Home landscapes can reflect Barbie movie

Published 11:29 am Monday, August 14, 2023

By Eddie Smith
MSU Extension Service

The new Barbie movie has been a popular topic lately, and pink seems to be showing up everywhere we turn. If you’re a fan of the doll or the movie, try some pink in your landscape.

Although Barbie’s pink world is plastic, a landscape celebrating pink can be full of life and pollinators. Plants with pink on them are eye-catching in the landscape, and here are some you may want to consider including in your landscape or garden.

With its beautiful, bright pink flowers that cover dense, green foliage, it is no wonder that Supertunia Vista Bubblegum was selected a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2012. Complementary dark pink lines on the flower petals lead to the dark pink eye in the center.

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This is not a forgettable plant — its mounding growth habit can reach up to 2 feet tall. Mass-planted in the landscape, Vista Bubblegum creates a pink ground cover. In a planter, I love the way the plants sprawl out over the edges like a cascading, pink waterfall.

Another good choice are caladiums, which have many varieties with pink on their leaves. The dark pink veins and splotches of light pink with green edges really stand out in part sun and shade.

A few caladium varieties to try include Tickle Me Pink, Clowning Around, Hot 2 Trot, Hot Flash, Bottle Rocket and Dawn to Dusk.

Caladiums cannot tolerate cold weather and are considered annuals in most of Mississippi. Dig up the tubers in the fall and save them to plant next year. Brush soil off the tubers, remove any foliage and store them in a cool, dry place.

Truffula Pink gomphrena, also known as globe amaranth, is an annual that shows off an abundance of hot-pink flowers. It performs well in our hot and humid climate, blooming all season long.

This gomphrena makes great cut flowers because of its long vase life. It is also a good dried flower for floral arrangements.

Cleome, also known as spider flower, is another plant with pink flowers. Its common name comes from the long, thread-like stamens of the individual flowers and the elongated seedpods that develop below the blooming flowers.

The regular variety of cleome can grow to 6 feet tall, but there are dwarf varieties available. Older cleome cultivars reseed themselves, but newer hybrids are sterile and do not produce viable seeds.

Senorita Rosalita and Senorita Mi Amor are two cultivars with pink flowers that bees and butterflies love. These cultivars do not reseed themselves, are not sticky and do not usually have thorns.

And don’t forget Purple Heart spiderwort. This beauty’s purple foliage creates the perfect backdrop for its small, pink flowers to shine.

Also look for the new spiderwort cultivar Proven Accents Purple Queen in garden centers this year. This is a low-maintenance perennial groundcover in zones 8 and warmer. Once established, it can tolerate drought conditions but thrives with regular watering.

Pink plants can make beautiful additions to your landscape and keep your yard on trend this summer.