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7 Ornamental Plants That Can Change Color Throughout the Year

7 Ornamental Plants That Can Change Color Throughout the Year

Table of Contents

Spring and summer may be known for their vibrant colors, but why limit your garden’s beauty to just a few seasons? With these 7 ornamental plants, you can enjoy year-round vibrancy and ever-changing hues that will breathe life into your outdoor space.

Whether it’s colorful foliage or vibrant flowers, these plants are sure to transform your garden into a kaleidoscope of colors no matter the season. Say goodbye to a dull and monotonous garden and embrace the wonders of these stunning plants.

Key Takeaways:

  • Add bursts of color to your garden all year long with these 7 ornamental plants.
  • Hostas provide year-round color for shady areas, brightening up those spots that often lack vibrancy.
  • Coleus plants offer colorful foliage that can thrive in both shade and full sun, making them versatile options for any garden.
  • Amaranthus tricolor boasts year-round colorful foliage, with leaves that come in shades of yellows, reds, oranges, and greens.
  • Ninebark is a unique perennial shrub with intriguing foliage that changes colors, providing an ever-changing aspect to your garden.

Hostas – Year-Round Color for Shady Areas

Hostas in a shady garden

Hostas are popular plants known for their large, green leaves with various patterns and textures. While they are commonly found in home gardens, some varieties of hostas can provide year-round color. For example, the ‘Fire Island’ hosta has luminous yellow leaves that brighten up shady spots and shift to a cooler yellow resembling chartreuse as the seasons change. These vibrant plants thrive in shady areas and add life to any garden.

To showcase the year-round color of hostas, consider the following aspect:

  1. Vibrant foliage: Hostas are prized for their colorful foliage. Certain varieties, such as the ‘Fire Island’ hosta, offer a vibrant display of yellow throughout the year. This constant burst of color brings life and brightness to shady areas, creating a visually appealing garden.
  2. Textural variety: In addition to their colorful leaves, hostas also come in a range of textures, adding visual interest to your garden. Some have smooth, glossy leaves, while others exhibit ruffled edges or textured surfaces. By incorporating hostas with diverse textures, you can create a visually compelling and dynamic garden bed.
  3. Adaptability to shade: One of the main advantages of hostas is their ability to thrive in shady areas. These plants are well-suited to gardens with limited sunlight, making them an ideal choice for gardens with tall trees or buildings that create shade.

Pro Tips:

For maximum impact, combine different hosta varieties that offer varying shades of green and yellow. This mix of colors will create a visually captivating display.

With their year-round color and ability to thrive in shady areas, hostas are a must-have addition to any garden. Whether you choose a single variety or experiment with multiple types, the vibrant foliage of hostas will bring beauty and life to your outdoor space.

Coleus – Colorful Foliage for Brightening Gardens

Colorful coleus plants

Coleus plants are a fantastic choice for adding vibrant colors and visual interest to your garden. With their unique textures and a wide range of hues, these plants can undoubtedly brighten up any garden design. While coleus plants were traditionally known for thriving in shaded areas, newer varieties have emerged that can also flourish in full sun, allowing you to enjoy their colorful foliage in different parts of your garden.

One popular variety is the ‘Black Dragon,’ which features deep burgundy leaves reminiscent of the beautiful colors of autumn. Adding ‘Black Dragon’ to your garden will bring a touch of elegance and sophistication, creating a striking contrast against other plants or flowers. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a bold statement, consider the Kong series of coleus plants. These varieties boast large, 6-inch leaves that showcase dramatic splashes of vibrant colors, making them a perfect choice for creating eye-catching garden beds.

Benefits of Coleus in Your Garden:

  • Offers a wide range of colors for a vibrant garden
  • Provides interesting textures that add depth and dimension
  • Thrives in both shaded areas and full sun
  • Enhances flower beds, patio gardens, and garden beds
  • Requires minimal maintenance

No matter which variety you choose, coleus plants are sure to bring life and joy to your garden. Their colorful foliage will create a visual spectacle that will captivate both you and your visitors. So why wait? Brighten up your garden with the stunning colors of coleus!

