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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

The “Color of the Year” from Pantone has embodied the spirit of the modern consumer from fashion to home decorating. For 2019, Pantone chose Living Coral, a color that “embodies our desire for playful expression.” For gardeners looking to express themselves in a lighthearted color like Living Coral, try these varieties:

Illumination® Salmon Pink Begonia
Nonstop® Deep Salmon Begonia
San Francisco™ Begonia
Heart to Heart™ ‘Chinook’ Caladium
Superbells® Coralina Calibrachoa
Toucan® Coral Canna
Rockapulco® Coral Reef Impatiens
Infinity® Salmon New Guinea Impatiens
Supertunia® Bermuda Beach® Petunia
Superbena Royale® Peachy Keen Verbena
Primo® ‘Peachberry Ice’ Heuchera


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 2020 sales by growing the most popular combinations.

Here are the Top 20 combinations from Spring 2019:

  1. Above & Beyond
  2. Taste of the Tropics
  3. Sunset Dream
  4. Beach Blanket Bingo
  5. Gypsy
  6. Lilac Festival
  7. Blind Love
  8. Grand Traverse
  9. Sparkle and Glow
  10. Candyland
  11. Thinking Out Loud
  12. Chippewa Hotel
  13. Salzburg Shadow
  14. Peppermint Twist
  15. Grape Fusion
  16. Belle Ambition
  17. Fairy Fun
  18. Bahama Beach
  19. Rocket’s Red Glare
  20. Flashbulb Fuchsia

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



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 2020 recipes.

Fruit Salad Gloria Rose Neptune

Fruit Salad
Superbells® Grape Punch™
Superbells® Lemon Slice®
Superbena Royale® Iced Cherry

Gloria Rose
Diamond Frost®
Hippo® Rose
Rockapulco® Rose

Superbells® Yellow Chiffon™
Laguna® Sky Blue
Superbena® Stormburst

Storm Shadow Sunglasses  

Storm Shadow
Fairy Dust® Pink
Supertunia® Bordeaux™
Superbena® Stormburst

Superbells® Yellow
Supertunia® Mini Vista Hot Pink
Supertunia® Lovie Dovie™



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?

Color Preference


5. Select Varieties using Vigor Ratings

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



Fairy Fun
Superbells® Evening Star™ - Vigor 3
Fairy Dust® Pink – Vigor 3
Superbena® Stormburst – Vigor 3

Fairy Fun


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