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Combination Ideas

Creating successful combinations can be a puzzling situation. Will the plants grow well together? What are the most popular colors?
Will home gardeners like the combination once you’ve spent weeks growing it?

Here are some simple tips to creating successful combinations.

1. Pay Attention to the Color Trends Predicted by Experts

Predicting the future is a difficult job, but the “Color of the Year” from Pantone has been an excellent guide for our industry recently. Years of surveys have revealed purple to be a favorite color for gardeners, and this year Pantone chose a shade that fits right in. Pantone describes Ultra Violet as “inventive and imaginative.” What could be a better description or color trend for gardening?

Check out these varieties that bring Ultra Violet to life…
Superbells® Blue Moon Punch™
Superbells® Holy Smokes!™
Lil’ Forest™ Plum
Laguna® Ultraviolet™
Soprano® Purple
Supertunia® Royal Velvet®
Supertunia® Violet Star Charm
Intensia® Blueberry
Rockin’® Deep Purple
Superbena Sparkling® Amethyst
Dolce® ‘Wildberry’
Sweet Romance®
Pugster Blue®
Bloomerang® Dark Purple


Color of the Year

2. Track Winning Combinations

Four Star’s bar code tracking of retail sales gives accurate data on real buyers’ preferences. This information can help you plan for solid 2019 sales by growing the most popular combinations.

Here are the Top 15 combinations from Spring 2018:

  1. Party Time
  2. Irresistible
  3. Above & Beyond
  4. Bermuda Skies
  5. Thinking Out Loud
  6. Chippewa Hotel
  7. Home of the Brave
  8. Grand Traverse
  9. Dramatic Dragon
  10. Belle Ambition
  11. Spark of Life
  12. Bahama Beach
  13. Rakish Ruby
  14. Lilac Festival
  15. Banana Split

To see what varieties are in our best selling combinations, go to and download the Hanging Basket and Upright Combination PDFs.

Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls

3. Grow Proven Winners® Nationally Promoted Recipes

Take advantage of Proven Winners national advertising and millions of marketing impressions by growing one or all of the 2019 recipes.

Grand Traverse Irresistible Pumpkin Spice Latte

Grand Traverse:
Supertunia® Black Cherry®
Supertunia® Bordeaux™
Supertunia Vista® Fuchsia

Superbells® Yellow
Laguna® Ultraviolet™
Sunsatia® Blood Orange™

Pumpkin Spice Latte:
Sunsatia® Blood Orange™
Supertunia® Latte™
Superbena® Royale Plum Wine

Sparkle and Glow Backyard BBQ  

Sparkle and Glow:
Superbells® Grape Punch™
Laguna® Ultraviolet™
Superbena Sparkling® Amethyst

Strawberry Sauce:
Superbells® Strawberry Punch™
Laguna® White
Superbena® Royale Romance



Previous nationally promoted combinations continue to have excellent sales at retail. Don’t forget to continue to grow Above & Beyond, Bahama Beach and Bermuda Skies, which continue to be best sellers.

4. Give Customers the Colors They Love

What is their favorite flower color?



5. Select Varieties using Vigor Ratings

Choose varieties with the same vigor rating to ensure all plants will grow at the same rate.



Napa Twilight:
SUPERTUNIA® Bordeaux – Vigor 3
SUPERBELLS® Cherry Red – Vigor 3
SUPERBELLS® White – Vigor 3



6. Mix Traditional Annuals Combinations

Who doesn’t love surprises? Creative growers are introducing non-traditional elements to make combinations more versatile for home gardeners with evolving tastes. Mixing in perennials, shrubs, tropical, even herbs and vegetables, can add value for gardeners interested in getting more out of their combinations.





Thank Me Later:
Lady Godiva™ Orange
Lady Godiva™ Yellow

Thank Me Later


7. Don’t forget combinations for the shade!

Combinations with shade-loving varieties continue to grow in popularity, especially when retailers highlight them with P.O.P.  Many new varieties have been developed to thrive in both sun and shade, and are ideal for both hanging baskets and upright containers.




Dramatic Dragon:
Dragon Wing® Pink
Sunpatiens® Compact Royal Magenta
ColorBlaze® Strawberry Drop

Dramatic Dragon