The variety of accent plants available for Miami landscape designs can make picking between them overwhelming. To help, we continue our plant series by bringing you more accent plant options that we use frequently. In this post we focus on non-flowering accent plants.
Variegated Pittosporum - Pittosporum tobira 'Variegata'
A low-maintenance shrub that stands out against darker foliage, variegated pittosporum can brighten shaded spaces with its lime green hue.
Planting: Place in full to partial sun and 3 feet away from any structures. It grows fastest in well-draining, acidic soil. It does not tolerate wet soil and will quickly develop root rot under soggy conditions. Pittosporum is very salt tolerant and can be placed right up to sand dunes.
Care: Pittosporum can be maintained at any height through pruning. Water regularly but allow soil to dry between waterings. Fertilize pittosporum in spring, summer, and autumn with slow-release fertilizer.
Use: Pittosporum is extremely versatile. You can use it as a backdrop for smaller plants, along the edge of a structure, or to create a neat hedge.
Banana Croton - Codiaeum variegatum 'Banana'
Crotons are tropical low-maintenance evergreen shrubs. The banana croton is smaller than most crotons, making it an ideal accent plant for smaller spaces in your Miami landscape design.
Planting: Banana croton can be placed as close as 2 feet apart. They can adapt to partial shade or full sun but do best in bright but indirect sun. Place in area that is well draining but does not dry out too quickly. Crotons are prone to root rot when left in moist conditions.
Care: Keep soil moist but do not overwater. Fertilize banana croton three times a year (spring, summer, autumn) with slow-release fertilizer. It does not require frequent pruning and is mostly pest resistant.
Use: Banana croton looks best when grown in groups at the edge of a garden bed or surrounding large trees or palms. Its yellow leaves allow it to nicely contrast darker foliage or rocks. Banana croton is also an excellent indoor plant when given enough light.
Mammy Croton - Codiaeum variegatum 'Mammy'
Although related to the banana croton, the Mammy croton stands out with its distinct bright-red color.
Planting: As one of the smallest crotons, Mammy croton can be placed as close as 2 feet apart. They can adapt to partial shade or full sun, though their color will be brightest in full sun. Place in area that is well draining but does not dry out too quickly. Crotons are prone to root rot when left in moist conditions.
Care: Only trim diseased plant parts, otherwise your croton will take longer to grow. Keep soil moist but do not overwater. Fertilize your croton three times a year (spring, summer, autumn) with slow-release fertilizer. It does not require frequent pruning and is mostly pest resistant.
Use: The bright red foliage of the Mammy croton makes its use quite different from the banana croton. Place mammy croton as a contrast to light-green plants or white walls. Plant with light colored rocks or pine bark mulch. For a colorful pairing your Miami landscape designer can plant Mammy croton on one side of a garden bed and Banana croton on the other.
Little Ruby Alternanthera - Alternanthera dentata
A small low-maintenance plant that is sure to stand out, little Ruby alternanthera provides consistent color to any garden.
Planting: Can adapt to full or partial sun. Does best in well-draining soil but can tolerate many soil types. Little Ruby alternanthera only has to be placed 10 to 12 inches away from other plants due to its small size. Water regularly for the first weeks following planting in your Miami Landscape Design.
Care: Little Ruby alternanthera is drought tolerant once established. It only grows to be 18 inches tall, so pruning should not be necessary. Fertilize once in the fall and once in the spring with any general-purpose fertilizer.
Use: We like to use Little Ruby alternanthera as a contrast to leafy green plants. They are great at providing ground cover or at lining the edges of garden beds. Little Ruby alternanthera also does well in containers and hanging baskets.
Imperial Bromeliad - Alcantarea imperialis
An elegant low-maintenance plant that is sure to add an air of sophistication.
Planting: Can adapt to full sun or full shade, though it will be more colorful in brighter conditions. Imperial bromeliad will rot and die when placed in a wet area so ensure soil is well draining.
Care: Bromeliads need very little attention once established. There is no need for fertilization or pruning. An imperial bromeliad will produce offspring and die within 2-4 years, by which time the offspring will be about half the size of the original plant. You can replace the original plant with the offspring.
Use: We like to use Imperial Bromeliad in areas that do not receive too much sun or under large trees or palms. They stand out most when placed in the front of a garden bed. Given their love of moisture they are an excellent plant to place near pools in Miami Landscape Designs.