My Garden Valentine: Our Love Letter To Texas Gardening And Landscapes

A Painted Garden: What does variegated mean?

A variegated plant exhibits patterns or markings on its leaves, flowers or fruit, that appear to have been painted or dipped into white, chartreuse or other colors. Sometimes these plants look streaked or striped from the base of the leaf to the tip. These plants are coveted because they are different and because they are often more beautiful than their monochromatic counterparts.

Variegation in plants typically occurs when a natural genetic variation exhibits itself as a change in color. Sometimes these plants with variation are taken and bred to bring out this mutation further. The more it’s bred the more pronounced the color variation becomes!

Variegated plants are a great way to break up a sea of green. Below are some common examples, including one of our favorite types of agave.

Squash

Squash
Even the fruit of the plant can be variegated. The squash in the foreground are variegated ornamental pumpkins.

Agave

Agave
Variegated Agave: its leaves are an example of medio-variegated (streaked down the middle.)

Tapioca

Tapioca
Variegated Tapioca Plant.

English Ivy

English Ivy
Variegated English Ivy: its leaves are an example of margin-variegation (streaked at the tips.)

Bromeliad

Bromeliad
Variegated Bromeliad with pink streaks!