Actual topic

Variegated perennials

Continuation. The beginning is in the article Variegated trees and shrubs.

Periwinkle "Golden-motley" - an unsurpassed periwinkle variety. Has a rare combination of high decorativeness and unpretentiousness. In addition to bright golden-variegated leaves, it is armed with sky-blue flowers similar to the wild periwinkle. Grows well, tolerates slight shading, but grows best in full light. In terms of winter hardiness, it is not inferior, and possibly surpasses the natural form. Undemanding to soils, but grows better on light, moderately moist fertile substrates.

Forms dense, long-blooming carpets. The plant can be used instead of a lawn, to fill voids in mixed compositions, in foreground underfloor, to strengthen slopes. It goes well with conifers, interesting as a lower tier in coniferous gardens.

Lesser periwinkle Aureo-variegata

Small periwinkle "White-bordered" - differs in obtuse wide-ovoid, sometimes almost oval shape of leaves. The surface of the leaf blades is dull, with a creamy-white edging of various shapes, often turning into spots. The variety is not picky about growing conditions. But it grows less actively than the natural form. Does not bloom. Interesting as a foreground padding for mixed compositions.

Lesser periwinkle Albo-marginata

Brunner large-leaved "Jack Frost"... At one time, this variety became a sensation. In fact, he brought out an uninteresting flower to decorative leafy stars. From a distance, the leaves of Jack Frost appear completely white or greenish-white. Up close, it turns out that they are not pure white, but silvery, as if covered with frost. The flowers, like those of the wild species, are sky blue, very similar to forget-me-not flowers.

What is very important, "Jack Frost" is completely winter-hardy, and its leaves are invariably decorative from the moment of their deployment until the autumn frost. Unpretentious to soil fertility, but hygrophilous. Grows best in open areas with well-fertilized, loose, fairly moist soil. Growing, it forms even dense thickets, but does not press other plants and does not weed. With age, the plant grows into a lawn with a diameter of up to 90-100 cm. Without division, it can grow for more than ten years.

Brunner large-leaved Jack FrostIvy Budra Variegata

Ivy budra "Variegata" - this form has been known for a long time, but you can hardly find it in gardens. The fact is that the individual lashes of "Variegat" are not impressive, and rarely anyone succeeds in getting really dense carpets out of it. Not to say that the plant is too capricious, but it does not agree to grow anywhere either.

The secret of growing "Variegat" can be reduced to just two rules: the place should be completely open, and the soil should be light, loose and moist at the same time. A proven option is a 1: 2 mixture of sand and high moor peat. As for humidity, it cannot be maintained without regular watering. Watering is indicated by sprinkling, little by little, but more or less often.

Tenacious creeping "Burgundy Glow"(Reflections of Burgundy) - the word "burgundy" means a color, the synonyms of which in Russian are burgundy, beetroot, cherry, wine red. You probably guessed that it is related to the name of the French historical region of Burgundy. More precisely, this color matches the color of the Burgundy wine. The color of burgundy is especially popular among fashion designers. He is considered refined and noble.

The Burgundy Glow tenacious is one of the five most popular tenacious varieties. Its leaves are medium-sized, rounded, covered with colored spots of various shapes. In their color range, there are white, pink, salad, brown shades. And between them every now and then come across glimpses of burgundy color.

The variety is quite unpretentious, but grows better on light, moderately moist fertile soils. It is most brightly colored in light intermittent penumbra.

Tenacious creeping Burgundy GlowTenacious Creeping Dixie Chip

Tenacious creeping "Dixie Chip" - the one who is familiar with the tenacious "Shokolat Chip" can easily recognize its analogue in "Dixie Chip". In any case, their leaves are absolute twins in shape and size, which is reflected in the English "Chip" - shavings. The difference is that the leaves of "Dixie Chip" are not uniform, but spotted. In their color, depending on the illumination, you can find various shades of brown, red, green. The background of the leaf is light salad, and the spots themselves are varied in shape.

Grows best on light, fertile, moderately moist soil. It is more contrastingly colored in a light intermittent penumbra, and slightly fade in the sun. Grows slowly to obtain a continuous coverage, Dixie Chip should be planted after 15-20 cm, then the individual plants will close after two seasons.

Tenacious creeping "Arctic Fox" - this white-motley variety is not widely spread. It's all about his fastidiousness. The cultivar needs fertile, light, but constantly moist soil. With snowless winters, it freezes a lot. Even in favorable conditions, it grows with restraint and does not form continuous coatings. The leaves are spatulate, relatively narrow. The background of the leaf blades is dark green, the spots are pure white with even edges, elongated longitudinally.

Tenacious creeping Arctic FoxTenacious creeping Multicolor

Tenacious creeping "Multicolor" (Multicolor) - this tenacious is one of the most diverse in its color scheme. Leaves of "Multicolor" in size and shape are typical for tenders. The background of the leaf is green or brownish-green, and on it are fancifully scattered with various forms of spots and stains of yellow, brown, pinkish color.

The development and coloration of Multicolor is highly dependent on soil conditions. It is most richly colored in intermittent light partial shade. And the densest cushion thickets forms on fertile, moist, loose substrates.

