Tropic-Cool Party

Why This Works

Whether you’re looking for a touch of the Tropics or just want something unique for the shade, this combination will cause serious plant lust. Blending two wildly variegated plants takes confidence and an eye for detail. A white tracery of web-like markings on the large Japanese aralia leaves jostle for dominance with the Pollock style splatters on the willow with the introduction of flamingo pink adding extra zing! The rotund form of the silvery green conifer acts as the ‘Party Police’ and keeps things from getting out of hand.

Key Players

‘Spider’s Web’ Japanese aralia (Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web).

Evergreen, glossy and dramatic. There’s no  incy wincy spider here! This shade loving shrub will grow easily to 5’ tall and wide, thriving in rich, moisture retentive soils. It also makes a spectacular container specimen. Zones 7-10 .

Dappled willow (Salix integra ‘Hakuro-nishiki’).

This fast growing deciduous shrub will reach 15′ but can be hard pruned in winter to keep it smaller. Bright pink stems and buds together with white and pink variegated foliage make this a great choice for enlivening a sunny or partially shaded spot. Zones 4-9.

Supporting Actor

‘Barry’s Silver’ false cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana  ‘Barry’s Silver’). A dwarf conifer which adds the perfect shade of green to balance its partners while the pure white juvenile  foliage enhances the color scheme. It will grow slowly to 6′ in sun or partial shade and prefers to be watered regularly but not to be  in saturated soil.  Zones 5-9.

What They Need To Thrive

  • Partial shade
  • Moisture retentive soil

Season Of Interest

  • Year round

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