Main­tain var­ie­ga­tion

Gardening Australia - - YOUR PLANNER -

With their un­usu­ally striped or mot­tled leaves, var­ie­gated plants add in­ter­est and in­trigue in the gar­den. The var­ie­ga­tion is due to a lack of the green pig­ment chloro­phyll in some of the leaf cells, which is of­ten the re­sult of a ran­dom cell mu­ta­tion. Some­times var­ie­gated plants re­vert to their orig­i­nal leaf, pro­duc­ing stems bear­ing green fo­liage. The green leaves pho­to­syn­the­sise more ef­fi­ciently than var­ie­gated ones, so they grow more vig­or­ously. If you don’t cut them out they will dom­i­nate, and you will lose the dec­o­ra­tive value of the var­ie­ga­tion. Check your plants, and if you see any ex­am­ples of this, fol­low the stems right down to their base where they meet the branch and cut them off.

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