Choose plants that are adapted for the soils and climate we have here in Kansas. Instead of flowers, you may want to plant some colorful foliage.
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Planting Bright, Colorful Foliage

You might be aware of some of the new trends in gardening. And one of those new trends we’re finding in flower beds actually has nothing to do with the flowers. It’s a group of plants we now plant for their bright colorful foliage, like these coleus. As you can see, we can go from the red, or this coleus with a golden brown color. Notice that here we also have this green to yellow margin on it. While this one has great color, this plant provides it’s own contrast from the dark to the bright on the same plant. So, it stands out even more in the landscape.

This is a great one. But if you use it, you’ll need to plant something light and dark with it. These are both new sun coleus. They’ll grow equally as well in full sun here in Kansas, as they will in the shade. However, if you go into full sun, you’ll want to plant them a little closer together so that they protect each other, and give some wind protection. It’s something you want to look at. So, there’s a whole new trend of bright, colorful plants.

Many of you know the green leaf sweet potato vine. It started the trend, and now there are many other ones in that category.

This feature story prepared with Alan Stevens, retired Kansas State University Research and Extension State Leader, Horticulture. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at


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