A Closer Look at Coleus Varieties

Variety Characteristics
‘Black Dragon’ Deep burgundy leaves resembling autumn colors
Kong series Large 6-inch leaves with vibrant splashes of color

Amaranthus Tricolor – Year-Round Colorful Foliage

amaranthus tricolor

Amaranthus tricolor, also known as Joseph’s coat, is a plant that will captivate you with its stunning foliage. This vibrant plant showcases a kaleidoscope of colors, including shades of yellows, reds, oranges, and greens. While it does produce flowers, the foliage steals the show and remains the main attraction of amaranthus tricolor.

Whether you choose to plant it in garden beds or containers, amaranthus tricolor will provide year-round color like no other. Its foliage keeps your surroundings vibrant and alive, regardless of the season. To ensure the brightest foliage display, it’s best to provide the plant with as much sun as possible.

This image showcases the stunning foliage of amaranthus tricolor, displaying the mesmerizing blend of colors that will bring life to your garden.

Ninebark – Intriguing Foliage with Shifting Colors

ninebark foliage

Ninebark is a unique perennial shrub that adds a touch of intrigue to any garden with its captivating foliage. This versatile plant is known for its textured leaves, which come in a variety of shades including green, yellow, and dark red. The shifting colors of the ninebark foliage create an ever-changing display that adds depth and interest to your outdoor space.

One popular variety of ninebark is ‘Diablo’, which features dark red leaves that contrast beautifully with its pinkish-white flowers. This stunning combination adds a dramatic touch to your garden, making it a focal point of visual interest. Another impressive variety is ‘Darts Gold’, which transforms into a brilliant golden shrub in the spring. The vibrant color of ‘Darts Gold’ brings a burst of warmth and brightness to your garden, creating a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere.

The beauty of ninebark lies not only in its shifting colors but also in its ability to adapt to various garden styles and landscapes. Whether you have a traditional garden, a contemporary space, or a naturalistic landscape, ninebark can be incorporated seamlessly, adding visual interest and depth.

Incorporating ninebark into your garden design allows you to enjoy the ever-changing colors and intriguing foliage throughout the year.

Benefits of Ninebark in Your Garden

Ninebark offers several benefits that make it an excellent choice for your garden:

  • Interesting texture: The textured leaves of ninebark add dimension and visual appeal to your garden, creating a dynamic and captivating atmosphere.
  • Low maintenance: Ninebark is a hardy plant that requires minimal maintenance, making it a fuss-free addition to your outdoor space.
  • Diverse color options: With their shifting colors, ninebark plants offer a wide range of options to suit your garden’s color scheme and aesthetic preferences.
  • Attracts wildlife: The flowers of ninebark attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, promoting a healthy and vibrant ecosystem in your garden.
  • Versatility: Ninebark can be used in various garden styles, from formal to informal, and complements a wide range of other plants and flowers.

By incorporating ninebark into your garden design, you can create a visually appealing and ever-changing landscape that reflects your unique style and personality.

Ninebark Varieties Leaf Colors
‘Diablo’ Dark red
‘Darts Gold’ Golden

Coral Bells – Low-Growing Shrubs with Colored Leaves

coral bells

Coral bells, also known by the genus Heuchera, are low-growing shrubs that sprinkle fall colors across the landscape. With varieties boasting leaves in shades of purple, orange, and golden greens, these plants make a subtle statement in any garden.

The textured leaves of coral bells add interest and depth to your garden design, creating a visually appealing and dynamic space. These low-growing shrubs are perfect for borders, rock gardens, or as groundcover, adding a pop of color and texture to any area.

During summer, coral bells produce delicate white blooms on long red spikes, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. This not only adds to the beauty of the plant but also attracts beneficial pollinators to your garden.

Why Choose Coral Bells for Your Garden?

The versatility of coral bells makes them an ideal choice for any garden. Whether you have a small space or a large landscape, these low-growing shrubs can be used in various ways to enhance the overall aesthetics of your garden.

