Any variegated plant creates an extra splash of color and drama, and variegated conifers are no exception. Although once thought of as appearing sickly or diseased, variegated conifers are steadily gaining traction in home gardens. They make excellent focal points, contributing year-round color, texture, and structure. As a bonus, they usually grow more slowly than the straight species, making them more compact and easier to control.
Variegated plants lack chlorophyll in some cells, resulting in white, cream, yellow, or light green coloration that creates a multicolored effect on leaves or needles. Variegated conifers are reproduced through grafting or rooted cuttings. Nearly every genus of conifer has a variegated cultivar; some are coveted collectors’ items, but there are many great varieties that are easier to find at nurseries or via mail order. Following are a few of my favorites.
‘Gelbbunt’ Korean fir offers a shining mix of gold and silver
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