There are few pleasures that gardeners look forward to more than the first flowers of spring. After the bloom fades, all that's left is the foliage. However, the foliage can come in an endless array of colors.
By Janet Loughrey, special to HGTV.comMore in Outdoors
Plant breeders usually first notice variegation in a "sport," a mutant offshoot of a branch that is different from the original plant. The abnormal distribution of chlorophyll that creates the odd colorization can be a happy accident or the result of a virus, mineral deficiency or environmental stress. Variegation interferes with a plant's ability to photosynthesize because there's less chlorophyll in the leaves, so the resulting varieties are generally less vigorous and produce fewer blooms. Some, particularly those with white or yellow foliage, can burn if exposed to full sun or cold winds. The intensity of foliage color can vary according to the amount of sun or shade. Those with purple, yellow or brown leaves have the best coloring in full sun. White or creamy hues perform best in shade. Not all sports are garden-worthy. Some have a tendency to "revert," or return back to their more vigorous parent. With those that exhibit occasional reversion, the green leaves or branches can simply be trimmed out to prevent the entire plant from turning back to green.
Blog Cabin 2015: Chris's Take (00:01:53)
Stone Fireplace Surround (05:32)
Build a Reclaimed Wood Cabinet (00:01:00)
Football Cave (00:20:01)
Indoor/Outdoor Lounge (20:00)
Step 1: Choose the Right Size (00:33)
Building Elegant Box Beams (02:39)
Sew a Duvet Cover (02:07)
On-the-Go Travel Humidifier (00:01:10)
Flooring Options (01:31)
Chalkboard Paint Ideas for the Kitchen 11 Photos
Colorful Bathroom Designs You'll Love 25 Photos
Photo Gallery: Types of Bricks 7 Photos
Small Bathroom Storage Solutions 8 Photos
20 Stylish Bathroom Storage Ideas 20 Photos
How to Add Outlets 8 Photos
© 2014 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.