These natives of the Americas are grown for their alternate, distinctively shaped and colored leaves, which may be variegated, striped, maroon, or densely wooly. The long-blooming flowers each have 3 petals and often occur in violets, purples, and pinks. Grow the hardy species in mixed borders; tender species may be treated as annuals, grown in containers or hanging baskets, or used as houseplants or conservatory plants.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsThese evergreen perennials provide an endless array of beautiful and useful foliage plants.
CareOutdoors: grow in moist, fertile soil in full sun to partial shade. Indoors: grow in bright but filtered light, fertilizing during active growth and reducing water in the winter; pinch branches to promote bushiness.
PropagationDivide in spring or fall; root cuttings of tender species in soil or water.
ProblemsAphids, spider mites, viruses.