruits their vibrant hue and offer essential antioxidants. According to research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a diet rich in carotenoids is associated with various health benefits, including improved eye health and immune system support.
Companion Planting and Pest Control:
Orange-hued plants can play a role in natural pest control through companion planting. For instance, with their orange flowers, nasturtiums are known to repel certain pests like aphids. The University of California's Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program emphasizes integrating companion planting strategies for sustainable pest management.
In some cultures, orange holds specific symbolic meanings. In Chinese culture, for instance, orange is associated with good luck and prosperity. Incorporating orange elements in the garden can be a nod to cultural traditions and bring a sense of auspiciousness.
As we immerse ourselves in the kaleidoscopic gardening world, orange emerges as a multifaceted and dynamic presence. From attracting pollinators to contributing to the overall well-being of plants and even carrying cultural significance, the orange palette in the garden is truly a tapestry of wonders. So, the next time you cultivate an orange-hued bloom or harvest a sun-kissed orange fruit, remember how this colour adds visual appeal, depth, and vitality to your gardening endeavours.
What to plant in your garden this year:
Not sure what to plant in your garden when it comes to orange flowers? Ontario, being a part of the northeastern region of North America, has a diverse range of native plants, including those with striking orange flowers. Here are some examples:
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa):
Also known as Orange Milkweed, this perennial plant produces vibrant clusters of orange flowers. It is a beautiful addition to the garden and an essential host plant for monarch butterflies.
Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida):
Native to North America, the Orange Coneflower features daisy-like flowers, prominent orange-yellow petals, and a dark central cone. It blooms in late summer and attracts pollinators.
Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans):
This vigorous climber boasts trumpet-shaped, orange to red flowers. It's a native vine that attracts hummingbirds and adds a vertical dimension to gardens, particularly in sunny locations. NOTE: The trumpet vine is a fast-growing perennial vine, and although not on official lists of invasive plants, it spreads through its suckering growth. New growth can spring several feet from the original plant and muscle between patio stones.
Orange Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis):
Also called Spotted Touch-Me-Not, this native annual produces orange, spurred flowers. It often grows in moist areas and is known for its unique method of seed dispersal.
Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis):
The Wild Columbine features nodding, red-orange and yellow flowers. It's a delicate perennial that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, often found in woodland areas.
Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea):
While more commonly found in prairie regions, Indian Paintbrush occasionally appears in Ontario. It has spikes of tubular, orange-red bracts that resemble a paintbrush, adding a splash of colour to the landscape.
When incorporating native plants into your garden, you not only celebrate the beauty of the local ecosystem but also provide valuable resources for native wildlife. Always consider these plants' specific growing conditions and habitat preferences to ensure their successful establishment in your garden.
What NOT to plant in your garden this year:
Invasive species can pose significant threats to native ecosystems by outcompeting and displacing native plants. In Ontario, invasive species with orange flowers have been identified as problematic. Awareness of these species is vital to help prevent their spread. Here are a few examples:
Orange Hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum):
Orange Hawkweed is an invasive perennial plant with bright orange flowers. It forms dense mats, outcompeting native vegetation. It spreads quickly through rhizomes and seeds, making it challenging to control.
Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe):
While not purely orange, Spotted Knapweed has orange to pinkish flowers. This invasive species is known for its aggressive nature, especially in disturbed areas. It produces chemicals that inhibit the growth of neighbouring plants.
Orange Tawny Daylily
The non-native cultivar, often called the Tawny Daylily, has escaped cultivation and can become invasive in natural areas. It spreads rapidly and can outcompete native flora. Daylilies spread from a network of tuberous roots, from which new plants grow. Even fragments of roots left behind during removal have the potential to proliferate. Daylilies also produce large seed capsules and can spread by seed. These traits make Daylily a difficult plant to control and remove.
When dealing with invasive species, following proper management and control measures is crucial. Early detection and eradication efforts are often more successful than attempting to control established infestations. Local conservation authorities and natural resource management agencies may guide you in identifying and managing invasive species in your area. Always exercise caution and follow appropriate protocols when dealing with invasive plants, as some can harm human health or the environment.
Hopefully this post will help you with gardening with the official colour of 2024: ORANGE!
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