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GardenSMART :: Four Fab Houseplants with Amazing Texture

Four Fab Houseplants with Amazing Texture

By Justin Hancock, Costa Farms Horticulturist
Photographs courtesy of Costa Farms

Add a dose of drama to your houseplant displays by mixing in varieties that offer fabulous texture. The value of texture is easy to overlook, but it shines when you put plants together. Play with textural complements and contrasts for an eye-catching display. If you're not sure where to start, here are four of my favorite houseplants that have texture to spare.

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Alternanthera 'Christmas Tree'

Part of the Exotic Angel Plants® collection, 'Christmas Tree' alternanthera offers tiny leaves that are often curled and twisted. The result is interesting and dramatic, especially when paired with big-leaf plants like peace lily (Spathiphyllum) and Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema).

Tips for success: It likes a bright spot and watering when the top inch or so of the potting mix dries to the touch.

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Teddy Bear Vine

How can you not fall in love with a plant that has teddy bear in its name? Teddy bear vine (Cyanotis kewensis) features green leaves infused with bronze and covered in soft hairs. It's pretty to look at and fun to touch! Because teddy bear vine has a creeping/trailing habit, it's great for houseplant hanging baskets, as well as traditional planters.

Tips for success: It likes a bright spot and watering when the top inch or so of the potting mix dries to the touch.

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Variegated Rubber Tree

Variegated rubber tree (Ficus elastica 'Ruby Teneke') goes on the opposite side of the spectrum with its large leaves. It looks good paired with anything, particularly fine-leaf plants. Old-school varieties have rich, deep green foliage, but this variety has leaves edged in pink and streaked with silvery green.

Tips for success: It likes a high light spot and watering when the top inch or so of the potting mix dries to the touch.

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Dragon's Tongue

At first glance, you might think dragon's tongue (Hemigraphis repanda) is a type of grass. But this delightful little houseplant is actually more closely related to Persian shield and polka-dot plant. Regardless of its family heritage, you're sure to love its fine leaves that are dark green on top and purple on the bottom. It's lovely on its own or planted as a groundcover underneath houseplant trees.

Tips for success: It likes a medium or high light spot and watering enough to keep the potting mix moist, but not wet or soggy.

 


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