Green lamb (yellow zelenchuk) "Argentatum" - interestingly, a well-visible silvery spot in the center of the leaf blade is present even on wild zelenchuk. And "Argentatum" is just a specimen of outstanding "silver" quality isolated in natural communities. Therefore, this variety is not inferior in unpretentiousness to a wild relative.

Zelenchuk can grow both in the shade and in the sun, but its leaf blades are brightest in color in the spotted penumbra. He prefers moist soils, light or medium loamy, rich in humus. In favorable conditions, the plant forms very dense and unusually elegant thickets with a height of 20-30 cm, which retain their decorative effect throughout the growing season.

Green lamb Argentatum

Sedum false "Tricolor" - the most "colored" of stonecrops. Ground cover perennial up to 15 cm high, creeping shoots, rooting. The leaves are spatulate, narrow - 4 × 1 cm. Along the edge of the leaf blades, a two-color border is partly white, partly bright pink. Young leaves are completely red-pink. The highest color intensity is observed from spring to mid-June. In the future, the brightness of the tones is lost.

Requires moderately moist, loose, fertile soils with good moisture drainage. It is not resistant to prolonged drought. In snowless winters, it suffers from frost. Location - open sun or temporary partial shade. Soil substrate: leafy soil, peat, sand 1: 2: 1.

Sedum false TricolorSedum Kamchatka Variegatum

Stonecrop Kamchatka "White-bordered" - herbaceous perennial 15-20 cm high. Spatulate leaves, 3-5 cm long, with a uniform white-cream border 1-3 mm wide. The flowers are stellate, about 1 cm in diameter, golden yellow, collected in apical umbellate inflorescences. Blooms in June-July for more than a month. Thanks to the leaves, it maintains a stable decorative effect throughout the growing season.

Sun-loving. Unpretentious, prefers light, loose fertile soils. Growing, forms dense thickets, but is not aggressive. It spreads rather slowly and does not crowd other plants.

Bulbous ryegrass (bulbous), French ryegrass - cereal, but very unusual. Its roots look like small bulbs, similar to stachis nodules.There are many bulbs, they are molded to each other shallow underground, forming dense communities. And straight from them grow linear white-striped leaves 8-10 mm wide and no more than 30 cm high, forming dense leaf bundles.

Ryegrass has two disadvantages. It is not hardy enough, therefore it freezes in snowless winters; and it should be divided more often, at least once every three years. But he is completely non-aggressive. Therefore, it can be safely introduced into any mixed composition, including rocky gardens. The most favorable for ryegrass are well-drained sandy loam soils rich in humus. It easily multiplies by division, but this must be done no later than the first decade of September.

Bulbous ryegrass

The alternate-leaved spleen is one of the most brightly colored spring plants. And, remarkably, it owes its brightness not so much to flowers as to leaves. The flower of the spleen is interesting in that there are no petals in its corolla, and their role is taken by the greenish-yellow bracts surrounding the flower. It blooms in April or early May, when the snow has not completely melted in the forest ravines. At the same time, bright yellow bracts play the role of bait for flying insects, mainly butterflies, which, flying from flower to flower, pollinate them. In summer, plants gradually replace old leaves with new, smaller ones, and are no longer yellow, but the usual green color.

The spleen is a relative of the saxifrage, and like many saxifrage, it can form dense, uniform thickets. The spleen does not like the open sun; it reaches the greatest decorative effect in semi-shady places on wet, sufficiently fertile loams. In the garden for the spleen, it is advisable to choose some kind of lowland or place with constant moisture. For example, at a summer washbasin or a drainpipe. And you should not plant it in the sun, mesh penumbra is preferable.


Lemon-scented thyme "Aureus" - Creeping miniature shrub about 5 cm high, forming dense pads. The main attraction of this type of thyme is the lemon scent, emanating from the leaves of the plant when they are rubbed. The leaves are rounded, about 5 mm in diameter, partly dark green, partly yellow - sometimes only half, which creates a peculiar golden-motley pattern for foliage.

Although this variety is not unpretentious, it is quite stable under favorable conditions. Sun-loving, drought-resistant. Grows relatively weak. It fully reveals its capabilities on sandy loam, fertile soils with ideal drainage. Grows well on steep southern slopes.

Thyme lemon-scented AureusTolmia Menzies Tuffs Gold

Tolmia Menzies Taffs Gold - a ground cover perennial from the saxifrage family, forming dense thickets about 10 cm high. The leaves of tolmiya have an unexpressed five-lobed shape (approximately like currants), about 5 cm across. The Taffs Gold leaf blades are densely covered with yellowish dots, as if sprinkled with small crumbs or flour. The plant prefers diffused light and constantly moist, medium-loamy, fertile soil. Hardy, but in snowless winters it can be damaged.

Taffs Gold pads are useful for filling gaps between plants in shady gardens. The plant can be planted at the foot of coniferous gardens, under trees with high transparent crowns, etc.

