Skip to main content

Focus on color: yellow plants that will bring sunny cheer to your garden

Yellow plants are gorgeous, especially when they’re bright, perky, and not on the brink of death. Yup—while the color yellow is notoriously an indicator for overwatered, sunburned, or otherwise suffering leaves, many trees, shrubs, and tropical houseplants come with naturally yellow blooms and variegations! If you’re looking to brighten up your darkest days with a pop of golden foliage, keep reading ahead for our top yellow plant recommendations.

Winter jasmine
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Winter jasmine

Winter jasmine, an elegant deciduous shrub that comes from China, flaunts fragrant yellow blooms that emerge in late winter, allowing you to enjoy flowers even when it’s not the growing season for most plants. The leaves are somewhat small, so you may notice it looking ever so slightly sparse come summertime. This plant, hardy to zones six through 11, does well in many environments. You can keep it in the shade and relatively poor soil and still see it flourish, whether you have it on the ground or up a trellis.

Stella daylily

The golden Stella daylily features arching grass-like leaves and beautiful star flowers that can rebloom from May through October. It grows prolifically and requires little maintenance, making it a common landscaping flower. In particular, it’s deer and drought resistant, so you won’t need to fuss over it too often. When it comes to light, the Stella daylily prefers full sun, but it will appreciate shade on hot afternoons. On the note of climate zones, it’s hardy from zones three through 10, doing well in a wide range of temperatures.

Lady's mantle
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Lady’s mantle

The lady’s mantle features dainty yellow blooms and scalloped green leaves that make it a stunning landscaping plant—though it’ll also happily live in containers. It doesn’t need to be tended very often and features a long lifespan; just make sure to clean up spent blooms and brown leaves to avoid pests. Lady’s mantle can tolerate poor soil, although you’ll definitely want to water it on hot days and keep it in partial shade to prevent leaf scorch. Most varieties of lady’s mantle are perennial to climate zones four through seven, where it’s grown next to trees.

Banana croton

Crotons typically feature some combination of deep green leaves with yellow, orange, and red splashes. The banana croton, however, features all yellow variegation on its thin, upright leaves. Outside, it can become a shrub, but you can keep it relatively compact indoors. As with any croton, the banana croton prefers bright indirect light to maintain its vivid color. What you don’t want to do is leave it by a drafty heater or air conditioning unit—otherwise, its leaves may droop and fall off. Allow your plant to dry out in between waterings.

Yellow archangel
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Yellow archangel

Part of the mint family, the yellow archangel flaunts delicate yellow blooms in addition to variegated leaves with silver flecks. In the shade, it spreads prolifically, which makes it a go-to plant for landscapes—although, in some areas, it’s actually considered an invasive species. While it’s mainly used as a groundcover, it can also trail and climb in containers. Hardy in zones four through nine, the archangel prefers warm temperatures but partial shade, as too much sunlight can burn its fragile foliage. You won’t need to fertilize your yellow archangel, but you can add compost to your soil once during the growing season.

Golden chain tree

Hardy in zones five through seven, the relatively rare golden chain tree, or laburnum tree, yields golden panicles that resemble wisteria. Lovely as this plant may be, its fragrant blooms are toxic for humans and animals, so keep that in mind when you handle it. This tree can do well with partial or full sun and tolerates relatively poor soil, though it needs acidic soil in the spring. It also requires some maintenance to retain its beautiful form. When it comes to watering, water it consistently but never let the soil become overly moist. When it’s young, its leaves should also be pruned so that it can stay bushy and resist winter damage.

Yellow doesn’t always have to mean troubled leaves! To match the golden hues of summer days or brighten up overcast winter weather, plant foliage that flaunts naturally yellow leaves and blooms. From the hardy winter jasmine to the bold banana croton, there’s no shortage of yellow plants to add cheer to your garden.

Editors' Recommendations

Stacey Nguyen
Stacey's work has appeared on sites such as POPSUGAR, HelloGiggles, Buzzfeed, The Balance, TripSavvy, and more. When she's…
What you need for a gorgeous indoor rose plant
Grow an indoor rose garden for a lively and elegant display
Several orange miniature roses in a large pot

Roses are beautiful, elegant flowers, but they’re also typically grown as outdoor blooms. They can take up a lot of space and have a reputation for being somewhat particular about their care. So what should you do if you have limited space to grow plants, or if the weather isn’t compatible with growing roses? Grow them indoors, of course! Here's everything you need to know to care for an indoor rose plant.

Can you grow roses inside?
Yes, you absolutely can! Revitalize your indoor garden with a bounty of roses. Roses will grow just as well indoors as they would outdoors, as long as you take proper care of them. Here are the basics of rose care and how they’re impacted by the change of scenery.
Light is very important for roses. Most rose varieties need roughly six hours of direct sunlight a day. For indoor roses, make sure they have plenty of light or look for a variety that specifically grows in lower light. Grow lights will be crucial if your home doesn't get a lot of natural lighting.
When watering your roses, make sure that the top inch of the soil is dry before you water, but don’t let the soil dry out completely. You also want to keep an eye out for the humidity. If the air isn’t humid enough, your rose may develop a spider mite infestation! You can place your rose in a tray with just a little water in it, which creates more humidity around the plant as the water evaporates. There is, of course, also the option of investing in a humidifier.
Roses are not very fond of the cold. They need temperatures ranging from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to be comfortable. However, you can start your roses in January or February — the seeds should be just fine with this timing. The soil will keep them warm in late winter, and you should see sprouts by spring.
Roses do need to be pruned, and this is especially true of indoor roses. Pruning keeps them healthy and from taking up too much room. Simply clip faded blooms off with sharp garden shears or a blade.

Read more
How to make sure your garden is set up to transition from summer to fall
How to get your garden ready for fall
Blooming perennial flower garden along a walkway

Taking care of a vegetable or flower garden during spring and summer is fairly straightforward, as long as you know what your plants need. The transition from spring to summer is simple, too. Preparing your garden for fall can take a bit longer, though, as you'll need to start fortifying your garden against cold weather. It can feel overwhelming if you aren't sure where to start, but don't worry! This simple guide on how to transition your garden from summer to fall will walk you through each step. You can even use it as a checklist to make sure you're fully prepared.

When should you begin transitioning your garden?
Depending on the climate zone you live in, you can begin to transition your garden from summer to fall from July to September. In general, you should start your preparations before the nights get too cold. In addition to your local weather forecasts, the plants in your yard and garden can provide valuable information about the changing seasons. Many summer fruits and vegetables are ready to harvest during the transitional stage, and you should begin seeing a few leaves changing color as well. This is a good indicator that it's time to start your preparations.

Read more
This is the absolute best time of day to water your vegetable garden
Tips and tricks for watering your vegetables correctly
watering a raised garden bed with a watering can

When you’ve worked hard to create a beautiful garden, the last thing you want is to lose plants due to drought stress. Watering may seem like an intuitive task that you can’t get wrong, but that’s not true. In fact, many professional growers allow employees to only water after they’ve been thoroughly trained, and even then they're closely supervised. There is a right way to water, and it starts with timing. So, when is the best time to water your vegetable garden?

Generally speaking, you want to water your vegetable garden in the morning. And although it may seem like a silly thing to say, the second best time to water a vegetable garden is whenever it is dry. Let’s take a look at why morning watering is best, what happens if you water at other times of the day, and how to minimize the amount of time you spend keeping your garden hydrated.

Read more