Sculptural Garden Plants

Create a bit of drama in your garden with these surprisingly easy foliage plants in large containers.

Cordylines, or Ti Plants

The colored-leaved cultivars are great in pots, but if you want yours to grow into a large specimen, choose the hardiest, plain green Cordyline australis.

Planting and Aftercare
Grow cordylines in the sun or partial shade in well-drained soil, or potting soil amended with compost if planting in a container. Feed them annually in spring with a granular slow-release fertilizer. Lower leaves turn yellow as the plant ages; cut these back to the trunk or leave them to fall off. In colder areas; leaves may suffer damage from winter winds and snow. Protect them by tying the foliage together loosely around the central leaves.


Yucca Plant in Container

Yucca Plant in Container

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The best yuccas have striped, variegated foliage but also sharp spikes, so don't plant them where young children could be hurt.

Planting and Aftercare
Yuccas do best in sheltered gardens in well-drained soil and full sun. Extremely drought tolerant, they thrive in containers, and are well suited to coastal gardens. They need little care, which is lucky, because their spikes make them difficult to work with.

Make a Statement
Yucca's arching shape suits a pot, but it will also grow well in the ground as long as there is sufficient drainage and sunshine.


Commonly known as New Zealand flax, these striking plants come in many colors and sizes, from dainty, container-sized cultivars to vast, shrub-like specimens.

Planting and Aftercare
Phormiums are easy to grow and will tolerate all types of soil. They prefer full sun but will tolerate some shade. Although they are hardy, individual leaves may suffer frost damage, but these can be removed, and the plant will quickly recover in spring.

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