Falaris reed variegata

Falyaris (two-source) reed "Variegata" or "Picta" - a long-rooted cereal, the leaf rosettes of which are 40-50 cm high, and the shoots bearing ears - 80-90 cm.The variegated form of the bifurcate, known among gardeners as falaris, was isolated in natural communities, and so long ago that it is not known exactly when ... Falaris leaves up to 20 mm wide are decorated with longitudinal white and cream stripes. In landscape parks of Europe, this cultivar has long been widely used as a ground cover plant.

Many gardeners are offended by the fallaris for its aggressiveness. Indeed, give him complete freedom, and he will "get things done." But if you use it separately from other plants, in mono-plantings, it shows all its best qualities. As limiting factors, you can use various flowerpots, or give the plant isolated areas entirely. It is advisable to plant it where it is necessary to cover the space where people will not walk.

Falyaris is unpretentious to soil conditions, but sun-loving and does not like compacted dry soils. Falaris forms the most dense, highly decorative and durable arrays on constantly moist, fertile, but loose soils. A variation of the substrate can be a 1: 2: 1 mixture of leafy soil, peat and sand.

Despite the apparent monotony, the uniform arrays and borders of falaris are extremely attractive and can have many variations. In the landscaping of courtyards and various ceremonial places, the tape planting of the falaris, created by the plastic restriction, looks very interesting. Such borders not only look impressive, but also have a stable decorative effect.

Hosta "Golden Tiara" - dome 20 × 70 cm. Leaf blades 12 × 10 cm, wide, with a short dropper. The background of the leaf is bluish-green, with a greenish-yellow border and separate tongues.

Although this variety has not received any awards, this is a big misunderstanding from the point of view of a gardener. In any case, if the nomination "Most Helpful Host" was established, the Golden Tiara would be the first contender. The Golden Tiara has two advantages. First, it is extremely unpretentious, suffers a lack of moisture, does not fade in the sun. Second, it is an excellent ground cover perennial, low, and grows well. And it is also easy to propagate it by division, it gives many divisions that successfully take root. If you plant its divisions with a square-nesting planting with an interval of 25-30 cm from each other, then after three years they merge into one decorative green-yellow-motley carpet. Arrays and borders from the "Golden Tiara" are elements that can be used to adequately decorate a traditional front garden, a courtyard of a high-rise building, and any ceremonial object: an architectural monument, a temple, an administrative building, etc.

In our country garden, we made a wide, more than a meter wide curb from the Golden Tiara on the outside of the fence, where a variety of weeds used to grow. Having formed a continuous decorative ribbon, the hosta also saved us from the difficult work of weeding.

Hosta Golden TiaraHosta Fortune Patriot

Hosta Fortune "Patriot"... In 1997 this hosta was recognized as "Host of the Year", and, despite the abundance of similar new varieties, it remains one of the best white-bordered hosts. Leaf blades - 18 × 13 cm with a sharp dropper. The dome is 40 × 80 cm. The border is pure white, uneven, and wide. White often occupies up to half of the leaf. Very showy, ceremonial host. Resistant to slugs, retains a stable decorative effect throughout the season.

Optimum illumination is spotted partial shade or locations protected from the midday sun. The soil is moderately moist, rich in humus.

Hosta Siebold Francis Williams is one of the most representative "big" hosts. The leaf blades, wide with a blunt dropper, reach a size of 37 × 28 cm. The dome is 60 × 90 cm. The central part of the leaf blades has a pleasant pastel blue-green color. Irregular border, depending on the light, is light green, greenish-yellow. It "burns" in the sun, but grows well in open places on the shady side of buildings. Recommended for ceremonial landscaping of entrance areas. Attractive in single planting and in groups of several. When planted at 110-120 cm intervals, it forms luxurious curbs.

Siebold host Frances Williams

Hakonehloya large "Aureola" (Japanese forest grass) - loose shrub grass, endemic to Japan, where it grows in mountain forests. The plant is one of the traditional members of the Japanese garden.

This plant came to Europe in the form of several varieties, of which the variegated "Aureola" is best known in our country. It grows in the form of a very dense, slowly growing rosette of rather wide (up to 20 mm) linear leaves up to half a meter long. The main surface of the leaf blades is a straw-yellow background, decorated with narrow longitudinal light green stripes.

Hakonehloa grows well, but is not aggressive. She is sun-loving, but tolerates temporary partial shade, loves fertile, loose, rather moist soils. In severe frosts, it freezes without snow. In the garden, it is planted with single bushes or small tracts.

Hakonehloya large Aureola

Houttuynia cordate "Chameleon"... Contrary to all the book information, this perennial tropical herb of the Savrura family can winter with us. In any case, in our garden, she "holds" for more than a decade. Hyuttyuniya is a coastal and shallow water plant. In Vietnam, wild hauttuinia grows with rice in rice paddies, and is a hard-to-eradicate weed. Vietnamese, by the way, use its leaves in salads.

Without any exaggeration, the leaves of the Chameleon variety contain not only all the colors of the rainbow, but also their various shades. She is sun- and moisture-loving, prefers humus-rich, loose soils. In favorable conditions, it forms unusually colorful dense thickets. Houttuinia is quite aggressive and needs underground containment. For example, it grows well in containers dug in the soil.

Houttuynia heart-shaped chameleon

Photo by the author

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