Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Stop Variegated Plants from Reverting to Plain Green

Variegated Hosta

Plants are green because of green chlorophyll molecules within the leaves that capture light energy from the sun and transform it into sugars and elaborated carbohydrates for plant growth. This is known as the process of photosynthesis.

Snow N Summer
However, attractive, ornamental landscape plants with variegated foliage have areas of white or yellow (or sometimes pink or other) that are lacking this green chlorophyll. The absence of chlorophyll means photosynthesis levels are decreased, and this can put stress on a plant. The straight green foliage is better adapted for growing and thriving.

All-green lacking variegation can
overwhelm the shrub hedge. 
This simplified version explains why variegated plants are often not as vigorous as their plain green forms (consider slow-growing green-and-white pineapple mint v.s. vigorous all-green apple mint, or variegated Chinese privet v.s. plain-green privet).

Crabapple LandscapExperts will prune out any leaves or branches that have reverted to green as far back as needed until the variegation resumes. This may involve pruning back to the base when necessary, or to the variegated region on a branch. The LandscapExperts know it is important not to delay, since the all-green shoots and leaves can grow to overwhelm the plant and turn it solid green if neglected.  Call your Crabapple Rep for advice at 770-740- 9739.

Green has almost taken over.
Call the LandscapExperts quick!  
Eliminate all-green via selective pruning
with hand pruners

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