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Create an Inviting Entry With a Splash of Color


Succulent container with ‘Sticks on Fire’ Euphorbia with Elephant’s Food succulent in a colorful container.

The entry of your home is the place that gives guests their first preview of what lies beyond the doors. If the front of your house is rather dull and colorless, the same might be expected for the inside.  One of the standard principles of landscape design is adding color to a home’s entry that is attractive to the eye and inviting to visitors, and it’s easy to create an inviting entrance with a splash of color.

Gopher plant (Euphorbia biglandulosa) and Parry’s penstemon (Penstemon parryi) add lovely color along the entry path of an Arizona home.

Color can be added in a variety of ways, and plants are a great way to do this.  By placing smaller, colorful plants along the entry path, we create an inviting gateway to the front door for guests.  Arrange plants in groups of 3, or more, for maximum impact. Putting large rocks (boulders) next to plants adds another attractive element, as it creates contrasting shape and texture alongside plants.

Angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) blooms throughout the year in zone 9 gardens.

It’s important to use plants that are attractive through most of the year as the entry is a high-profile area where people can see plants up close. Plants that work well along entryways are those resistant to frost damage, which include angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis), blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum), ‘Blue Elf’ aloe (Aloe x ‘Blue Elf’), and golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) to name a few.

‘Blue Elf’ aloe adds a splash of cool-season color that lasts into mid-spring.

For color throughout the year, select plants with overlapping seasons like damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana) and penstemon (Penstemon spp.) for cool-season interest and lantana (Lantana spp.) for vibrant blooms spring through fall.

Red geraniums (Pelargonium x horotorum) planted with trailing white bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) greet visitors along the entry to this Southwestern home.

Flowering annuals have long been a favorite way to create colorful interest alongside the entry to a home. They can be switched out seasonally and changed from year to year, building a new look to outdoor spaces.

Succulents like elephant’s food (Portulacaria afra) can grow in shady entry areas.

Adding color to shady entry areas can be especially challenging, as few plants flower in the shade. One way to get around this is to place a colorful pot in a vibrant shade of blue. The color comes from the container, which can be planted with shade-loving succulents such as elephant’s food (Portulacaria afra), or a leafy green plant like cast iron (Aspidistra elatior). If you don’t want the task of watering your pot, you can avoid using plants and fill it with decorative bamboo stakes or curly willow branches from your local craft store. Dried flowering agave stalks or ocotillo canes make an excellent filler for colorful pots with a Southwestern flair.

A colorful chair creates a welcoming atmosphere on a front porch in Tucson.

Entry areas with a porch allow for other ways to introduce color. Select a bench in your favorite bright color or place colorful pillows on the chairs of a small bistro set to decorate the front of your house, which will create instant interest and is an easy way to add appeal to your outdoor space.

Blue containers add welcome color when filled with plants prized for their foliage.

By using one, or more, of these colorful tips, you’ll be able to create an inviting entry with a splash of color that will increase the curb appeal of your home while welcoming guests.

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2 comments on “Create an Inviting Entry With a Splash of Color

  1. Haylen Brokars

    Noelle I recently put some Angelonia and blue Salvia in pots to add color to the entryway. They were enjoying the sun/shade but do not seem to like the increasing temperatures. Do you recommend taking pots inside during heat waves??

    • Noelle Johnson

      Hi Haylen,

      If your pots are somewhat small (less than 16″ wide and deep), the hot air temperatures in summer, will literally ‘cook’ their roots. Afternoon sun can be tough for them to handle. You don’t want to bring them in and outdoors in summer as the change in temperatures will make it more difficult for them. Provide a place for them outdoors where they can get afternoon shade and don’t let them dry out. This may mean that they need to be watered daily. If they are still suffering than I would recommend planting a different warm-season annual such as vinca.

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