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Variegated Perennial Plants for the Shade and Sun Garden

Do you think the monochromatic green garden look is so last (growing) season? Are you looking for rare and unusual plants to showcase in your yard? Variegated plants could be the antidote to your all-green garden blues!

A plant is considered to be variegated when white or other colors replace the usual green parts of the leaves. Variegated leaf plants can appear to have a regular pattern or the leaves can have more uneven coloring. You can find a variety of variegated perennials, be they groundcovers like Farfugium japonicum 'Kaimon Drake', an ornamental grass like Arundo donax 'Peppermint Stick', or a cultivar of an agave like Agave lophantha 'Splendida'.

In order to make your variegated perennials really stand out, it helps to plant them against a dark background. Whether it is a green hedge, a grassy field or a stand of trees, the contrast will accent the variegated plants and bring out the uniqueness in the background as well.

While not true for all of variegated plants, they do tend to be less hardy than their all green equivalents. You may notice that the variegated leaf plants suffer more insect damage because of weaker tissue. You should keep an eye on any branches or shoots that emerge solid green. Offsets of variegated perennials tend to revert back to a stronger predecessor. If these branches are removed, it helps maintain variegated leaf integrity.

So add some white, cream, yellow, blue or even red to your yard -- it will make your garden appear to be full of rare and unusual plants that will surely brighten your day!

Welcome to Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. We are a private research and display botanic garden located near Raleigh, North Carolina (USDA Hardiness Zone 7b). Our retail mail order division allows us to make the best plants from our trials available to gardeners around the world, some of which were developed here, some from our plant explorations, and others from breeders around the world. Between 1988 and 2010, Plant Delights Nursery introduced over 500 new plants to US horticulture. In 2002, we were honored to be recognized by the American Horticulture Society for our lifetime of work in commercial horticulture. This image gallery is but a sampling of the great plants available for gardeners around the world. We do not carry all plants pictured at any one time, but since our mission is to educate and inspire, we hope these images and the linked articles below will expand your garden horizons and interest. You will find an array of other interesting information and fascinating plants throughout our website...thank you for taking time to visit.