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Has This Ever Happened to You?

reversion, plant reverts back to original, variegation changesA perfectly good variegated Sedum began morphing into a nondescript green plant last week. I knew just what to do. When a plant reverts back to its parent form, you must act right away. As cruel as it may seem, you need to cut out the offending sports-in-reverse before they ruin your special plant.

If you don’t act soon, the new green will quickly overtake and cannibalize the original plant. Delight no more than a second or two at the multi-colored look. The reversion shoots are much more vigorous and fast-growing. If you wait for very long to pull out the rogue stems, there will soon be a disproportionately large amount of them relative to the entire plant. Then, removing them could result in killing it! Act swiftly.

The reversion above took place after just a few days of heavy rain. If left for a month, there would be no variegation left, so I did some minor surgery (see


plant reversion after pruning, pruning variegated plants











Which plants like to revert? Typically, cultivars that were developed as a result of a spontaneous variegation like to grow into their more stable, original forms. Shrub Roses, Barberries, Abelia, Hostas, Privets, Weigelas, and re-seeing annuals lose their cool and blurt out ugly and awkward versions of themselves—throw-backs to their humble beginnings.

Eliza Doolittle did the same thing occasionally after her elocution lessons. It is never an improvement, so don’t feel guilty about chopping away anything that looks suspicious. Keep your lady fair, Professor Higgins.

Plant Reversion