Kinds of Green Plants

Vibrant green plants are a garden staple to help balance brightly colored plants and flowers. Grown in a wide range of varieties, each with its own distinct shade of green, shape and growing season, green plants create a classic garden display. Tucked among a garden container, some green plants grow tall for a commanding landscape presence, while others have a spreading effect and hug the ground. When planted according to their ideal climate and site, green plants can fill your landscape year-round.

Holmstrup Arborvitae

Holmstrup arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Holmstrup') is an evergreen plant that retains its apple-green color throughout the year. Growing 3 to 6 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide, holmstrup arborvitae has a slow growth rate and medium texture. The pyramidal shape of the holmstrup arborvitae is compact and dense. The flattened foliage of the holmstrup arborvitae grows in sprays that overlap and radiate out of the shrub. Grown for their vibrant foliage, holmstrup arborvitae requires full sun and moist, deep, well-drained soil to thrive. The USDA Hardiness Zone for planting is 3 to 7.

Elephant's Ear

Known for its large dark green leaves, elephant's ear is a tropical perennial with a moderate to aggressive growth rate. Growing 3 to 6 feet tall and 1 to 3 feet wide, elephant's ear has heart-shaped leaves that reach 5 feet tall and, as the name indicates, resembles an elephant's ear. The clumping growth habit and commanding height make the elephant's ear an ideal plant to grow as the backdrop to a perennial bed or among a tropical garden for height. Elephant's ear requires part shade only and moist, wet soil that is slightly acidic in nature. Water-loving elephant's ear is striking in a container to situate along a water garden. Divide the elephant's ear in early spring or winter to grow in other areas of the garden. The zone for planting is 9 to 11.

Swedish Ivy

Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus forsteri 'Green on Green'), also called green on green, is a variety of ivy that has green leaves edged with lime green and some leaves entirely lime green. Emerging in summer, Swedish ivy has a fragrance that permeates the garden with scent. Growing 1 to 3 feet, Swedish ivy has a spreading growth habit, ideally cascading over a hanging basket or meandering around a perennial border. Swedish ivy plants require full sun only and well-drained soil with a dry to medium moisture content. The zone for planting is 11.

Keywords: green plant varieties, holmstrup arborvitae, elephant's ear, Swedish ivy

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and