Pictures of Silver Foliage Plants

  • 01 of 16

    Silver King Artemisia

    Silver King artemisia picture.
    Wreath-Maker's Delight This artemisia provides a silver base for wreaths. David Beaulieu

    Silver Leaves Worth Their Weight in Gold

    Plants with silver foliage are attractive in their own right but work especially well in combination with flowers. Thus the popularity of annual planting beds featuring the silver leaves of dusty miller and the red flowers of salvia, for instance. Like white flowers, silver foliage is also effective in "moonlight gardens." Browse these pictures of silver foliage plants for ideas -- and for caveats.

    Silver King artemisia plants grow 2'-3' high. A...MORE rapid spreader, Silver King artemisia plants may be a bit too vigorous for those worried about harboring aggressive plants. But if you want them to take over and fill in an area, you can divide them in spring.

    Their attractive silvery foliage has become the base or accent for many a fall wreath. In the picture above, notice how nicely the silvery foliage of Silver King artemisia complements the yellow flowering plants in the background. But color is only part of the appeal of Silver King artemisia. The foliage's fine texture is also useful in providing contrast within a planting bed. Silver Queen is a similar artemisia plant but is more compact. Planting zones 3-9.

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  • 02 of 16

    Lavender's Silver Leaves

    Picture of lavender, with its silvery leaves.
    Lavender: It's Good for More Than Potpourris Picture of lavender. David Beaulieu

    Gazing on the silver foliage of lavender in winter is a delight. Foliage plants offer visual interest during those times when, in cold climates, the idea of flowers is caught somewhere between a distant memory and the seemingly impossible dream of spring.

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  • 03 of 16

    Russian Sage

    Russian sage flowers picture.
    Russian Sage: The "Lavender" Substitute Flowers bloom in summer. David Beaulieu

    Russian sage (Perovskia) is a perennial flower. In the case of Russian sage, it's the stems, even more so than the foliage, that inject a silver color into your landscape design. The profusion of its delicate flowers (which are of secondary importance to the vegetation), its gray-green leaves and its silver stems all work to give Russian sage an airy look.

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  • 04 of 16

    Lamium Galeobdolon

    'Yellow Archangel' is a yellow lamium plant.
    Silvery Ground Cover With Variegated Leaves 'Yellow Archangel' is a yellow lamium plant. David Beaulieu

    Yellow Archangel (Lamium galeobdolon) is a type of lamium with variegated foliage (silver flecks on a green background) and a yellow flower. Lamium plants are suitable for shade gardens. Also known as "dead nettle," don't confuse lamium with the weed, stinging nettle. As shown in the picture, the leaves of this ground cover are variegated, but the color that stands out is the silver. This plant is also known to be deer resistant. 

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  • 05 of 16

    Licorice Plants

    Picture of licorice plants (Helichrysum petiolare).
    Licorice Plants: Viny, Silver-Leafed Annuals Picture of licorice plants, or "trailing dusty miller.". David Beaulieu

    You can grow licorice plants (Helichrysum petiolare) as perennials in zones 9, 10 and 11. But further north than that, these viny, silver-leafed plants are treated as annuals. For this reason, it's common to see licorice plants used in containers. Licorice plant is also called "trailing dusty miller."

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  • 06 of 16

    Silver-Leaved Poplar Trees

    Picture of silver-leaved (or "silverleaf") poplar tree.
    AKA "White Poplars," "Silverleafed Poplars" Picture of silver-leaved (or "silverleaf") poplar tree. David Beaulieu

    Silver-leaved poplar trees (Populus alba) derive their name from the silvery look of the underside of their foliage while the top of the leaf is dark green. Unfortunately, silver-leaved poplar trees are considered invasive in North America, so planting them is not recommended. Poplar trees with more typical foliage color include Lombardy poplar and quaking aspen.

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  • 07 of 16

    Silver Mound Artemisia

    Silver Mound artemisia picture.
    Artemisias provide several choices for silver foliage. David Beaulieu

    Silver Mound artemisia plants (Artemisia schmidtiana 'Silver Mound') plants grow to about 1 foot high. The foliage is dense and silver-gray. They are suited to planting zones 3-7. Unfortunately, they don't always keep a tightly mounded form.

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  • 08 of 16

    Spotted Deadnettle (or "Lamium")

    Purple deadnettle picture.
    Ground cover with silvery foliage. David Beaulieu

    The spotted deadnettle plants, displaying an attractive silvery foliage.

