On the color wheel, purple and yellow are opposites, which makes them complementary. That’s why this pairing always looks good in your home and landscaping. Our list of some of our favorite combinations of flowers in these two vibrant colors, including lupine and yarrow, foxglove and delphinium, and hyacinth and anemone will spark your gardening creativity. As far as we’re concerned, you can never have too much color in a flower garden!
Hanging Planters Draw the Eye
Yellow draws the eye, and purple keeps it there. Superbells Lavender calibrachoa and Bidens ferulifolia pair well in a hanging basket where they both need full sun and will deadhead themselves. Let the soil get almost completely dry before watering, as these drought-tolerant annuals don’t like constantly wet soil. But during the hottest summer days, you may need to water daily.
Lilies and clematis can be best friends because they like similar growing environments and bloom at about the same time. Both produce more flowers in full sun, but like their roots cool, moist, and shaded. Plant them together in a bed with rich soil where they’ll get midday sun, but have protection from the late afternoon heat. Bonus: Oriental lilies produce a sweet fragrance.
Golden and Sunny
Keep a garden looking sunny all season with golden barberry (Berberis thunbergii) such as ‘Aurea’ or Sunjoy Gold Beret. The barberry’s thorns make an effective barrier for critters, and deer don’t like to munch on the golden leaves. It coordinates beautifully with the red-violet ‘Carnaby’ clematis climbing on the rugged arbor and the white-and-purple ‘Art Deco’ iris.
A rustic path runs through beds of yellow mullein (Verbascum), blue catmint (Nepeta), and purple and pink lupines that look like Mother Nature planted them. To keep mullein blooming, remove the spent flowers before they form seeds. These spiky perennials are deer resistant, making them perfect for a country-style garden. Repeat the plantings to maintain the purple and yellow theme in a long bed.
Subtle Shades of Purple and Yellow
A color combination isn’t always obvious. Saturated hues vie for attention in a composition of purple alliums, burgundy iris, purple lupine, gold arborvitae, and yellow yarrow. When planning a purple and yellow gold combination, remember that both colors run the gamut of shades from bold to pale and warm to cool. Any combination will blend but often looks best when you stick with similar blooms, such as all saturated, warm colors.
How to Garden with the Complementary Colors of Purple and Yellow Green
Layers Add Interest
If you have a tall plant, add dimension with something low-growing. Here, the bright blooms of low-growing perennial Sedum kamtschaticum and annual verbena make a splendid purple and yellow carpet at the feet of tall purple and yellow irises and spiky annual yellow butter and eggs (Linaria vulgaris). If you don’t want butter and eggs to reseed, keep it deadheaded.
When planning your flowerbeds, mix it up a little. Start with tall, spiky foxgloves (shown in pink and light purple) and spires of deep purple delphiniums. Add contrast with rounded shapes, such as yellow roses and nasturtiums. This grouping can easily be changed yearly since the nasturtiums are annuals, the foxgloves are biennials, and delphiniums are short-lived perennials.
Pink for Prettiness
Looking for the perfect partner to go with purple and yellow flowers? Pink always works. Pale yellow daylilies and pastel pink roses give a cool welcome in the foreground. At the same time, warm tones of purple coneflowers, red-purple liatris, purple catmint, and golden black-eyed Susans anchor the back. All prefer a full-sun location.
Accent Colors Add Interest
Some flowers carry color combinations within their structure, such as the Lemon Symphony African daisy, featuring yellow petals ringing a purple center. Play up the purple with a matching nemesia such as ‘Bluebird.” Nemesias and African daisies are cool-weather bloomers that don’t like summer heat. So when temperatures drop in autumn, just trim them back and wait for flowers to reappear.
Thrillers, Fillers, and Spillers
You can’t go wrong with the classic formula for container plants: thrillers (spiky, tall), fillers (midsize, rounded), and spillers (trailing). The blue pot adds depth to this combo because the color is close to purple on the color wheel. The thriller here is angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia) ‘Archangel Dark Rose,’ the filler is yellow marigolds (Tagetes erecta) ‘Durango Yellow,’ and the spiller is purple sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas) ‘Blackie.’ This combination is perfect for adding a pop of purple and yellow to your patio or porch.
These are just a few examples of the many beautiful flower combinations you can create using purple and yellow. Feel free to experiment and mix different flowers to find your favorite combinations. The key is to have fun and let your creativity bloom in your garden!