BIRDS, bees and human beings are easily attracted to bright colours. Hence, the use of flowering plants with a myriad of magnificent tones, not even in their full bloom, can instantaneously draw onlookers.

However, this also applies to some non-flowering plants which, in some way, can also charm with their unique leaves of all kinds of shapes and hues. They could be flamboyant enough and stand out among other plants for softscape.

These non-flowering plants have permanent colours all year round, making it easier for home ownersto have a fixed theme for their garden as it will not require frequent changes to the plant arrangement to fit the whole landscape.

Due to their colourful foliage, these plants can be exhibited as a single specimen or grouped for dramatic impact.

They work well in areas where seed pods and wilted flower heads cause litter problems, such as driveways, sidewalks, patios or porches and can thrive in pots placed in bright locations around the garden.

Crotons (Codiaeum variegatum)

Native to Malaysia, some parts of Asia and other Eastern Pacific islands, this plant bears large leathery and shiny leaves that have a blend of magenta and green. Crotons love the warm condition and humidity of its habitat. It also requires just dappled light, so it can be placed under the shade but keeping it indoors will be a setback.

Coleus Blumei

Surprisingly, this plant’s leaves have tooth edges and are often used as a medicinal plant by traditional medicine practitioners to treat gastrointestinal problems and high blood pressure. While some plants tend to sprout tiny purplish flowers when they mature, they already have an attractive feature in the leaves without even the need for the flowers.

Polyscias Fruticosa

The plant is usually used as a hedge for landscaping. It is beneficial to home owners who have a penchant for cooking. In some countries the young leaves and shoots are steamed and eaten as salad or added to soups as a condiment because of its aromatic flavour, reminiscent of parsley. Polyscias are also used in traditional medicine for analgesic, febrifuge and diuretic and in Cambodia they are turned into joss sticks.

Podocarpus Macrophyllus

Originating from Japan and China, this plant, which is also known as Plum Pine, can grow up to 25 metres and is widely used as a dense screen or hedge in landscaping. Sometimes, it will bear tiny fleshy edible fruits on female trees which are attractive to birds.

Nephrolepis exaltata

The reason why this plant is a household favourite is simply because it is a non-toxic plant which is easy to maintain and one of the highest-rated species that can reduce pollutants in the air. They are kept indoors and outdoors, mainly in hanging containers. The Boston Fern thrives well under indirect light and humid conditions.

Scindapsus aureus

This is another favourite houseplant due to its versatility and easy to care (requires little watering). The Money Plant has yellow and green variegation which makes them easily recognisable and popular in a variety of settings. Naturally, a fast-growing strong climber, it can flourish as houseplants or climbers and is kept in hanging containers, indoor and outdoor, in full sun or partial shade.

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