Plants come in various varieties and colors. Having colorful foliage at home makes your garden more beautiful. This colorful foliage is called variegated species. These are very interesting plants, if u like to learn more about these plants, then join us this weekend as we will be answering some common questions about them.
Tune in to our YouTube channel and watch our Gardening Talks held on Saturday 1st October at 4 pm with Miss Vishakha Sinha who has answered our questions for us. She’s a Mtech in Industrial Engineering by qualification and a very devoted plant parent. She shares about her beautiful plant collection on her Instagram page “e_bageecha” https://bit.ly/3aj1iUK
Questions to be covered:
- What does variegation mean?
- Why do plants revert variegation?
- Why do variegated leaves turn brown?
- How to care for these plants?
- How should you select colorful plants for your garden?
Also, you can use the code VISHTAOS to get a 5% discount on TAOS Products. Do check it out on our website.
Vishakha and her Variegated Species:
“Welcome to a gardening talk featuring e_bageecha. Today we will be answering some basic questions on Variegation in plants. We have Miss. Vishakha Sinha with her Variegated Species and her explanatory answers. Hello Vishakha, how are you?” Asked Zehra.
“Hello everyone, Hello Zehra. I am doing well. It is my pleasure talking with you guys. Thank you, the Affordable Organic Store and Taos for organizing this wonderful session.” Said Vishakha. “So, Vishakha is an Industrial Engineer by profession but by heart, she is a plant lover.” Said Zehra.
“So, before we start with our questions, can you tell us a little about yourself?” Asked Zehra. “Good Afternoon everyone, I am Vishakha Sinha. I am a plant enthusiast and I love green tea. I have done an online plant nursery, where I inspire people to build their gardens and enjoy that greener, just like I do. I do understand people’s struggles that they go through when they bring home a plant and they have no idea at the beginning how to nurture them. So, regarding the variegated plant, I am here to help you.” Said Vishakha.
“So, let’s take the first question today, what does Variegation mean?” Asked Zehra.
“So, any plant that shows multiple colors is called a variegated plant. I have a Syngonium plant with a shade of pink, white and green, called a variegated plant. Taking about it, green plant is easier to take care of but these plants are more sensitive, therefore we have to be mindful of what kind of resources we are using for their growth. The variation can be of two types:
- If the variegation pattern displayed on the plant is not due to external factors, then they are called Stable Variegation. For example, every new leaf would have the same pattern in the Snake plant.
- If the variegation pattern displayed on the plant is due to external factors, then they are called Reversible Variegation.” Said Vishakha.
“Let’s take the second question, why do plants revert variegation?” Asked Zehra.
“So, to understand that, let’s take an example of a normal and simple green plant. It has a specific pigment in it, called Chlorophyll. The chlorophyll pigment is very important for the plant to produce food and photosynthesis. What happens in the variegated plant, it has sections. I will give you an example, although 70% of this leaf is Red, this portion is practically useless, as for the plant the green area is important for its growth. So, in the case of Reversible plants, I keep them indoors so that the plant doesn’t get more than not getting sufficient light, due to which what happens is, the Green part of the plant is not getting exposed to sunlight, even that portion of the plant is not able to grow in full capacity. So, this is signaling the plant, as the plant needs more food as Chlorophyll so that they leave revert from Red to Green. In 99% of cases, it is very difficult to get back the Red shade, so what you need to do is:-
Prevent them from reversible sources, if by any chance the reversion takes place, so you need to cut that leaf because if you compare a variegated leaf and a normal green leaf, the variegated leaf grows faster and may take over the entire plant. Can be prevented by providing the plant with all necessary resources that a plant needs.” Said Vishakha.
“Thank you so much for the detailed explanation Vishakha. Let’s take our next question, why do Variegated leaves turn Brown?” Asked Zehra.
“So, many people face this problem that leaves are turning brown. So, this is an indication that the plant is getting stressed, so to solve this problem, there can be many solutions as it varies. I have a plant, which I kept in the sun for a week and the leaves of the plant started turning Brown, and crisp. It can be seen on the edges of the leaf or at the tip of the leaf. So, the reasons for the leaves turning Brown are:-
- The soil is dried up, so you need to water it thoroughly. But here thoroughly doesn’t mean the amount of water but the frequency of times you water the plant.
