Plants with orange flowers and dark red foliage are real show-stoppers in the home landscape. This unusual colour combination is sure to brighten up even the dreariest days. Use these plants where they can act as a focal point in the garden. They are also stunning when combined with blue and purple flowers.
Canna lilies (Canna species) are related to gingers and bananas, and sport the same large, thick leaves. Several canna cultivars feature dark red leaves and orange flowers. The Pacific Bulb Society recommends 'Tropicanna', with its variegated, bronze-red leaves with orange, yellow and red stripes and orange flowers. 'TyTy Red' features purple-bronze foliage and orange-red flowers. 'Assault' has bright orange flowers and purple-flushed leaves. 'Wyoming' displays dark maroon foliage and ruffled, orange blooms edged with red. All these cultivars reach 6 feet tall when they are grown in optimal conditions.
Plant cannas outside after the last frost, and keep them well-watered throughout the growing season. They flower best in full sun. Dig the rhizomes after the first fall frost and overwinter in a cool, airy spot. Cannas are hardy only to USDA Hardiness Zone 8.
Most gardeners are familiar with beautiful hanging fuchsias, but upright forms are available, too. One notable upright is the cultivar 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt' (sometimes just called Gartenmeister). This shrubby fuchsia has long, tubelike orange flowers and red stems. The wide, oval leaves are bronze-red on top and dark maroon below.
The plant only reaches 1 to 3 feet when grown as an annual, but if overwintered, either inside in colder areas or outside in warm areas, it can easily reach 4 or 5 feet tall and wide, with leaves up to 6 inches long. Fuchsia grows well in full sun to partial shade. They are heavy feeders, so Clemson University recommends regular fertilisation. Hummingbirds regularly visit this plant. Gartenmeister fuchsias are cold-hardy in Zones 9 and 10.
Dahlias (Dahlia species and hybrids) bring welcome colour to the late summer and fall garden. "Fine Gardening" magazine recommends 'David Howard', a tall dahlia suitable for the back of the garden. This vigorous plant has double, apricot-orange flowers and dark foliage; it will need staking. Stanford University likes the cultivar 'Scura', with single, bright orange flowers and maroon-tinted foliage and stems.
Plant dahlias in full sun or light shade, in moist, well-drained soil. Hardy only in Zones 9 through 11, they need to be lifted and stored inside when grown in areas with cold winters.
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