The nine plants on this list all have amazing colors, not from their flowers, but from their leaves. The colors range from white to black with striking reds, orange and silver blue in between. And it’s not just the color that makes these plants such good value, but also the shape and texture of the leaves. These nine foliage plants are described by Marianne Lipanovich in her article which I found on the Houzz website.
With foliage colors ranging from black to white, and pretty much every hue and variation in between, annuals and perennials can provide your garden with spring-to-fall color that won’t fade when your summer flowers stop blooming. Better yet, they combine their eye-catching colors with intriguing foliage shapes and textures, including some that can give gardens in some of the coldest regions a tropical vibe.
Listed below are nine easy-care plants that can be planted from seeds, seedlings and cuttings this spring, and they’ll soon be brightening up your landscape. Use them to fill a container, add punch to a garden bed or border or create a larger-than-life accent.1. Black Mondo Grass
(Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’)
Black mondo grass may be compact, but its matte-black foliage makes it a larger-than-life garden star. This perennial grass-like plant, which is also known as black lilyturf, is easy to grow, cold-hardy, drought-tolerant and produces small lavender flowers in summer and berries in fall. It only reaches about a foot tall, thanks to its drooping 15-inch-long leaves, and spreads to about a foot.Choose a spot in full sun to partial shade with well-drained, humus-rich soil. Provide regular water and some shade in the hottest summer climates. Remove old foliage in late winter or early spring and divide every few years in early spring. Protect from snails and slugs.
(Caladium bicolor)This American native adds a tropical element to a garden, thanks to its foliage, which is splotched with shades of white, silver, pink, rose, red, bronze or green. Choose a spot with shade or filtered sunlight and rich, well-drained soil. Plant tubers point-side up about 1 to 1½ inches deep and 8 to 14 inches apart. Feed with a slow-release, high-nitrogen fertilizer. Keep the soil moist and mulch to preserve moisture. Dig and store in fall or grow as an annual.
3. Japanese Painted Fern
(Athyrium niponicum var. pictum)Green may be the traditionally accepted color for ferns, but the Japanese painted fern proves that’s not a given. Its finely divided fronds are gray and burgundy, although you still may spot a bit of green on the plant. This fern adds brightness and unexpected color to a shady spot in your garden. Even better, it has few insects and pests and can handle both the cold and wet feet (roots). Its fronds appear in mid-spring and will still look fresh in fall.