13 Great Red and Yellow Garden Combos

Boost your garden's color quotient with cheerful combinations of these compatible hues.

Kelly Roberson


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Coleus, stonecrop
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Choose Color Masters

    Coleus are the garden's color virtuoso: The visually interesting plants are accomplished at offering distinctive hues that rely less on blooms than they do on foliage. Here, one type of red-and-yellow coleus bridges the color gap between a brilliant red coleus and bright yellow stonecrop.

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Select Double-Duty Plants

    Multitasking -- that ever-popular buzzword -- describes the distinctive spires of torch lily. That's because the plant does more than offer vertical growth: Its blooms bear the happy pair of red and yellow on a single plant. Use plants like this as specimens by themselves in the garden or to tie together several single-color plants.

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Pick Similarly Styled Plants

    Red and yellow aren't difficult-to-find colors in the plant world, but that doesn't mean that your flower choices need be boring. In fact, similarly structured plants can supply vastly different bloom patterns, making the traditional appeal of red and yellow even more charming. Here, coreopsis, ox eye, falling stars, and daylilies all offer bright blooms and interesting foliage in this old-fashioned flowerbed.

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Rely on Single Groupings

    Plenty of flowerbeds randomly intersperse colors to create a pleasing mix. But staggering blooms in larger chunks can create a pretty rainbow effect that also works as a design strategy, even if the flowers are different varieties, such as the lilies and red pentas here.

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Be Fearless with Color Groups

    Red and yellow plants tend to fall toward the hot end of the color wheel, which offers a great counterpoint to the plethora of pastel shades found in most gardens. Plus, when the types of flowers are the same -- here, cottage favorites yellow black-eyed Susan, dark red dahlia, and light purple foxglove -- the color composition not only works, but also provides a garden with varying levels of visual interest.

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Go for a Lighter Color

    In the flower world, red and yellow are also prevalent in softer, nearly pastel shades. And when planted lushly, a single species, such as roses, compensates for those less intense hues by offering an overabundance of blooms that nicely fills out a large garden bed.

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Use Color to Make a Statement

    As a front-yard focal point, a bold collection of yellow daylilies and red roses makes a grand first impression. The flower choices complement the other plants in the casually assembled bed around the house's address post and the bright colors deftly tie in to other hues in the landscape.

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Compare and Contrast

    The varieties of flowers in the plant world come in to stark focus when two dissimilar blooms are paired. The frilly vertical spires of celosia -- here, in a nearly maroon red -- both contrasts and complements the delicate patterning on the butter yellow rose.

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Stay with the Tried-and-True

    It's an oft-repeated spring pairing -- red, yellow, and red-and-yellow tulips -- but that's because it works. In part, it's because the vivid colors are such a welcome early-year boon to the gardener. It's also because the two colors together are naturally happy and lighthearted.

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Stick with a Single Shade

    Varying the shades of two single colors such as red and yellow -- from soft and buttery, for example, to bold and sunny -- is one way to offer variation in a garden, but grouping different flowers that bloom in the same hue also provides impact in a garden. Here, rich yellow lilies and zinnias flower in a similar deep shade of yellow, which pops against a rich red dahlia.

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Go Up, Go Down

    Red and yellow flowers can certainly spread color joy horizontally along a long garden bed, but there are plenty of bright blooms that can go vertical, such as this lush climbing red rose. Another way to fill in with yellow and red flowers is to combine perennials -- the roses -- with annuals, such as pot marigolds and yellow snapdragons, both of which are great cutting flowers, too.

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Plant for Backyard Visitors

    Bright red and yellow blooms also provide another garden benefit: The brilliant colors attract birds and butterflies. And, when the garden is composed of long-blooming native plants, such as coreopsis and blanket flower, the draw is even stronger for those natural inhabitants.

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Cluster Color in Containers

    You grandmother relied on them, and for good reason: Zinnias are vigorous, long lasting, and beautiful. In container plantings, clusters of red and yellow flowers are hardworking overachievers, hiding the ordinary fence and lattice and providing a pretty backdrop to two outdoor chairs.

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