Every garden needs a good mix of flowering and foliage plants for an attention-grabbing show of thrillers, fillers, and spillers. These new foliage varieties will not only act as a lush backdrop for colorful blooms, they can also stand on their own with their noteworthy textures and colors.
Caladium ‘Burning Heart’ (Abbott-IPCO, Inc.)
Caladium ‘Burning Heart’ is a bronze, fancy leaf variety with pink to orange spots and represents a new color for caladiums. It scored high in the 2013 pot trials around the country. ‘Burning Heart’ has a good pot habit but fills the pot better when de-eyed. It is intermediate in height, has a short crop time, and makes a good 6-inch and larger pot. It also works well for combination planters and in shade or full sun landscapes.
Caladium ‘Desert Sunset’ (Abbott-IPCO, Inc.)
Caladium ‘Desert Sunset’ is a lance variety with a unique color pattern for caladiums. The leaves are salmon-pink with copper-colored veins. It has a good habit with or without de-eyeing (pinching). With its great pot habit, ‘Desert Sunset’ is super in 4-inch and larger pots and makes a nice basket. In combination patio planters or the landscape, ‘Desert Sunset’ is useful as a border or intermediate plant and will tolerate full sun. It has a short crop time of six to seven weeks.
Caladium ‘Key Lime Hearts’ (AG 3, Inc.)
This beautiful caladium has a vibrant-red center and lime-green margins that follow the leaf veins to the middle of the leaf. It grows well in partial to full sun and is hardy in Zones 9 to 11.
Caladium ‘Lemon Blush’ (Abbott-IPCO, Inc.)
With a rose-red center and wide chartreuse margin, ‘Lemon Blush’ is a fancy-leaved introduction and is a new look in caladiums. This caladium is useful in 4-inch and larger pots and de-eyeing improves its habit. A wide, chartreuse margin makes ‘Lemon Blush’ a great companion plant that accents anything it is planted with. ‘Lemon Blush’ is intermediate in size and appears sun tolerant.
Caladium Painted Frog Series (Plants Nouveau)
Caladium breeder Brian Williams thought by pairing these spectacular new caladiums with colorful frog names, he could serve two purposes: to raise more awareness of these colorful creatures, and to celebrate the vivid frog-like colors these caladiums offer in your garden. Pictured in slideshow: ‘Red-Bellied Treefrog,’ ‘Poison Dart Frog,’ and ‘Tie-dyed Treefrog.’
Coleus ‘Campfire’ (Ball FloraPlant)
This brightly colored coleus is on fire. ‘Campfire’ is easy to grow and an exciting shade of orange that stays vibrant in sun or shade gardens. It has proven performance in landscapes, or place this low-maintenance, high-impact plant in large-size containers to extend your selling season well into summer.
Coleus ‘ColorBlaze Apple Brandy’ (Proven Winners)
Red and chartreuse leaves deliver all-season color on a plant that will perform in part to full sun. This variety will not bleach out in full sun and is resistant to downy mildew. It is wonderful as a thriller in a mixed container and will grow 20 to 30 inches, with a spread of 12 to 16 inches.
Coleus ‘Colorblaze Velveteen’ (Proven Winners)
The deep burgundy and pink foliage of Velveteen makes a strong statement in the landscape or large containers. Gardeners will treasure how versatile ‘Colorblaze Velveteen.’ It is and easy to grow, with a height of 24 to 36 inches and a spread of 12 to 18 inches.
Coleus ‘Globetrotter Gaga’ (Terra Nova Nurseries)
Globetrotter coleus have tight, upright habits due to self-branching and make great container plants. Coleus ‘Globetrotter Gaga’ has multicolor leaves with hot-pink centers. Leaf centers are surrounded by creamy yellow and edged with green. Gaga is great for containers, house plants, summer borders, and mass plantings. It is hardy in Zones 10 to 11.
PartyTime Coleus Series (Sakata Ornamentals)
PartyTime coleus come in three colors, including Lime, Sangria, and Pink Berry. Compact plants are dense and well-branched and feature trailing to semi-trailing habits. All three PartyTime colors offer full sun to shade tolerance, and are ideal as component plants in mixed containers.
Colocasia ‘Black Ripple’ (Southern Living Plant Collection)
Deeply puckered, dark-chocolate leaves are anchored by near-black stems on this bushy, compact plant. Its rich color and texture will lend a sweet surprise in your landscape. ‘Black Ripple’ is fast growing and grows well in full sun to part shade. Its mature size is 3 feet high by 3 feet wide. Keep it moist and not soggy. ‘Black Ripple’ is hardy in Zones 8 to 11.
Colocasia ‘Fierce Gigante’ (Plants Nouveau)
One of the largest plants in the Colocasia Gigante Series from breeder Brian Williams, this new behemoth is arguably the most unique, as well. Strong, maroon-purple stems form the foundation for large, green, heart-shaped leaves, which are also complemented by maroon-purple veins. Once mature, plants regularly produce tall purple flowers with white spaths, resembling lovely, ornate candles ablaze. This is the first colocasia we’ve seen with ornamental flowers.
Colocasia ‘Painted Black Gecko’ (Plants Nouveau)
The dark-black leaves of ‘Painted Black Gecko’ are certain to grab your attention. Three- to four-inch clumps catch and reflect the light with a shimmering iridescence, offering a unique look between the black tops and the undersides of the leaves. It’s the perfect plant for a dark spot of contrast in your garden or patio container.
Colocasia ‘Royal Hawaiian Tropical Storm’ (PlantHaven)
This small to medium height colocasia has dark foliage with bold central-white markings that is held on dark stems. It has a compact habit that is ideal for premium gallons or pot and container work. Tropical Storm is a great impulse plant with long seasonal interest.
Colocasia ‘Black Sapphire Gecko’ (AG 3, Inc.)
The perfect selection for the back of a garden bed, ‘Black Sapphire Gecko’ stands six feet with black-matted leaves that seem to change their look, depending on the way the light hits their foliage. Dark stems support nice, tight clumps and show off the maroon-colored undersides of the leaves. ‘Black Sapphire Gecko’ is hardy in Zones 8 to 11.
Colocasia ‘Painted Black Gecko’ (AG 3, Inc.)
The dark-black leaves of ‘Painted Black Gecko’ are certain to grab your attention. Two- to four-foot clumps catch and reflect the light with a shimmering iridescence, offering a unique look between the black tops and the undersides of the leaves, which vary from maroon to gray in color. ‘Painted Black Gecko’ is hardy in Zones 8 to 11.