You might be wondering what variegation is or what a variegated plant looks like, so let’s tackle that first. Variegation refers to leaves that are streaked, spotted, or patterned with another color, usually cream, yellow, silver, or white.
Multicolored – or variegated plants – are popular with gardeners, but are rare in nature. The green parts of the leaves attract the most sunlight to harvest their energy, so the lighter patches cannot make energy from sunlight, slowing the plant growth. Low light also makes a plant lose its variegation.
It is true that cultivating variegated plants can be a bit of a challenge. Still, that’s not the reason to give up on them. Here follows a list of 20 easy-care variegated plants and short tips on how to care for them.
- 20 Easy-care Variegated Plants
- False Shamrock
- Angel Wing Begonia
- Friendship Plant
- Monstera Variegata
- Urn Plant
- Philodendron “Birkin”
- Silver Evergreen
- Swiss Cheese Plant
- Spotted Laurel
- English Ivy
- Nerve Plant
- Calathea Medallion
- Painted-Leaf Begonia
- Baby Rubber Plant
- Silver Satin Pothos
- Prayer Plants
- Dumb Cane
- Watermelon Peperomia
- Golden Petra
- Final Word
20 Easy-care Variegated Plants
The green, purple or variegated leaves of this extremely decorative plant resemble those of shamrock, hence the name. False Shamrock has triangular leaves that fold up during the night and open during the day. Provide light shade, low humidity, and regular room temperature. Toxic to pets.
Angel Wing Begonia
Friendship Plant is a striking perennial plant that has similar care requirements as the Missionary Plant, but it prefers elevated humidity of a bathroom or humidity. Provide well-draining soil.
Monstera Variegata is a tropical plant with large, deep green heavily variegated with cream. Variegated monstera requires bright light, well-draining soil, and watering once the pot feels light and when it is half way dry. Monstera plants are very popular variegated plants in general, as well as their variegated cultivars.
Another variegated plant, Aechmea fasciata is an exotic-looking bromeliad that has very long-lasting pink flowers. The rosette of leaves forms a center that holds water. Grow it in a warm room, next to an east-facing window. Water the central “vase” with distilled water.
Philodendron “Birkin” is equally popular in the plant world as variegated Monstera deliciosa. It has natural variegation in pale green. It requires enough light offered by an east-facing window in order to have more variegation.
Silver Evergreen is a species of Aglaonema that is usually variegated in silver. It requires bright indirect sunlight, higher humidity and watering once the soil is somewhat dry. Aglaonema Silver Bay is a very similar variegated species and there is also Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor.
Swiss Cheese Plant
Swiss Cheese Plant is among the most common variegated indoor plants among plant enthusiasts. It features large, glossy, usually deep green leaves, but there are species that are variegated with cream or white. They make highly sought-after species. Provide bright light and water when the top of the compost has dried out a little.
Aucuba japonica is an evergreen shrub great for a cool spot, such as a porch or hallway. It has light green leaves with yellow or cream splotches. Provide indirect light and water freely from spring to autumn.
Fittonia plants are found in rain forests in Peru and have naturally patterned foliage in multiple colors such as red, pink, cream, or green. They love warmth, humidity, and partially shaded area. Polka Dot Plant has the same needs and it is also variegated.
Calathea plants are also called Peacock Plants. Many of them in the genus are variegated with green pigment and red undersides. They need bright light to maintain the pigmented variegation but keep away from direct sun.
Painted-Leaf Begonia species have beautiful, pattern gene variegation in shades of crimson, silver, purple, green, or red. They favor indirect light, warm temperatures, and water from below. Don’t mist.
Baby Rubber Plant
This is an upright plant that has bright green leaves variegated with splashes of gold, grey, or cream. Provide filtered light and use tepid water when the compost is beginning to dry out.
Silver Satin Pothos
As the name suggests, this species of Pothos is highly variegated in silver. The leaves are heart-shaped and deep green, but the element of silver adds a transformative note to it. Provide bright sunlight, high humidity and fertilize once a month during the active period.
Prayer Plants have variegated leaves in different shades of green, sometimes cream. They got the name “Prayer plants” because their leaves look like hands in prayer. They have the same needs as Peacock Plants.
Also called Leopard Lily, this plant got its name from the poison it produces, which causes temporary speech loss. It is known for its lush foliage variegated in green and cream. Provide partially shaded spot in summer. Mist regularly.
Stromanthe is an extremely architectural plant with variegated leaves in dark green, cream, and pink. It requires elevated humidity, room temperatures above 18 degrees C. Don’t water it with cold or hard water.
Watermelon Peperomia is a variegated plant named so due to the close resemblance of the leaves to the pattern on a watermelon. It is a pet-friendly plant that favors bright light, regular humidity, but it is sensitive to overwatering.
This is a variegated plant in the family of Croton, which consists of plants so vividly colored that they scream summer right at your face. Each of them needs a warm room, higher humidity and should be protected from fluctuating temperatures.
Gardeners choose to cultivate plants with variegated foliage because they look exceptionally beautiful and unique. As you can see, they can be quite friendly and undemanding. They all require enough bright light to retain variegation as they revert to all-green in low light. Besides, they need well-draining soil, moderate to high humidity, and careful watering. Why not give one plant a try? Choose some variegated plants on the list and propagate them from cuttings so you can enjoy baby variegated plants.