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Peachy Blooms

How to add Pantone’s ‘Peach Fuzz’ to your plantings

Think about a sweet, fuzzy summer peach, a hue between pink and orange—that’s “Peach Fuzz,” Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2024.

As curator of plant collections at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I immediately began thinking of how to wrap this refreshing color into outdoor spaces and containers. According to Pantone, the global color authority, Peach Fuzz evokes kindness and tenderness, and communicates a message of community and collaboration.

A playful color

Pantone Color of the Year – Peach Fuzz

In my book, that means peach-y plants that are pollinator friendly and play well with the rest of your blooms. Terracotta is a fantastic companion, so basic pottery can look luxurious next to Peach Fuzz. If you’re a minimalist, stick to one kind of plant per container. If not, try combining multiple kinds of plants per pot, thoughtfully playing with color and texture.

Gray is stylish with Peach Fuzz, so silver-leaved plants make wonderful companions, maybe with white blooms in between for a subdued look. Incorporating darker pink and orange with Peach Fuzz creates a harmonious blend of colors. Burgundy, purple, or caramel-colored foliage would also pair well with peach blooms.

Jacob Burns

Jacob Burns, curator of plant collections

 

Here are a few of my favorite peach-colored plants:

Achillea ‘Firefly Peach Sky’ Yarrow – Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens

Achillea               
‘Firefly Peach Sky’               
Yarrow

With flat flower heads, yarrow is the perfect perennial for spiky or globe-shaped companions. It’s a taller perennial, 32 to 36 inches, and blooms throughout summer. This plant likes well-drained soil and plenty of sun. It’s pollinator friendly and deer deterring.

Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens

Agastache ‘Queen Nectarine’ (Meant to Bee)
Hyssop

Agastache               
‘Queen Nectarine’               
(MEANT TO BEE)               
Hyssop

This hybrid hyssop is a real pollinator magnet, blooming all summer. It’s a beefy plant, reaching 2 to 3 feet tall, but likely smaller in a container. Many hyssops are not hardy in the Chicago area, but this one is a true perennial. Just give it lots of sun and well-drained soil. Deer won’t eat this.

Canna ‘Apricot Frost’ Canna – Photo courtesy of Devroomen Garden Products

Canna               
‘Apricot Frost’               
Canna

Cannas will grow 40 inches tall but remain shorter in containers. They prefer full sun and soil that remains moist. The plants are not hardy, but overwintering the rhizomes in a cool, dark space above 40 degrees Fahrenheit allows you to reuse them year after year. They can attract problematic Japanese beetles.

Photo courtesy of Devroomen Garden Products

 

Coreopsis ‘Novcocar' (CRÈME CARAMEL)Coreopsis

Coreopsis               
‘Novcocar’               
(CRÈME CARAMEL)               
Coreopsis

Consider this a short-lived perennial, maybe three years of vigor, but with non-stop blooms. Each plant reaches 18 inches in height when given full sun and well-drained soil. Foliage is lacy and delicate and doesn’t show signs of mildew like some other hybrids.

Heuchera ‘Carnival Peach Parfait’
Alumroot – Photo courtesy of Darwin Perennials

Heuchera               
‘Carnival Peach Parfait’               
Alumroot

Silver features and orange veins produce incredible peachy leaves on this alumroot. The mounding 10- to 12-inch plant will produce elegant white flowers on 18-inch stems. If you provide afternoon shade and well-drained soil, this plant is effortless. Deer might browse it in the winter.

Photo courtesy of Darwin Perennials

Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Wizard Coral Sunrise’ Coleus – Photo courtesy of PanAmerican Seed

Solenostemon scutellarioides               
‘Wizard Coral Sunrise’               
Coleus

This plant is a familiar annual that provides vibrant foliage in many shapes and sizes. Coleus grows 12 to 14 inches tall, and prefers moist soil, along with some afternoon shade. I’d recommend removing the weaker flowers at summer’s end to encourage richer foliage.

Photo courtesy of PanAmerican Seed

Verbena × hybrida 'Lan Peachy' Verbena

Verbena × hybrida               
 ‘Lan Peachy’               
(Lanai Peach)               
Verbena

This long-blooming annual is perfect for attracting butterflies. Verbena has a trailing habit, so it works great in hanging baskets and spilling out of containers. It works at the edge of your garden too, since it only gets 6 to 10 inches tall and 16 to 20 inches wide. This plant thrives in full sun and is tolerant of drought.

 

Location tips

Peach Fuzz is supposed to incite calm and coziness, so concentrating this color in places that you frequent most makes the greatest sense—in containers on a patio or balcony, for instance, or planted near a bench.