Skip to main content

2018 Color of the Year – Ultra Violet

2018 Color of the Year – Ultra Violet, Acreage Insights for January 2018,
Proven Winner's 'Angelface Super Blue' Angelonia, also known as summer snapdragon, brings a beautiful touch of ultra-violet to any garden.

Pantone, the world-renowned authority on color, each year selects a Color of the Year. Greenery, nature’s neutral - a fresh, zesty yellow green - was featured in 2017, but for 2018 they have selected Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple. Pantone forecasts global color trends and their Color of the Year is a symbolic color selection, representing a snapshot of our global culture that serves as an expression of mood and attitude.

Industries such as fashion, cosmetics, interior design, housewares and many more, follow Pantone color trends, so rest assured you will see plenty of purple this year. Even at the garden center, where purple has long been a popular color.

Pantone describes this year’s color as complex and contemplative, “suggesting the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead… Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Historically, purple has a mystical or spiritual quality…refuge from today’s over-stimulated world.”

Using Ultra Violet in the Garden
How can you create gardens using this year’s color, aside from the classic purple and yellow combination? Here are some quick color tips from Pantone, which can be viewed on their website as complementary color swatches. Use your imagination to decide how you can pair these colors, using both plant material and hardscape elements like containers, gazing balls, trellises and patio furniture. Remember to consider your house color as part of the total effect.

  • Calming purple haze - combine ultra violet with lighter and darker purples, both blue and red based tones, grey containers, hazy light teal blue and gray-gold
  • Playful kindred spirits - pair various shades of purple and pink for an engaging, sweet combination
  • Elegant drama queen – pair show-stopping saturated colors like ultra violet, fuchsia pink and chili pepper with rich earth toned hardscape elements in dark grey brown or golden bronze
  • Zesty attitude – combine bright saturated colors that scream “look at me” with deep golden yellow, orange, bright raspberry, ultra violet, intense Hawaiian surf blue
  • Desert sunset – recreate this beautiful scene with soft gold, deep peach, ultra violet, hot pink, lavender and copper

Plant Suggestions
What plants bring the color Ultra Violet to your garden? It’s easiest to add punches of color with annuals but there are perennial options, too. Here are a few examples available through Proven Winners. But remember, this is not a complete list; there are many great plants that can add the color Ultra Violet to your garden, I just can’t list them all!


  • Angelonia ‘Angelface Super Blue’, Summer snapdragon
  • Browallia ‘Endless Illumination’, Bush violet
  • Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Grape Punch’, Million bells
  • Lobelia ‘Lucia Ultraviolet’
  • Petunia ‘Supertunia Mini Blue’
  • Salvia ‘Cathedral Deep Blue’, Mealy-cup sage
  • Verbena ‘Lanai Blue’, Bedding Verbena
  • Verbena ‘Superbena Large Lilac Blue, Bedding Verbena


  • Buddleia ‘Miss Violet’, Butterfly bush
  • Heuchera ‘Dolce Blackberry Ice’, Coral Bells
  • Heuchera ‘Dolce Wildberry’, Coral Bells
  • Veronica ‘Magic Show Enchanted Indigo’, Spike speedwell
  • Veronica ‘Magic Show Purple Illusion’, Spike speedwell
Sarah Browning
Sarah Browning
Extension Educator, Horticulture & Urban Agriculture
Sarah focusses on environmental horticulture, fruit & vegetable production and food safety. Working with the general public and commercial green industry professionals, her major program goals include conserving water, protecting water quality, promoting local food production and protecting human health.

Contact Sarah at:
Lancaster County Extension
444 Cherrycreek Rd Ste A
Lincoln NE 68528-1591