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Allan Armitage's Favorite Plants and Combos

Get ideas for your garden from University of Georgia horticulture professor Dr. Allan Armitage.


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    • Professor of Horticulture Allan Armitage oversees the Trial Gardens at the University of Georgia, Athens. Here are some of the late season plants and plant combinations that caught our eye during our visit with him.

    • Tropical Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum, offers rich dark purple foliage and a strong upright form. It's lovely on its own or paired with virtually any other varieties.

    • Salvia 'Blue Emotion' and lantana make a nearly perfect pairing in a pot or the landscape: Both love hot, sunny spots, appreciate good drainage, and attract scores of butterflies.

    • Flowering maple (Abutilon 'Fairy Coral Red') has been popular since Victorian times for its hibiscus-shape flowers and maple-shape foliage. One fun way to dress it up is to underplant it with golden buttons (Chrysocephalon).

    • You can't go wrong with hybrid petunias, such as Supertunia Vista Bubblegum. Add vertical drama with an ornamental grass or rush, such as blue-green Juncus 'Blue Arrows'.

    • Salvia 'Sallyfun Red' is a newer variety of salvia that loves heat, attracts hummingbirds, invites butterflies to your yard, and tolerates drought. Give it a skirt of white petunia for a classic look that thrills all summer long.

    • Get a similar look by mixing papyrus (Cyperus 'King Tut') with lovely splash of color from mounding/spreading Petunia 'Red Dream'.

    • You may not think of hydrangeas for containers, but big, bold 'Limelight' is a sun-loving variety that blooms for months and thrives in a large pot.

    • Showstopper variegated tapioca (Manihot esculenta 'Variegata') can be difficult to find at garden centers, but if you come across it, you'll definitely want to incorporate it in your containers. It's big, bold, and looks amazing with everything.

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      Succulents don't have to go solo. Here, Senecio 'Kilimanjaro' looks fantastic planted with Petunia 'Whispers Blue'.

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