Here are some reasons why you should consider adding coral bells to your garden:

  • Colored Leaves: Coral bells come in a range of stunning leaf colors, including shades of purple, orange, and golden greens. This allows you to create a vibrant color palette in your garden, adding interest and diversity to your plant selection.
  • Low-Growing: With a compact growth habit, coral bells are perfect for low-maintenance gardens or areas that require groundcover. They stay relatively small, reaching a height of 8-18 inches, making them ideal for borders, edging, or filling in gaps between larger plants.
  • Seasonal Interest: Coral bells provide year-round interest in your garden. The colored leaves bring life and vibrancy, while the delicate blooms in summer attract pollinators, adding movement and activity to your outdoor space.
  • Tolerant of Various Conditions: Coral bells are adaptable plants that can tolerate a range of conditions, including sun, shade, and different soil types. This makes them a versatile choice for a variety of garden landscapes and environments.

“Coral bells are a versatile choice for any garden, offering colored leaves, low-growing habits, and year-round interest. Their adaptability and stunning foliage make for a captivating addition to any outdoor space.”

Whether you’re creating a new garden design or looking to enhance your existing landscape, coral bells are a fantastic choice. Their low-growing habit, colored leaves, and seasonal blooms make them a standout feature that will surely captivate both you and your guests.

Recommended Varieties of Coral Bells

When choosing coral bells for your garden, here are a few popular and recommended varieties:

Variety Leaf Color Bloom Color
Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ Purple White
Heuchera ‘Caramel’ Golden Orange White
Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ Lime Green White

These varieties offer a range of colors that can complement any garden design and provide a stunning visual display. Mix and match them to create a unique and captivating landscape.

Smoke Tree – Fall Colors All Year

Smoke Tree

The smoke tree, also known as Cotinus coggygria, is a shrub that brings a touch of fall to the garden all year long. With oval leaves that change to shades of purple, varieties like ‘Redsmoke’, ‘Royal Purple’, and ‘Velvet Cloak’ provide rich purple hues that perfectly complement their yellow blooms. These plants thrive in well-draining soil and tolerate dry conditions.

Whether it’s the vibrant purple foliage or the striking combination of purple and yellow, the smoke tree is a standout in any garden. This stunning shrub adds a touch of fall colors to your landscape no matter the season.

Benefits of Growing Smoke Tree:

  • Year-round fall colors: The smoke tree’s oval leaves change to shades of purple, providing a stunning fall color effect all year.
  • Complementary blooms: With yellow flowers that contrast beautifully with the purple foliage, the smoke tree creates a captivating visual display.
  • Easy care: These plants thrive in well-draining soil and tolerate dry conditions, making them a low-maintenance addition to your garden.
  • Versatility: The smoke tree can be grown as a standalone shrub or used as a focal point in mixed borders or containers.

If you want to add year-round fall colors to your garden, the smoke tree is an excellent choice. Its striking foliage and complementary blooms will create a visually appealing and vibrant landscape.

Variety Main Color Bloom Color
Redsmoke Purple Yellow
Royal Purple Purple Yellow
Velvet Cloak Purple Yellow

Begonia rex – Fascinating Foliage with Diverse Colors

Rex Begonias: Plant Care & Growing Guide

Add a touch of captivating beauty to your garden with Begonia rex, also known as painted-leaf begonia. These begonias are cherished for their fascinating foliage, which showcases a stunning array of colors and patterns. From dusty greens to deep reds and cool purples, the leaves of begonia rex are truly a sight to behold. Their mesmerizing hues and intricate designs are rarely found in other plants, making them a unique addition to any garden.

While Begonia rex plants prefer shade and tropical climates, they can also thrive indoors, allowing you to showcase their diverse colors all year round. Whether placed in containers or hanging baskets, begonia rex plants bring a touch of elegance and charm to any indoor space. With their captivating foliage, they become instant focal points, drawing attention and admiration from all who see them.

With begonia rex, you have the opportunity to create stunning displays and arrangements. Their varied colors and textures make them perfect companions for other shade-loving plants, allowing you to create visually appealing combinations in your garden or indoor setting.

