Keep leaf colours fresh

Garden Answers (UK) - - Problems Solved -

As a rule, many plants with colour­ful fo­liage, par­tic­u­larly pur­ples, do best in sun. In shadier spots they can be­come greener and, with­out light, the pur­ples sim­ply won’t show up as strongly. In these ar­eas some of the most ef­fec­tive fo­liage plants are var­ie­gated ones, with white or pale yel­low splashes show­ing up well against the green. Coloured fo­liage plants that have del­i­cate leaves, such as Ja­panese maples or Sam­bu­cus race­mosa ‘Suther­land Gold’, need a half­way house: dap­pled shade or pro­tec­tion from the hottest sun of the day. Another prob­lem some­times en­coun­tered with coloured fo­liage plants is re­ver­sion – when a plant re­verts back to its par­ent’s orig­i­nal plain green. This is of­ten seen in var­ie­gated cul­ti­vars or coloured phormium hy­brids be­cause the pure green form con­tains more chloro­phyll, so is more vig­or­ous and can soon take over the plant. Re­ver­sion is best tack­led by promptly prun­ing out the af­fected parts com­pletely or by cut­ting back into wood con­tain­ing var­ie­gated or coloured fo­liage.

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