4 Colorful Indoor Plant Hybrids for Interiorscapes

Finding unique colorful foliage that will survive interior conditions has always been a challenge.  In landscape design, there’s a wide range of different shades, shapes and sizes of beautiful ornamental foliage to design with. Interiorscapers have a more limited selection, and I’ve always envied the outdoor choices. However, in the past few years interior growers have developed new hybrids from old favorites.  Here’s a few colorful indoor plant hybrids that hold up just as well as the original variations to create unique looks for your interiorscapes.

ZZ Raven

One of my latest discoveries is the new ZZ or zamifolia zamioculcas. A black hue of the dark green ZZ is color you never see from a plant unless it’s completely dead.  Just as hardy as the original zz, the Raven zamifolia creates a very unusual contrast to an interiorscape design.  Especially if it’s paired with a bright orange, yellow croton, which brings me to another new favorite.

Croton Zanzibar

While the common croton petra with its bright red, orange and yellow shades will bring variety to a design, the Zanzibar hybrid reminds me of a fireworks display with its elongated leaves and showy red, gold, green and purple colors.  It tolerates lower light well and has a much more exotic appearance than your ordinary croton.  Unlike the straight stocks of most croton varieties, this hybrid has thin, unique curving stocks much like a marginata exotica.  If your client wants a showy display of colorful indoor plants, this is a great plant to use.

Sunshine Marginata

Speaking of marginata, I recently came across a new hybrid that has bright yellow and green striped leaves.  I’ve often used the tri-color or colorama marginata tips with the deep red, white and green striped foliage. However, this variety is much brighter with its wide gold center. This hybrid holds up just as well as the other varieties with the exception of dryness.  The foliage will wilt quicker if the soil gets dry so maintaining a consistent moisture level will keep the leaves at the proper level.

Aglaonemas

Aglaonemas have always been an interiorscape staple with their hardiness, low light tolerance and big wide foliage.  There’s always been a wide selection of varieties from the dark green striped narrow leafed marias to the wide silverish green silver bay.  After that, came the red-leafed siam and siam aurora. Lately, I’ve seen a whole variation of pink and yellowish shades that remind me of the flashy poinsettia hybrids like pink ice. 

Unlike poinsettias, these aglaonemas hold up wonderfully with indirect light and will brighten up any space. One of my favorites is the legacy and anyamanee pink.  The down side of these new hybrids are the availability and size.  The six inch container is often the only size you can find with the occasional eight or ten inch pot.  I’m assuming this is due to the slow growth rate. With any hybrid, there usually is some difficulty in propagation.  If you want low maintenance with a splash of color, this is the plant to use.  It seems each legacy has its own unique pattern and I never get tired of admiring the artistry of their leaves.

Though interiorscapers may not have as many colorful plants as compared to our exterior landscaper counterparts, these hybrids offer new options. What are some of your favorite colorful indoor plants to use in interiorscape designs?

Sherry has been part of the interiorscape industry for over fifteen years, starting at an entry level job at North Florida's largest greenhouse and currently owning two horticulture companies. At UMaine, Sherry majored in English where she worked part-time writing scripts for a local college TV studio.

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