Plant the Look - Red Stems
If you are looking for a way to add a surprise pop of colour in your garden beds, these plants might be just the go!

Red Stem Surprises

red stems Add a touch of ruby with these four plants, left to right :

Kangaroo paws usually have apple green leaves and stems, but Anigozanthos Bush Joker has deep red stems to match its rich dark red flowers.

Dianella Cherry Red takes the native blue flax lily, usually a strappy-leaved fountain of deep green, and gives it a vibrant twist of colour. Those stems really glow in sunlight!

Cordylines are firm favourites in sub-tropical gardens for strong vibrant year-round colour, in reds, pinks, purples, and oranges; but they might be a little too colourful for some gardeners...
Slender-leaved australis cordylines Peko and Sundance , with their subtle pinky-red stems and soft green leaves, give just enough interest to lift these plants out of the ordinary - without overpowering a subtle green garden theme.

red and orange stems Add a touch of scarlet with these four plants, left to right :

Begonia rex is known for its colourful patterned leaves, but varieties like Begonia Arctic Breeze™ will give you double the colour with pink-red stems too.

Homalomena Sunshine Gem is a rare and not-well-known indoor plant; but with those glossy lime leaves and bright rhubarb-pink stems it won't be long before its good looks make it popular.

Bromeliads are firm favourites in sub-tropical gardens for vibrant year-round colour, in reds, pinks, purples, and oranges; especially in shadier patches of the garden. Green-leaved Pitcarnia hides a secret in the shade - purple under-leaf colour in mature plants, and deep ruby red stems, even when young.

Almost every plant lover knows the spider plant, with white-striped long strappy leaves. Very few plant-lovers know its cousin, the orange spider plant. Chlorophytum Green Orange glows in papaya and mango tones all the way along its broad stems and up its wide leaves.

Spotted Stem Surprises

alocasia stems

Alocasias are very fashionable indoor plants (and tropical garden plants), as their broad glossy leaves come in a wide assortment of shades, shapes, and silhouettes. They often have contrasting veins and ribs too, creating dramatic patterns.

What might get overlooked in all the leafy excitement are their beautifully patterned stems, which are already showing their colours in young tubestock, getting stronger and more defined as the plants grow to maturity.

Add some speckles and freckles and stripes with these four plants, left to right :
Alocasia
Zebrina, probably the most strongly-striped stems in the Alocasia family; Sarian, its huge leaves almost hiding its purple speckled stems; Lauterbachiana has dark, shadowy, almost-black stems; while
Morocco stems are juicy musk pink, even when the plants are young.

Like bright socks with a business suit, these four plants appear conventional at first glance, until a closer look reveals hidden colour. So next time you're browsing for plants, take a peek at the plain ones - you might be surprised how secretly colourful they can be!