Benefits of Begonia Rex

  • Fascinating foliage: The diverse colors and patterns of begonia rex leaves make them a captivating addition to any garden or indoor space.
  • Year-round beauty: While they prefer shade and tropical climates, begonia rex plants can thrive indoors, providing year-round beauty and vibrant colors.
  • Indoor versatility: Whether placed in containers or hanging baskets, begonia rex plants can be easily grown indoors, enhancing the aesthetics of any room.
  • Complementary companion: The varied colors and textures of begonia rex make them a perfect addition to combinations with other shade-loving plants.

Experience the wonder of begonia rex and witness the fascinating foliage that will transform your garden or indoor space. With their diverse colors, enchanting patterns, and year-round beauty, these begonias are sure to captivate your senses and become the centerpiece of your green oasis.

Conclusion

Having ornamental plants that can change color throughout the year can add vibrancy and beauty to your garden. The wide variety of options available, such as hostas, coleus, amaranthus tricolor, and begonia rex, ensure that you can find the perfect plants to suit your preferences. Additionally, ninebark, coral bells, smoke tree, and lavender are excellent choices for year-round color.

By incorporating these plants into your garden, you can create a space that is full of life and ever-changing, no matter the season. The colorful foliage and shifting hues of these plants will bring joy and visual interest to your outdoor space, attracting attention and creating a stunning landscape.

Whether you have a shaded area, a sunny spot, or a mix of both, there is an ornamental plant that can thrive and provide year-round color. So get ready to enjoy the vibrant displays and experience the joy of a garden that is always full of life and color.

FAQ

What are some ornamental plants that can change color throughout the year?

Some ornamental plants that can change color throughout the year include hostas, coleus, amaranthus tricolor, ninebark, coral bells, smoke tree, and begonia rex.

Do hostas provide year-round color?

Yes, some varieties of hostas can provide year-round color. For example, the ‘Fire Island’ hosta has luminous yellow leaves that brighten up shady spots and shift to a cooler yellow resembling chartreuse as the seasons change.

What are some colorful foliage options for brightening gardens?

Coleus plants are a great option for brightening gardens with their colorful foliage. Varieties like ‘Black Dragon’ have deep burgundy leaves that resemble the colors of autumn, while the Kong series of coleus plants have 6-inch leaves that provide large splashes of color in garden beds.

Can amaranthus tricolor provide year-round colorful foliage?

Yes, amaranthus tricolor, also known as Joseph’s coat, can provide year-round colorful foliage. It produces stunning foliage in shades of yellows, reds, oranges, and greens. Whether planted in beds or containers, amaranthus tricolor adds vibrant color to any garden.

What makes ninebark a unique perennial shrub?

Ninebark is a unique perennial shrub known for its textured leaves that come in shades of green, yellow, and dark red. Varieties like ‘Diablo’ have dark red leaves with pinkish-white flowers, while ‘Darts Gold’ turns into a stunning golden shrub in spring, providing an ever-changing and ever-colorful aspect to any garden.

Do coral bells have colored leaves?

Yes, coral bells, also known by the genus Heuchera, have colored leaves. They sprinkle fall colors across the landscape with varieties boasting leaves in shades of purple, orange, and golden greens. These low-growing shrubs make a subtle statement in any garden.

Can the smoke tree add fall colors to the garden all year?

Yes, the smoke tree, also known as Cotinus coggygria, brings a touch of fall to the garden all year long. Varieties like ‘Redsmoke’, ‘Royal Purple’, and ‘Velvet Cloak’ provide rich purple hues that perfectly complement their yellow blooms, and they thrive in well-draining soil and tolerate dry conditions.

What makes begonia rex fascinating?

Begonia rex, also known as painted-leaf begonia, is loved for its fascinating foliage. With colors ranging from dusty greens to deep reds and cool purples, begonia rex leaves feature entrancing patterns that are hard to find on any other plant. These plants prefer shade and tropical climates but can be grown indoors to showcase their stunning shades.

Are there any ornamental plants perfect for year-round colors?

Absolutely! Ornamental plants like hostas, coleus, amaranthus tricolor, ninebark, coral bells, smoke tree, and begonia rex offer a variety of colors and textures, ensuring year-round vibrancy in your garden.

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