    The spotted deadnettle or Lamium maculatum Purple Dragon has purple blooms.  There is another variety which features a spotted deadnettle with a white-colored flower (Lamium maculatum 'White Nancy'). The lamiums are perhaps most often grown for their foliage. This spotted deadnettle can be grown in hardiness zones 4-8. If you have trouble with marauding deer pests eating your plants, you won't have to worry about...MORE spotted deadnettle, since deer tend to leave it alone. The white-flowered lamiums mentioned above stay rather short (generally under one foot in height), but they can attain a width of about three feet, making them ideal for a ground cover.

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  • 09 of 16

    Japanese Painted Fern Picture

    Photo of Japanese painted ferns.
    Ferns With Silver Foliage Photo of Japanese painted fern, a fine choice for shade gardens. David Beaulieu

    The Japanese painted ferns (Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum') are shade plants that have silver foliage punctuated with a purplish color.

    Unhappily, these plants are susceptible to rabbit damage. If you have bunnies turning your garden into a salad bar they'll definitely be heaping their plates with these beautiful ferns. 

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  • 10 of 16

    Snow in Summer Flowers

    Picture of snow in summer.
    Silvery Leaves With White Blooms Picture of snow in summer. David Beaulieu

    Snow in summer or Cerastium tomentosum's silvery foliage is just as impressive as its snow-white blooms. This flow is an eye-catching addition to any garden. 

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  • 11 of 16

    Jack Frost Brunnera

    Jack Frost Brunnera picture.
    Brunnera Macrophylla a Shade-Garden Favorite Flowers bloom in spring. David Beaulieu

    Jack Frost Brunnera is named for the frosty appearance of its silver leaves. One of the plant's common names is Siberian bugloss. The much taller Italian bugloss, incidentally, is an entirely different (albeit related) plant.

    Brunnera macrophylla Jack Frost is a perennial plant with blue flowers that bloom in spring. These blue flowers are reminiscent of those on forget-me-nots. But the green and silver leaves of the plant make a statement throughout the growing season. Divide this perennial durin...MOREg spring.

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  • 12 of 16

    Wooly Thyme

    Wooly thyme picture.
    Thymus Pseudolanuginosus Thymus pseudolanuginosus is an attractive groundcover, but it is somewhat less vigorous than some of its Thymus cousins. David Beaulieu

    Wooly thyme's Latin name, Thymus pseudolanuginosus, refers to the wool-like feel of its leaves. Not only are the leaves of wooly thyme groundcovers a gray-green, but the silver hairs on the foliage also give wooly thyme a silvery, fuzzy look.

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  • 13 of 16

    Lamb's Ears Plants

    Lambs ears picture.
    Velvety Groundcover Flowers bloom in early summer. David Beaulieu

    The botanical name for Lamb's ears is Stachys byzantina. This plant can spread quite a bit, which can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

    The problem with many "good" groundcovers is that they can be invasive (i.e., they sometimes do their job too well). You'll have to decide what's more important to you: getting that bare patch of earth covered with an attractive plant that will suppress weeds, or staying away from aggressive spreaders, lest they...MORE become a nuisance.

    Lamb's ears is valued primarily for its interesting leaves, not its flowering ability. But for those interested, it sends up tall flower spikes with purple blossoms.

    An herbaceous perennial, lamb's ears reaches only about 1 inch in height (with a similar spread). Planting zones 4-10. Lamb's ears grows best in full sun.

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  • 14 of 16

    Mullein Plant

    Picture of mullein plants.
    Silvery Foliage, Tall Yellow Flower Spike Flowers bloom in early summer. David Beaulieu

    Bearing tall spikes of yellow flowers, common mullein plants (Verbascum thapsis) have silvery leaves. You'll often see mullein plants growing wild along roadsides.

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  • 15 of 16

    Rose Campion

    Lychnis coronaria picture.
    Lychnis Coronaria Picture Flowers bloom in early summer. David Beaulieu

    Rose campion (Lychnis coronaria) is named for its blooms, but its silver leaves are also an asset. Garden phlox, with its "normal" green foliage, stands in the background in this Lychnis coronaria picture.

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  • 16 of 16

    Dusty Miller Plants

    Photo of 'Silver Dust' dusty miller.
    Photo of 'Silver Dust' dusty miller. David Beaulieu

    Dusty miller plants also go by the name Silver Dust cultivar (Senecio cineraria 'Silver Dust'). While its silvery color is striking, this plant has more than just color going for it. The delicate foliage texture of 'Silver Dust' dusty miller, with its deep indentations along the edges, contrasts strikingly with adjacent plants whose leaves have smoother edges, whether it be geraniums or red salvia.