Foliage plants are plants considered to have decorative, colourful and interesting leaves. Such plants can create interesting garden spaces and can provide shade, colour and cover for a range of needs.
Using foliage for decoration and cover has a benefit of being a long-lasting effect. This can also outlast shorter term flowers and annuals. Moreover, can have such benefits as ongoing decorative appeal, longer term shading or cover.
Foliage plants are commonly known as house plants. Herbs, Container plants, Ornamental grasses and Ground cover also reside in the same category.
The value of foliage plants lies in the aesthetic qualities such as leaf shape, size, plant form, flowers, fragrance as well as growth rate. This is been always important to any of foliage plants
Lets checkout each characteristics in brief:
- Leaf Shape and Size
Some characteristics of leaf shapes and sizes are particularly attractive and striking. Changes in lead size and shape can create new and exciting appearances in hybrids.
- Plant Form
Plant overall form has always been an important attribute in foliage plants. Plant form has six principle groups – Upright, Compact or Clumping, Trailing, Climbing, Standards, Architectural.
Foliage plants are to increase flower number longevity and to expand the range of flower colors. In addition, the ability to continuing flowering under interior conditions is very important.
The consumer often desires fragrance in flowers. Taking the example of Spathiphyllum, they are also naturally fragrant for about two weeks. This lasts till the spathe opens to expose the spadix. However, no specific breeding work has been done with fragrance as a goal for Spathiphyllum.
- Growth Rate
Foliage cultivars vary in growth rate. Many foliage plants grow slowly. So improving growth rate will reduce production time and increase profits.
Aglaonema is commonly known as Chinese Evergreen. Most aglaonema species are open-pollinated. Aglaonema is one of the widely used plants in the interior. This is due to its ability to tolerate low light, low humidity and its resistance to disease and pests. Almost all Aglaonema cultivars are hybrids developed using traditional breeding. Emerald Start and Jewel of India are two cultivars developed by breeders in India.
Alocasia is native Southeast Asia from India to the Philippines. Alocasia has unisexual flowers. Recent renewed interest in Alocasia is largely due to the release of more cultivars in recent years. These cultivars are somaclonal variants have different colours, shapes and sizes of leaves embellished with unique variegation, providing valuable additions for interiors.
Spathiphyllum, commonly called peace lily. It is one of the most popular foliage plants in the trade. The popularity is because of dark green foliage, long-lasting showy white flowers, and ease of growing. It has bisexual flowers and is naturally pollinated by bees.
When choosing foliage plants, some things to consider include:
- The colors – is there a particular grouping of colors needed in the area the plant or plants are being placed?
- The ability of the foliage plants to cope with the temperature ranges.
- If indoors, the suitability of the plant for growing in a container and being.