Gardening requires a bit of matchmaking. When you don’t consider the compatibility of your plants, the result could be a rocky marriage and potentially a failed union. To help keep your yard harmonious, we asked local gardening experts for plant pairings that have proven happily-ever-after potential.
Matchmaker: Mike Gill, Driftwood Garden Center, Naples
Bed Planting: Bougainvillea and Asian Snow
Available in a wide assortment of colors, bougainvilleas can be grown as a bush, tree, or vine. Plant them in sunny, well-drained locations, and they will reward you with a bounty of flowers through June. Pair this tropical hardy plant with Asian Snow, a small shrub best when kept at 3 to 5 feet in height. It’s a prolific bloomer with dark green foliage and small white flowers that also prefers sunny, well-drained locations.
Container Gardening: Hibiscus and Lantana
In Southwest Florida, hibiscus is a year-round performer. Choose from a wealth of dynamic colors and fertilize regularly with a granular hibiscus fertilizer, as these plants are heavy feeders. Partner them in your pot with lantana, a perennial plant, and get ready for a dynamic combination. The lantana will fill, then spill from pots with clusters of tiny flowers to accent and contrast the large, bold hibiscus blooms. Once established, water once a week or when soil is dry to the touch.
Matchmaker: Joel Toledo, Green Door Nursery, Naples
Bed Planting: Dombeya (Tropical Hydrangea) and Yellow Allamanda
Adopt a yellow and pink color combination that really pops. Dombeya, a full, dense shrub with hot pink flowers, can grow to 5 feet tall by 5 feet wide, so use it as a backdrop in beds. Underplant with dwarf allamanda to ensure its yellow trumpet-shaped flowers can give a front-row performance. Both love anything from full sun to filtered light and need to be watered twice a week.
Container Gardening: Mona Lavender and Crossandra Marmalade
Purple and orange screams tropical, and this combination boasts an attractive low-maintenance relationship. Both Mona lavender and Crossandra Marmalade are mounding plants, so when potted, they will form a perfect sphere shape and delight you with a full-looking container and tons of blossoms. They can handle sun to filtered light and should be watered twice every week.