Saturday, April 13, 2013

Reversion

 In the small orbit of my garden , instability of variegated plants sends what passes for design on a downward spiral.  When I  noticed the green branch parading shamelessly, vigorously,  from the base of my Caryopteris  'Summer Sorbet' (my beloved Summer Sorbet I might add) I was indignant and crestfallen,  for this was not the only plant  to decide it preferred to be green.

  I did some research on the topic , and the opinions( from blogs to forums to university web sites) seemed to be unanimous: Variegated plants have less chlorophyll to photo synthesize , and thus upon occasion they just stomp their feet and decide to produce more green. The solution : remove the green shoots as soon as you see them.  My track record on this is not impressive.

 Eryngium 'Jade Frost' .



 Former Eryngium 'Jade Frost'


The offending green shoot on Caryopteris 'Summer Sorbet' since removed.


This Silene was entirely variegated last year.


Dwarf Euonymous, with a sneaky green shoot.



The last variegated shoot on my 10 year old clump of Phlox paniculata 'Norah Leigh' . Not happy about this.


I collect Oreganos. This one is a shell of it's former variegated self. The whole thing will have to go.



11 comments:

  1. This happens all the time, as you note. I have a lot of 'Frosty Morn' tall sedum and it provides a nice pop of light color from afar. But it quickly reverts to all green, and needs constant snipping off of the reversions.

    What about trees --- it would be impossible to cut off reverted branches! I wonder if my variegated sweetgum, which has lovely white edged leaves, will revert? I've only had it a year and it is small now.

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  2. After voles decimated one of my Caryopteris 'Summer Sorbet' a couple of winters ago, it started shooting reverted stems. I did curt them out but that plant now seems much less vigorous. If it doesn't perk up I'll probably replace it with a new one. 'Norah Leigh' has always been stable for me. I don't grow the Eryngium but had hear it completely reverts. C'est la vie! Variegated plants are still worth it.

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    1. They are worth it Sue. I have a good spot opened up for another Norah Leigh, but I can't seem to find one. yet.

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  3. I understand your disappointment - Mother Nature has a way of messing with design schemes. I've heard that most, if not all, variegation is due to a virus - maybe your plants are just too healthy to remain variegated...

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  4. An occasional hazard of having variegated plants. Can be tricky and frustrating indeed especially if the variegation is so desired.

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  5. Maybe Kris' comment explains the reverse event in my garden, a variegation appearing on a formerly all-green shrub. A large variegated branch emerged on my 4 year old Duranta. I was scratching my head over that. Now I have a probable answer.

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    1. So now you need to take a cutting and create Duranta variegata 'Sandy' ..

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  6. My Eryngium Jade Frost has turned all green too. In very disappointed. I could have bought an all-green variety for a lot less money, Lil.

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    1. I planted three Gerhard (you know, the repeated element thing) and so far have one reversion on the oldest specimen.I have my eyes on the other two. I am not feeling confident !

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