Add brilliant splashes of non-stop color to your garden with an array
of sensational foliage plants. Foliage, like flowers, comes in a
kaleidoscope of colors from pinks, reds, and purples to yellow, acid
green and silver and each leaf is a work of art. Mix and match them
with flowering plants for beautiful results.
Instant Color that Lasts all Summer Long
As soon as you add them to containers and flower borders, they go to work
filling your garden with lasting color.
Flowering plants shine during their blooming cycle, but then fade into the
background until they bloom again. Foliage plants start out strong and just
get bigger and better as they grow and fill out through the summer with no
spent flowers to deadhead.
Create Depth and Interest
Dark foliage plants create a sense of depth and shadow in a flowerbed, giving
the design more dimension and interest.
More Texture, Shape and Form
Along with fabulous leaf color, plant breeders have created an amazing array
of foliage shapes and textures: spiny, fuzzy, waxy, serrated, and glossy, to
name a few. Some varieties add architectural elements by the way they grow.
Unlike some fussy flowering plants, many of the foliage varieties are the real
workhorses in the garden. Plant them in the right growing conditions and they
will thrive with little care.
Some foliage plants are so vigorous they can almost take over a flower border or
container. But that can be just what you need when you want to cover large areas
in vivid color.
Five Great Foliage Plants
Here is a selection of foliage plants that I have grown with great success in
my garden. Check with your local garden center for those best suited for your
There are a great number of fantastic coleus varieties available. Look for both upright and cascading forms
in a wide array of patterns, leaf shapes and colors. The plants grow quickly in full sun to partial shade.
Great for containers and flower borders.
‘Marguerite’ Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas)
Long luxurious vines of lime-green to bright yellow-green foliage make this a great contrast plant for any
garden. This plant is effective as an annual groundcover, growing only 6 inches tall but 3 feet long. Try it
in containers, tumbling out of hanging baskets and potted planters.
Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus)
Darkly dramatic, this plant’s deep purple leaves coated in a metallic silver sheen add an intriguing luster
when combined with other full to partial sun flowering plants. Grow Persian shield with purple, burgundy or
Silvery fernlike leaves make it a good choice for filling and highlighting a border, blending strong colors
in a container, or as a low hedge along a walkway. The leaves deeply cut lobes have the look of antique silver
filigree. It is a perennial that thrives in heat and well-drained soil.
Golden Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’)
The electric green strands with small round to kidney shaped leaves act as a colorful "live wire"
that gets the party going in any plant combination. Low and cascading, it is a perennial that enjoys full sun
to partial shade conditions.