Add Yellow Foliage to Brighten your Landscape


Could your yard benefit from a little pop of color?   As you look around your yard, you’ll notice that there’s no shortage of shades of green that thrive in your garden and foundation plantings.  But if you want to break up that sea of green, especially in partly sunny to shady areas, try a pop of chartreuse to brighten things up.

Golden, or chartreuse leaf plants (a blend of yellow and green), can really liven up a dull area and give your garden a real boost.   Shady areas always present a brightening challenge, but below you will discover many options when it comes to bold chartreuse-colored plants that will take on a glow with golden foliage.

Heuchera ‘Citronelle’

Heuchera ‘Citonelle’. Courtesy of Mt. Cuba

Grows best in partial shade.  Some heucheras can withstand full sun, however, the rich, glowing hues of Citronelle tend to wash out in brighter sun.  One of the parents of Heuchera ‘Cintrolelle’ is native coral bells, Heuchera villosa, which can withstand some sun.  This native grows 6” tall and 14 to 18 inches wide.   Combine this with Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ or Liriope ‘Black Dragon’ for an eye-pleasing combination.  Many of today’s coral bells hybrids focus on foliage.  It’s the leaves that steal the spotlight in gardens.   Read all about Hucheras  in Mt. Cuba’s report.

Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’

Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’. Courtesy of Proven Winners

This great plant was chosen for the Perennial Plant of the Year for 2020.  –  A unique plant for the shade!   Aralia will grow quickly to at least 3 feet wide by 3 feet tall or even larger.  It’s reported to be deer resistant.    If given at least a few hours of sun a day, the foliage will remain yellow all summer.  In heavier shade, the foliage ranges from chartreuse to lime green.

Hosta hybrid ‘Etched Glass’

Hosta hybrid ‘Etched Glass’. Photo courtesy of Proven Winners

Bring style and refinement to your Hosta garden!  Very wide, dark green margins contrast with a bright, brilliant yellow margin.  Margins have puckering when plant is mature and near-white flowers.

Nadina domestica ‘Lemon Lime’   

This evergreen has beautiful chartreuse new foliage that fades to a nice green, and while most Nandinas will turn red, this stays true to its color.  It’s considered compact and use as a bright accent in the shrub order, mass plantings or in a large container.  It is deer and pest resistant and easy to care for.  Can take full sun to part shade.  You can prune back by l/3 of total height each spring to encourage fresh growth.

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ and Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’

Hakonechola macra ‘All Gold’

These are attractive ornamental grasses that grow 12 to 18” tall and 18” to 24” wide.  The ‘Aureola’ is variegated gold with a green stripe and the ‘All Gold’ is all gold and tens to be more vigorous.  Both have an attractive habit of cascading over to one side.  The common names are Hakone Grass and Japanese forest grass.

St. John’s Wort Hypericum calcinum ‘Golden Rule’

A great creeping groundcover which provides great color contrast.  It can stabilize banks as well as providing interest from summer to winter.  Likes sun to part shade and well-drained locations.  It will benefit from a trimming in spring and after flowering.

Golden Hinoki False Cypress

Sprays of feathery bright golden-yellow foliage distinguish this tall conifer noted for exceptional winter color. Great for a fast-growing screen and likes partial to full sun.

Sedum mexicanum ‘Lemon Coral’

Sedum ‘Lemon Coral’. Courtesy of Proven Winners

This plant was proven Winner’s annual of the year for 2019.  It’s fantastic for containers, hanging baskets and in the landscape.  Plant in front of a darker coleus and it scream ‘wow’.  It will fill in gaps and cascade over edges.  A sunny spot will keep it looking bright and fresh and deer will ignore it.    Watch this video from Proven Winners

Sedum  ‘Angelina Stonecrop’

This Sedum has brilliant yellow, needle-like foliage that forms a quick brilliant golden-yellow foliage of needle-like leaves, which turns copper-orange in winter.

Yellow Foliage Brightens up the Landscape

Have we convinced you that your landscape could benefit from some bright yellow foliage?  Pops of yellow or chartreuse warm up space and give you the opportunity for great contrast in areas of the garden that might otherwise be drab.   An entire garden of yellow would be too much, but adding a few will add depth and contrast while meshing companionably with other colors.


Whitehouse Landscaping is a full service landscaping company.  We offer a wide range of landscaping  services, pretty much anything your landscape requires.  From landscape design, landscape maintenance, fertilization, patios, fire pits and all landscape enhancements, we can transform your property.  We have completed projects all over Montgomery, Berks and Chester counties and would be happy to help you.