Green Plants for a Garden

Home gardeners enjoy filling their flower beds and landscaped areas with a wide variety of beautiful, blooming flowers. Sometimes, they don't think to include a few lush green plants in the mix. Green plants work well as fillers or as edging plants that give a backyard flower garden a more finished look. A large number of green garden plants are perennials, which means they will come back year after year.


The easy-to-grow perennial hosta is a popular choice among home gardeners who want to add a little green to their landscape. Hosta is a hardy, herbaceous perennial plant that comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Plants range from 8 inches to 3 feet in height and have rounded or heart-shaped leaves. Colors range from deep to brightly colored greens. Variegated varieties of hosta have cream, gold or bright yellow colored patterns on their leaves. Hostas thrive when exposed to morning sun and dappled, afternoon shade. Plant hostas in well-drained, rich, organic soils. According to Ohio State University, proper watering is essential to maintain a healthy hosta plant, so provide plants with at least 1 inch of water each week; water more if plants are grown in sandy soil.

Elephant Ear

Bring a little tropical flair to your garden by planting the large-leafed elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) among flowers or in landscaped areas. The leaves of the elephant ear plant are dark-green in color, heart-shaped and grow on a 2- to 3-foot stem. Elephant ears range in height from 2 to 6 feet and thrive when planted in partial shaded areas, but tolerate full sun if soil is kept moist. Plant elephant ears in rich, moist, well-drained soils and water well during dry weather. The elephant ear is a tuber and when planted in cold weather climates it must be dug up during the winter months. Iowa State University suggests replanting elephant ear tubers in the spring, after the chance of frost has passed.

Lamb's Ear

The low-growing lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina) is a green, perennial plant that works well as an edging along sidewalks, driveways or flower gardens. Lamb's ear reaches a height of 12 inches and has a 3-foot spread. The leaves are approximately 4 inches long, silvery-green in color and have a fuzzy outer coating. Plant lamb's ear in well-drained soil and use in areas where plants receive full to partial sun. Water plants once a week; 1 inch of water is sufficient. Water more often during periods of high heat. The lamb's ear produces a drab, unattractive, purple flower that's normally hidden by the foliage. Lamb's ear attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden and is considered a deer resistant plant.

Leopard Plant

The exotic leopard plant (Ligularia tussilaginea) adds a dash of color to any garden. Originally from Japan, the leopard plant is now found growing throughout the warmer climate regions of the United States. Although the leopard plant produces an attractive yellow flower, the plant is best known for its attractive and unusual foliage. The large, thick, glossy, leaves of the leopard plant are distinctively marked with patterns of gold spots. Leopard plants reach 2 to 3 feet in height and thrive in partially shaded areas of the garden. According to Iowa State University, the perennial leopard plant grows best when planted in well-drained, fertile, moist soil. Water plants weekly, more during warmer weather.

Keywords: foliage garden plants, green garden plants, green foliage plants

About this Author

Amy Deemer has been writing since 1992. Her articles on family life and pets have appeared in the family section of "The Herald Standard" newspaper. Deemer has an Associate of Arts degree in liberal studies from Westmoreland Community college.