How To Create An Orange & Yellow Flower Garden

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For cheerful, bright color, few beat yellow and orange in the garden. Sunny yellow and friendly orange flowers light up your yard, attracting the eye from a distance and creating a feeling of excitement and intensity.

Whether you are planning a large flowerbed full of orange and yellow flowers, or just want one container to brighten your entryway, there are many flowers to choose from. The following are some easy-to-grow flowers that are available in yellow or orange.

Annuals

Annual flowers sprout, grow, bloom and set seed all in one growing season. They are useful for quick color that lasts for several months, and are perfect for filling in a small spot that needs a little pizzazz, providing a blanket of blooms over a larger flowerbed, or creating shots of color in containers.

Some of the easiest annuals that are primarily yellow or orange include:

  • Marigolds: These solid or bicolor flowers come in many shades of yellow and orange, as well as white. You will find several varieties at your garden center. The most common cultivars are French marigolds, which have a ruffled appearance, and African marigolds, which are rounded. Marigolds are especially good container plants, and require little care. They bloom through the spring and summer.
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  • Calendula: Also called pot marigold, calendula flowers are bright orange or yellow, and bloom through the fall until frost. Similar to marigolds, calendula is an excellent container flower, and you can even eat the flower petals raw or cooked.
  • Nasturtium: These brightly colored bloomers are available in an upright, clumping form, as a vine and as a trailing groundcover. Flowers range from buttery pale yellow to bright orange to deep orange-red, as well as white. Nasturtium is beautiful creeping among other flowers, or spilling over a wall or hanging basket. It blooms in cool weather, and the whole plant is edible.
  • Sunflower: It’s hard to think of a flower that symbolizes summer more than a sunflower. With a wide range of cultivars, you can find plants ranging from dwarves to 12-foot giants. Some have huge flowers nearly a foot across. Most are golden yellow. Sunflowers are delightful in the back of your flower border, which will also disguise their sometimes-ragged foliage.
  • Lantana: In warm-winter areas, lantana often survives as a perennial shrub, but in most regions of the country, it is an annual. Its round clusters of tiny flowers come in many colors, but bright orange and yellow are common. Lantana makes an excellent container plant, especially in a hanging basket.

Perennials

Perennials generally do not bloom for as long a period as annuals, but come back year after year, and often increase in size over time. Use perennials as the mainstay of your flowerbeds. They are good for adding color and interest in bare spots between larger shrubs and trees. You can also use perennials in containers, mixing them in with annuals that will keep the color coming once the perennials finish blooming.

  • Coreopsis: Also called tickseed, most varieties of coreopsis are yellowish-orange, daisy shaped flowers, some with burgundy variegation on the petals. Coreopsis is drought resistant, and thrives through the hottest of summers. The flowers are good for cutting, and are profuse from early summer until frost.
  • Gaillardia: Cheerful daisy-like flowers in shades of gold, orange, burgundy and yellow cover gaillardia, also called blanket flower, through much of the year. There are many cultivars, some with ruffled or curled petals, some resembling a pom pom, most resembling daisies. Gaillardia is drought resistant, thrives in heat, and makes a good cut flower.
  • Rudbeckia: Available in shades of golden yellow, orange, bronze or mahogany, rudbeckia, or Black-eyed Susan, is a large, daisy-shaped flower with many cultivars available. Drought resistant and hardy, rudbeckia is a good cut flower, but can have ragged, unattractive foliage. Plant it in a bed of wildflowers to cover the foliage.
  • Butterfly Weed: The host plant for the monarch butterfly caterpillar, butterfly weed attracts many other butterflies to your garden. Flat clusters of small, bright orange flowers cover the plant during the summer, followed by large, pointed seedpods in the fall. Butterfly weed is a very hardy plant, and is native to the eastern United States.

Roses

Roses come in many colors, of course, but if you are looking for an exceptional yellow or orange rose, consider some of the following.

  • Perfect Moment: This magnificent hybrid tea is a profuse bloomer, with reddish orange flowers fading into yellow centers. Vigorous and disease resistant, Perfect Moment’s gorgeous flowers make very long lasting cut flowers, and cover the plant all summer long.
  • Candelabra: Coral orange flowers grace this grandiflora, and lots of them. Candelabra blooms profusely, with open blooms having a small area of yellow in the center. It is a hardy, disease resistant rose.
  • Midas Touch: Not only are the flowers of Midas Touch bright, pure yellow, but they are very fragrant as well. The flowers hold their color in hot weather better than many other yellow roses, and the bush is disease resistant, tall and hardy.

Every garden should have at least one container filled with bright yellow or orange flowers to celebrate summer with color that reflects the sunshine. Even if you prefer more subdued colors, mixing a few of these bright beauties throughout your flowerbeds will liven them up and provide eye-catching contrast.

Last Updated: December 27, 2011
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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