Sometimes a leaf can be just as eye-catching as a bloom. Different varieties of coleus are planted each year as annuals throughout the garden. Some are pass-alongs from other's gardens, some are over-wintered from cuttings placed in water and brought into the house and some are purchased new each spring.
Most come without any identification. That's fine with me, I wouldn't remember their names anyway. The colors reflect the caladium colors and provide a nice contrast of leaf shape. With similar light and water needs, these two plants make a good pairing.
Frilly leaves of bright chartreuse, purple, pink, and cream all create a bright spot in the shade gardens. There are some coleus that can take quite a lot of sun but all of mine are planted in dappled shade. They seem less thirsty with more shade.
The variegated cast-iron plant which is another plant that was passed-along to me, is really starting to settle into its spot and put out more of those lovely leaves. The cast-iron plant is an old Southern shade garden staple that is not that easy to find for sale at garden centers. Aren't gardening friends the best?
Last May, this curcuma was blooming. Not this May. But, I love the leaves with that burgundy mid-rib and count on their appearing each year. They show up by April and last through November. The beautiful fuschia bloom is a bonus I hope to get soon.
Lots of caladiums were planted beneath the big oak tree this spring and they haven't disappointed me a bit. My new favorite foliage plant, blood leaf irisine, shines in the slanting rays of the afternoon sun. It is an eye-catcher for sure. Irisine is another plant that is easy to propagate from cuttings. I had a few small cuttings that were planted last fall that weren't fazed by the cold weather. I'm hoping that the ones I've spread around in other areas will be as hardy.
I love having interesting foliage plants as much as I do the flowering plants. They all have their unique charms.