Perennials forum: What affects variegated plants?

Views: 385, Replies: 10 » Jump to the end
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
May 28, 2016 5:33 PM CST
I have a variegated masterwort, Sunningdale, which up until last year was gorgeous. Last year and now this year, it has mostly reverted to plain green. If I nipped out all the green leaves, I fear I would kill the plant. Is there any way to reverse a reversion? What causes plant to revert? I really like this plant and may just replace with fresh stock, but am now wondering if I can only depend on it to stay variegated for a limited time. Per my records, my plant is about 10 years old, so held its color for about 8 years. It is in a fairly sunny spot with morning and late afternoon shade, maybe it wants more shade? This photo was taken in its prime, perhaps 4-5 years ago.

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Cayuga
Massachusetts (Zone 6a)
Cayuga
May 28, 2016 9:03 PM CST
Hi Deb,
I am no expert, but my understanding is that this does happen. I have a stand Hakonechloa macra aureola that is doing this too. I just keep digging out the reverted grass & planting it elsewhere. I think solid green plants are hardier that the variegated ones. Maybe a little bit of evolution happening here?

Here is a shot of my Hakone grass some years back when the reversion was just beginning:
Thumb of 2016-05-29/Cayuga/1e45ef

Can you see the small bunch of grass to the right that is totally green? I have moved it and it is now becoming a big stand of solid green hakone grass, clearly hardier that its parent.

Deb, you have made me curious about Astrantia major 'Sunningdale Variegata'. I might check it out. I love variegated plants in the garden.

Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Cinta
May 28, 2016 11:03 PM CST
I have found that when a plant starts to revert if you do not take the green off the entire plant will revert because the solid green is a stronger growth and it will take over the variegated part. I guess that is why the plants start to revert because the dominant solid green is so strong.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
jvdubb
May 29, 2016 8:24 PM CST
I now resist buying variegated varieties for this reason. It is so frustrating.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
May 29, 2016 9:10 PM CST
At the risk of killing the plant, I think I'll go ahead and trim off all solid leaves and see what happens. The worst case is I replace it, which is where I am at anyway. Just need to decide if I'll go with the same (really pretty) plant or perhaps try something else. Funny, I ran across this pic from 2007 and the only thing still there is the masterwort (now green) and the euphorbia. The rest have all gone away for one reason or the other, and there is now a chunk of crocosmia behind the euphorbia and a salvia where the candytuft was. I always struggle with creeping phlox, and that spot is in a bit of flux at the moment. Good example of our ever-evolving gardens!

Thumb of 2016-05-30/Bonehead/8d30c8

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
hostasmore
May 29, 2016 10:42 PM CST
Several years ago I purchased a beautiful variegated artemesia, patented no less. It escaped and is now in half of my garden. It is still variegated and beautiful , but I chuckle to myself about having purchased a patented weed!
[Last edited by hostasmore - May 29, 2016 11:28 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1164897 (6)
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
jvdubb
May 30, 2016 5:37 AM CST
I must correct myself! I did just purchase a Tequila Sunrise Coreopsis. But I only paid $3.33 for it. So that was an exception to my no more variegated rule Hilarious!
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
Image
springcolor
May 31, 2016 12:36 AM CST
Deb, You gave me a start off your plant some time ago. This is my observation, it has beautiful variation early spring, greens out in the heat or reaction to longer days and then returns to variegation as the temps cool.
This is mine today.
Thumb of 2016-05-31/springcolor/86b583


Thumb of 2016-05-31/springcolor/1770a5
Just a few weeks ago is was variegated all over but if I look into the depths of the leaves they are still variegated down inside.
Sempervivum for Sale
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Jun 1, 2016 11:39 AM CST
I have another variegated one- Astrantia major 'Vanilla Gorilla' . It has lived for years under a cedar tree. It has never reverted. It also changes a bit with the seasons.
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Annuals Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Butterflies Birds Bee Lover
Image
kniphofia
Jun 8, 2016 12:56 PM CST
I have Sunningdale variegated and absolutely love it. I agree with Julia that as summer goes on the variegation fades, but I'd certainly remove all green shoots as they appear.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
Jun 9, 2016 11:14 AM CST
Thanks all. I did remove all the solid green leaves and left anything that showed any amount of variagation. Crossing fingers.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Perennials forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by sunnyvalley and is called "Hair-raising"