Variegated foliage a wonder of nature
NATURE has its own inimitable manner to express its beauty. At times, it is expressed through unusual colour development in the foliage of plants. It may also manifest itself in the variegation, size or peculiar shape and structure of the leaves or fruit. As if to show its magic, nature may create strange features in otherwise simple and common plants.
See the accompanying
picture. Anyone who has even the remotest love for plants knows about
the ordinary monstera. But nature has created another specimen
out of it, as if to give it a unique look. The new specimen has
excellent foliage with sparkling white variegation. However, further
propagation from this plant may result in a plant that is all green,
which means that it will come back to its original self. But then this
is something that does not always happen.
Such plants not only enhance our homes and gardens but also become a source of education for one and all. While growing in natural surroundings, they do not need external help and nature takes care of them. But growing them in artificial habitats also makes it necessary to provide matching conditions. You may notice a change in the foliage size or variegation, depending on the location.
A keen observer can easily
discern the water, light or shade requirements of the plants. Most of
the plants need good light conditions, else they show leggy growth.
However, those worried about the shady corners should display monstera,
aspidistra, sensiviera, ferns etc. Their colour development and
variegation comes with light exposure but direct sun rays should not be
allowed to touch the foliage of such plants. They will get burnt. The
light should be available to the plants indirectly or it should be
filtered. Any light coming through the windowpanes should be avoided.
The plants that have been sprayed with water should also not be exposed
to the sun directly. The drops deposited on the leaf act as magnifying
glasses and you may end up having yellow burn spots on the foliage.
This feature was
published on September 21, 2003