(Part 2 of a four-part series on Trees, Accent plants, and Landscaping)
In Part 1 of this series, we discussed trees that provide the beauty and shade of fall.
Today, we are going to talk about accent plants that provide amazing color and planting tips for each type of plant. A well-placed accent plant not only adds curb appeal to your landscape, it also creates a stunning visual impact. Because of their sizes, shapes, and colors, and sometimes their scents, these ornamental plants beautify and add interest to your landscape.
A Southern landscape staple, the purple-leafed Loropetalum, also known as the Chinese fringe flower, was introduced in the 1980s. Since that time, a plethora of cultivars has become extremely popular. Each cultivar is different and grows differently so special care should be given when making the right selection for your landscape. Loropetalum does well in moist but well-drained, rich, acidic soil; however, it is very adaptable to less than ideal soil conditions. These plants do not require pruning to maintain their natural shape, but an occasional trim stimulates new growth. Some of the brilliantly colored cultivars are:
- Crimson Fire Loropetalum- In spring, this plant is bursting with gorgeous neon pink flowers and ruby red leaves.
- Ruby Loropetalum- This Loropetalum cultivar provides a delicate fragrance. It is predominantly green until spring when shocking pink flower clusters and ruby red foliage appears.
- Purple Pixie Loropetalum- This weeping, dwarf shrub has deep, rich purple foliage all year with flashy pink fringe-like flowers blooming in spring that provide a dynamic color contrast for other foliage.
Loropetalum is an easy accent plant to grow. Some planting tips to remember include planting in full sun to partial shade and watering well every three-to-four days throughout the plant’s first summer.
Abelia is semi-evergreen shrub, part of the honeysuckle family. Thriving in full sun-abeliato-partial shade and very adaptable to many different soils, these hardy accent plants provide stunning, year-round color to your landscape and are very low-maintenance. Some of the most popular varieties are:
- Kaleidoscope Abelia (as seen above)– Providing year-round, constantly changing colors, this fragrant shrub is quite the showy spectacle. In the spring, green and yellow foliage emerges and turns to a rich gold in the summer. Fiery reds and crimsons arrive in the fall and winter. This is one of the most beautiful, long-lasting accent plants.
- Radiance Abelia – Providing silvery-green foliage surrounded by creamy white margins from spring until fall, the Radiance Abelia is an elegantly beautiful accent plant. From mid-summer through fall, it produces white, tubular, sweetly fragrant flowers. Its compact nature makes it perfect for gardens, containers, or mass plantings.
- Confetti Abelia – Pale green, bright white, and blushing pink make this the perfect shrub for adding brightening color to any landscape. The fragrant flowers not only smell wonderful, they also attract butterflies. Very versatile in any type of well-draining soil, this low maintenance accent plant is very hardy.
The multi-season flower display of Encore Azaleas makes it one of the most popular shrubs. This is the only patented brand of azaleas that bloom in spring, summer, and fall. These accent plants require a minimum of four-to-six hours of sunlight per day to bloom properly. Like traditional azaleas, they require proper planting, watering, and care in order to thrive. Azaleas are acid-loving plants so you may need to have your soil’s pH level checked to ensure an optimal level of 5.5 to 6.5. The many different varieties of Encore Azaleas offer numerous choices to keep your landscape beautifully colorful almost all year. Autumn Bravo is seen above.
Considered both an evergreen shrub and a flowering shrub, the Sasanqua Camellia keeps its foliage all year. In the fall, a profusion of deep pink 2 to 3” flowers burst onto the scene. Preferring a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight per day, this shrub does well in a variety of soils. At maturity, its height ranges from 6 to 10’ with a spread of the same dimensions. This is a sensational addition to your landscape for brilliant color in the fall and foliage all year.
For more information and planting tips for accent plants, contact Hyatt Landscaping, Inc. at 704-888-5390 or fill out this contact form for a free estimate. With over 30 years’ experience in professional landscaping, we have built a solid reputation on honesty, fairness, and high quality installations. Please join us next week for Part 3 of this four-part series when we will detail why unique is good when it comes to accent planting.