How to Highlight Accent Plants in My Garden


An accent plant is a plant that is used to call attention to a particular area or feature of a garden. An accent plant is often more striking than the plants or the area around it, so that it draws the eye. However, an accent plant can get lost against a busy background or in a hard to see area. In order to make an accent plant catch the attention of your visitors, you can highlight it by making it stand out more noticeably.

Step 1

Select a variegated variety of a plant and plant it among green varieties of the same plant. For example, a single, large, variegated hosta such as A Many Splendored Thing against a background of blue or green leaf varieties like Baby Bunting will draw the eye to the yellow and green stripes on the leaves.

Step 2

Place the same accent plant throughout your garden. Repeating a certain plant throughout your design plan, such as placing a Japanese maple in every flower bed, calls attention to the plant as it ties the garden together.

Step 3

Use containers to elevate your tender accent plants. This will allow you to move tropical plants such as hibiscus indoors to overwinter.

Step 4

Create spotlights on accent plants by placing them in sunny areas of the garden. The human eye is naturally drawn toward sunny areas and away from shady ones. Accent plants placed in sunlight will naturally draw attention.

Step 5

Place white or bright green plants in shady areas. This will draw the eye to the shade, and straight to the accent plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Containers
  • Accent plants


  • Sun and Shade
  • Jenny's Garden
  • North Coast Gardening

Who Can Help

  • Leaves that Light Up the Garden - Variegated Plants
  • Front Yard Accent Plants in The Landscape
Keywords: gardening, accent plants, highlight accent plants

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.