It has a sunshine-like glow to it, no matter what the weather. It also grows with the greatest of ease in sunny situations just about anywhere where frosts aren’t severe, forms a dense, ground covering bush that no weeds can penetrate once it’s established, and is decidedly handsome. All of which goes to explain why Coleonema ‘Sunset Gold’ has remained one of New Zealand’s top selling shrubs for more than a decade.
It’s often seen planted in big groups where low maintenance is the priority and it certainly is a plant which thrives on neglect, seldom needing any attention at all to keep it looking good. Just the sort of thing to use for roadside plantings and beside driveways so that when you arrive home there’s never the feeling that the garden’s needing attention, rather it’s looking after itself, and looking good.
The strong yellow colour can be striking as a contrast with other bright colours. It can also be part of a sophisticated looking garden featuring handsome foliage plants. Try it as a ground cover beneath something of highly dramatic form, such as the tall stemmed Yucca elephantipes or the amazing tree succulent Aloe bainesii.
Where a more traditional look is required, grow Coleonema ‘Sunset Gold’ so it covers the ground beneath a row of upright evergreen trees such as Magnolia ‘Little Gem’ or Gordonia ‘Moonlight Magic’. Both are excellent as screens on a boundary.
For a casual looking, low maintenance border, mingle ‘Sunset Gold’ with groups of NZ natives such as Corokia ‘Frosted Chocolate’, dark flaxes (Phormium) such as ‘Merlot’ and ‘Black Rage’ and green or bronze red Cordylines such as ‘Emerald Goddess’ and ‘Midnight Star’ or the well known and much loved Cordyline australis, the iconic cabbage tree.
Blue flowers look stunning with golden-yellow foliage. There’s much fun to be had with a planting of Dichroa ‘Blue Sapphires’, Ceanothus ‘Joyce Coulter’ and Plumbago ‘Royal Cape’ with several plants of Coleonema ‘Sunset Gold’. Add a foreground planting of the all summer flowering Convolvulus mauritanicus, which is a beautiful blue flowered groundcover without the invasive tendencies of some of its relatives, and you will have a garden scene that’s bound to please.