What You Should Know About Green and White-Leaved Plants

Submitted a year ago
Created by
Henry Homeyer

Green and white leaved plants in general, are less vigorous and aggressive than green-leaved plants of the same species. Why? They have less chlorophyll in their leaves, so they don’t provide as much energy to the plants. And they may have other genetic differences that make them a bit feeble. 

Goutweed in flower

Gout weed (Aegopodium podagraria), my nemesis, is a terrible plant. There is also a green and white-leafed variety, also known as bishop’s weed or snow-in-the mountain. It’s a thug, too, but can be eradicated. Goutweed is impossible to get rid of. I believe, but cannot prove, that sometimes Bishop's weed reverts to the all green form. I've seen a few green leaves in old patches of Bishop's weed. 

Leaves of Bishop's weed - the less vigorous form of goutweed.

Blooming now I have a green and white form of obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana). Obedient plant is not well named: it is not at all obedient, and spreads like crazy. I have dug all mine out, though it still appears from time to time. But I do give garden space to a green and white-leaved variety.

Obedient plant is a beautiful, agressive thug. Plant with care!

The all-green leaved plant grows 4 to 5 feet tall for me, has wonderful pink blossoms, and spreads by root. The green and white obedient plant is just 3 feet tall or less and doesn’t spread much. It grows best is full sun and moist soil. It tends to flop. Both types are good cut flowers. 

The variegated-leaved obedient plant is nice, and not so invasive.

Want help in your garden? I make house calls - consultations - to help you plan and improve your gardens. Call me at 603-543-1307 or e-mail me at henry.homeyer@comcast.net 

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