- The second reason, overwatering the plant. At times, we don’t think and water the plant daily, due to which you will be able to see brown dots/spots at the center of the leaf which is slimy. So, you need to make sure to dry the soil before you again water the plant.
- There may be chances, that the drainage system of the pot is not good. This means that the holes are clogged, due to which water is not able to flow out of the pot.
So, when leaves started turning brown you cannot revert the leaves, so you have to trim them down for the further development of the leaves and the plant. I have a Monstera plant, whose leaf has turned completely white, but that doesn’t mean chopping them off. As we keep this kind of plant in our house for the beauty that they possess. But still, we need to make sure to make the plant healthy.” Said Vishakha.
“So, our next question for today is, how to take care of these plants, as in is there any special way to take care of them or simply like a normal plant?” Asked Zehra.
“I get asked this question a lot, so the answer is simple. Usually, people get a plant but are unable to understand what that plant needs. So, when you get a variegated plant, it is important to look after that plant. So, the important points to keep in mind are:-
- Sunlight and overexposure to the sun can also be dangerous. So, you have to keep it in bright indirect sunlight or bright direct sunlight for 3-4 hours in the morning or the evening, as the afternoon sunlight can burn the leaves.
- Grooming, so if the leaves start to turn brown or something it may happen to grow a beyond-variegated leaf so, you have to keep in mind to cut that leaf, as it has a faster-grown rate.
- Soil mixture, it is important to have well-drained soil. I usually use a mixture of Cocopeat, Garden soil, Cow dung manure, and a very small quantity of Fungicide. The main aim is to make more pores for better drainage.
- Water, you can check it by sticking your finger on the top soil to see if the soil is sticky and sticks to your fingertip do not water the plant it may lead to overwatering. Water the plant only when the top soil does not stick to your fingertip.
- Cleanliness, so if you keep the plant indoors make sure to clean the plant with the help of the spray bottle, to keep the plant’s leaves clean of dust as well as pests and insects. You can even use Neem oil mixed with water to remove or curb pest attacks on the plant.
- Propagation, while propagation, you may not see that leaves of the same plant grows differently as it is coded in their DNA to be the same. For example, Spider plants, Snake plants, Etc. You have to be careful when using the stem-cutting method, to grow a variegated plant you need to use the variegated leaf.
- Fertilizers, regarding fertilizers, we get the normal fertilizer which is 10 10 10 i.e. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium in it. But for variegated plants choose a fertilizer that is low on nitrogen, as it will revert the plant leaves to grow green. You can even you homemade compost as a fertilizer for the plant, Cow dung can be most recommended for the plant.” Said Vishakha.
“Thanks for the detailed explanation of the question. With this we come to the last question of the day, how should you select colorful plants for your garden?” Asked Zehra.
“So, as I told you. We usually see a plant at the nursery and have the desire to bring that plant home. Due to this, it happens that we are unable to understand what certain factors we can provide to the plants. So the right place is the mantra for having a beautiful, healthy, and colorful garden. So, place plays an important role, as to where there is the right amount of sunlight and good care. You can keep plants like Croton and Coleus, in the garden, as these plants have beautiful variegation and even scorching sunlight won’t be a problem for them. If you have a balcony, you can keep a Spider plant and a Monstera plant. Even variegated rubber plant is a good choice, as they are water tolerant. There are certain kinds of plants that do well in the shade as well, as they have stable variegation, you can even go for Pothos/money plant. Many people go towards Hydroponics, which is the art of growing plants with other mediums, you can go for Monstera plants, Pothos/money plants, and Syngoniums as well.” Said Vishakha.
So, thank you Vishakha, for conducting such a wonderful session/workshop on variegated plants. The site around you filled with colorful plants is pleasing and beautiful. Good Luck to you and your colorful plants! We hope that it was a knowledgeable and resourceful session. Have fun gardening.