Variegated leaves: the biggest trend this season

Two-toned flowers and foliage are twice as nice and double the wow-factor

Foliage is so much more than a filler! Just like falling leaves that change with the season, two-toned leaves are a spectacle in our COSY bouquet collection this fall.

There’s nothing more satisfying than sunlight illuminating russet-orange leaves on a fall walk in the woods. As an ode to the cosiest season, we’re mirroring foliage that goes from green to red to gold with an abundance of variegated leaves and flowers taking centre stage in our bouquets.

Trust us; variegated houseplants and foliage in bouquets is the next big trend! Here are the bi-coloured plants to fall for this autumn.

“Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower”

— Albert Camus, Le Malentendu

Twice the beauty, double the fun

Whether blotched, striped, bordered, or speckled, ‘variegated’ is the term to describe flowers and foliage that have two or more colours. Bi-coloured leaves are a thing of beauty and add as much interest to your garden or bouquet as flowers!

What causes variegation?

Unlike fall leaves that change colour due to a lack of chlorophyll when the tree has to absorb more energy in the waning sun, variegation can be the result of a mutation that breeders found and developed. Some plants, like Coleus blumei (painted nettle), grow more variegated leaves in brighter environments and less multicoloured in darker ones. Pigmented variegation is a way in which a plant adapts to its environment. Clever!

Aspidistra

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The starry smattering on Aspidistra elatior ‘Milky Way’ is out of this world! As a houseplant, aspidistra earned itself the name ‘cast iron plant’, because of its indestructible nature. The winter chill and not-so-green-thumbed owners who forget to water it (oops) are no match. In a bouquet, aspidistra is distinct because of its height and unusual variegation. It looks astronomical against fall coloured flowers, too.

Carex ‘Sparkler’

If you’re looking for a pop of pattern, look out for Carex phyllocephala ‘Sparkler’ in your bloomon bouquet this fall. Its striking cream-green variegated leaves grow in whorls, making it look like sparks bursting from the stem. Stunning in every season; we even used carex in our flower crowns this summer!

Calathea

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Take a walk on the wild side with exotic Calathea ‘Zebrina’. A plant that’s twice as fun, if you can believe it! Not only does the vibrant variegation on the top look stunning in a bouquet, but its flip side is fabulous, too. Varieties like Calathea lancifolia (rattlesnake plant) are seriously trending as a houseplant because the bright, two-toned pattern is contrasted by a deep purple underside.

Brassica

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Perhaps not your first thought for a flower arrangement, but ornamental cabbage is beautiful in a bouquet — largely due to the incredible variegation. Swirls and splatters in shades of green, cream, and indigo make brassica the trendiest in the Brassicaceae family. Well, you wouldn’t put just any old cabbage, broccoli, or kale in a bouquet, would you?

Cordyline

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Known as the cabbage palm — no relation to brassica or a palm, it’s actually in the asparagus family — a cordyline branch adds drama and a hint of Tropicana to an arrangement. And, if the two-toned leaves alone haven’t left you falling for it, it’s also said to bring good luck. Good things come to those with a cordyline ‘Yellow Tops’ in their COSY bouquet!

Fittonia

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Whilst you won’t find fittonia in our bouquets (it’s tiny!), it was one of the plants we used in our terrarium DIY, along with candy-pink, polka-dotted hypoestes. Fittonia verschaffeltii is known as the mosaic or nerve plant, because of its bright and intricate vein pattern. As its native to the tropical rainforests in South America, fittonia is ideal for terrariums and also makes a good houseplant. Just keep it warm and well-watered!

We always love to hear from you! Share photos of your bouquet with variegated flowers and foliage on Facebook and on Instagram using #bloomon.

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