If you're looking to add color to your garden, you can go the usual route by choosing new flower varieties, or you can take a different approach by selecting plants that have unusual colors in their leaves or stems. Red-stemmed plants are a vibrant choice. The stems that support a number of flower varieties come in striking shades of red that stand out amidst a field of green leaves.
Red-Stemmed Lady's Mantle
Red-stemmed lady's mantle (Alchemilla erythropoda) reverses the usual pattern of green stems and red flowers by delivering delicate puffs of tiny lime green flowers that hover above a field of grey or blue-green foliage. When planted in sunny locations, the stems of this perennial turn an eye-catching shade of red. These plants bloom in early to mid-summer, and reach a maximum height of 24 inches. Excellent in flower beds, or used as a border plant, the flowers can be cut and used fresh or dried
With light pink flowers that bloom in the spring and fall, supported by red stems that reach up to 20 inches long, is the Erodium cicutarium. The frilly-edged green leaves of red-stemmed filaree are said to resemble those of poisoned hemlock, referenced by the "cicutarium" part of its scientific name. Red-stemmed filaree is a perennial and can be invasive.
Aechmea triticina is a member of the family Bromeliaceae that features cone-shaped, yellow flowers that spike from red stem bracts. It is a hardy plant, capable of tolerating hot sun and dry spells. In his book, "Bromeliads for the Contemporary Garden," writer Andrew Steens describes Aechmea triticina's flowers as "curious, rather than beautiful." This bromeliad grows readily and can spread over large spaces in a short amount of time.
If you're searching for red-stemmed plants for your pond, Red-stemmed Thalia is a good choice. Its wide, lime green leaves and small violet flowers complement the prominent red stems that support this plant, which grows up to 4 feet high. Red-stemmed thalia can be planted in small groups in bog soil, or grown in planters.