You don’t always need a large plant to make a statement. Unusual leaf shapes and textures draw the eye, too, and can make up for size in smaller homes or rooms. One way to create more impact with houseplants is to group several smaller plants that combine well. This trio features plants with variegated leaves: Dracaena ‘Lemon Surprise,’ polka dot plant (Hypoestes) and gold crest false aralia (Plerandra elegantissima ‘Gold Crest’). When combining plants, choose ones that need similar growing conditions. These plants thrive with medium to high light. If you love bright colors, select cachepots for plants that inject a pop of color.
Mints come in an array of leaf sizes, colors and flavors. You can easily find a mint that suits your taste or fills the right spot in your garden design or recipe box. Some common mint varieties include: ‘Kentucky Colonel’ spearmint (the go-to mint for juleps and mojitos), ginger mint (gold-streaked leaves taste great in teas), pineapple mint (variegated green and white leaves, fruity flavor), ‘Hillary’s Sweet Lemon’ mint (a cross between apple and lime mint) and apple mint (large fuzzy leaves on tall plants).
Norway maple (Acer platanoides) is the ultimate shade tree, forming a dense crown thanks to leaves that grow up to 7 inches across. In fall, leaves shift to hues of yellow and gold. Give it plenty of space, because it spreads up to 50 feet. The form of this maple is a classic lollipop shape—a strong, straight trunk topped with a rounded leaf canopy. Norway maple tolerates urban conditions, but avoid planting it near driveways or sidewalks, because shallow roots can lift concrete. Trees grow 50 to 60 feet tall and 40 to 50 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-7.
Discover the native shrub with an odd name—Fothergilla—and wonderful multi-season interest. Fothergilla opens the year with fragrant white flowers in early spring. These blooms resemble bottlebrushes and provide a vital source of food for early pollinators. Flowers appear with leaves, which boast a pleated, strongly veined surface that’s eye-catching. Fall leaf color is stunning, with a single plant showcasing shades of orange, burgundy, purple and gold. Fothergilla thrives in part shade to full sun. Plants grow 6 to 10 feet tall by 5 to 9 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8. Good to know: Fothergilla tends to send up many shoots and, if happy, forms colonies. Remove suckers as soon as they appear to keep your shrub to a modest footprint.