This year, the Pantone Color Institute has selected Viva Magenta 18-1750 as its color of the year. It is a vibrant relative of the color red and is both powerful and empowering.  Viva Magenta celebrates life and joy, encourages experimentation, and is a stand-out. The color is electrifying and optimistic.  Pantone has said Viva Magenta is "an unconventional shade for an unconventional time”.

According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director, “Viva Magenta descends from the red family and is inspired by the red of cochineal (bug), one of the most precious dyes belonging to the natural dye family as well as one of the strongest and brightest the world has known.”

Using Viva Magenta In The Garden

Since Viva Magenta is a strong color, it is best to use it sparingly and pair it with neutrals, which can enhance the energy of the color. Neutral pieces in a garden or landscape can mean rocks, sand, and soil.

What Goes Best With Viva Magenta?

Viva Magenta is a color that has some warmth and goes well with colors such as soft green or moss. If you are looking for more energy, try it with a darker green with more contrast. If you want a more soothing look, try a softer version of green. This can be done by looking at the foliage of the plants and flowers you have in your garden.  A lighter version of pink is also complementary to this color.

A color combination to avoid with Viva Magenta would be other red hues because seeing all red through your gardening season can overwhelm and fatigue the eye. While you might think this can be bold, it will not give Viva Magenta its due focus. 

Here are some of our favorite Magenta flowers to try in your garden:

Achillea - Achillea, also known as Yarrow, is a flowering perennial plant that grows in many places in the world. The plant is known for its fern-like green-to-gray foliage. The small flowers grow in clusters in a variety of colors. The Achillea flowers grow on a tall stem from one to five feet high. It is used to decorate gardens and their flowers are popular in many flower arrangements. Achillea has been used medicinally for centuries and has a long history of use in various cultures for its healing properties. Achillea has a variety of different species, so its appearance can range from red to orange or yellow to purple.

Amaranthus - This annual goes by names such as Love-Lies-Bleeding and Summer Poinsettia as its magenta flowers resemble that holiday favorite. They grow up to 5 feet tall and make a dramatic statement in a flower border. This flower is native to India where they thrive in warm summer temperatures. They are tolerant of hot, dry soil and the colors are more intense when the soil is not as nutrient-rich. They can also be dried and used in flower arrangements as well.

Flamingo Feather Celosia – This variety of celosia, also known as wheat celosia, is probably one of the prettiest with its delicate feathery plumes. This heat-loving annual plant is easy to grow from seeds. They love the full sun and well-draining soil.  The plant blooms in late spring to fall and grows up to 32 inches. The flower is attractive in the garden and makes a great cut flower. If started indoors the flower seeds need to stay moist and require warm soil to germinate.

Dahlia – Dahlias are considered the most popular garden flowers. They are known for their large attractive blooms. Dahlias are great flowers to grow in your garden. They are beautiful and come in many different colors. They can be grown as annuals or perennials. Dahlias bloom around August to November when the temperature is warmer. It's important to keep them watered through the summer months.  The plant will require at least eight hours of full sunlight each day, which means that it's important not to plant them near trees or other shade-producing plants as this may reduce their light exposure. These cottage garden flowers provide months of cut flowers and color in a summer garden. Marcel Dassault is pictured in the photo, a vibrant decorative dahlia with magenta blooms and dark-green, purple foliage.

Gladiolus – Gladiolus are perennial flowers also known as Sword Lily. The plant produces beautiful fragrant flowers that grow on tall spikes. Their foliage appears as narrow, blade-shaped leaves. Gladiolus flowers come in many colors, the most common being purple, pink, white, and yellow. They grow anywhere from 2-6 inches tall, and they usually bloom between June and August. The plant is native to South Africa, but it is now grown all over the world. It is a long-lasting garden flower that thrives under a variety of soil types, from sand to clay. It prefers well-drained dry soil and full sun or partial shade. The flowers bloom from midsummer to fall and grow commonly in warmer climates. The gladioli photos are Equal Out Sun and Cassis varieties.

Pericallis - Pericallis is an annual flower and is known for its beautiful vibrant flowers.  The flowers are daisy-like and come in a variety of bold colors. These gorgeous blooms flower for weeks.  Pericallis will grow 12 – 24 inches tall and 12 – 18 inches wide.  The plant is great in the garden if you want some early color in late winter and spring. If you live in a cooler location grow them indoors and then bring them outdoors when the temperature is warmer. Pericallis plants are easy to grow.  They flourish in full or partial sun and perform best in rich, slightly moist soil.  These plants are heat sensitive so plant them early when it is cooler out.  They do not like frost so protect them if you know a cold snap is coming. When the soil is dry, water them.  Hot summer weather will stop their flowering.  If you plant them in containers, use potting soil. Hardiness zones 9 – 12. The photo highlights Baby Senetti Magenta Pericallis.

Photo Acknowledgements:

Flamingo Feather Celosia - courtesy of Jill Mazur

Dahlia and Gladioli – courtesy of iBulb

Pericallis- courtesy of Suntory Flowers

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