Variegated plants can have different colored areas in their leaves, and sometimes the stems, branches and even seeds can be variegated too. The variation in leaf color happens when there is a lack of the green pigment chlorophyll in some of the plant cells; usually the result of a cell mutation (mistake), and this can be inherited or occur randomly. Many leaves have white or non-green veins, causing the leaf to appear variegated. The variation of leaves can also be caused by the reflection of light from the leaf surface.
Variegated plants need to be cared for properly, and they tend to grow at a slower rate than other plants. Since variegated plants do not produce as much chlorophyll, this prevents them from converting sunlight into sugar and thus they grow at a slower rate. Each variegated plant has a different genetic code, so one variegated plant may grow faster than the other. To grow a healthy variegated plant you have to make sure not to leave it directly into the sun the whole day. Location is very important, so provide shade at the hottest time of day.
Gardeners tend to appreciate the uniqueness and rarity of variegated plants. There are many grasses to choose from that come in striking and dynamic variegated colors. The Evergold Sedge Grass has sunny cream-colored striped leaves that will certainly be a focal point in your yard. If you want brilliant color, the Fireworks Grass puts on a colorful display wherever it is planted.
A great plant that adds interest to a shaded area is the hosta. They come in many variegated colors and are easy to grow. Hostas are usually referred to as 'shade-tolerant' plants, meaning they will grow in shade or partial shade, but some hostas may need some sun to perform their best. Variegated plants are now available in annuals, grasses, hostas, perennials, shrubs, vines and trees.