Tall and imposing plants

Also known as the variegated rubber plant, ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ has large ovate leaves which can grow to 30cm long. Each leaf is unique, bearing an unusual mix of light and dark green, with contrasting splashes of cream and olive. New leaves often emerge as spikes of red, so it is a real pleasure to watch this specimen grow. Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ can grow up to 4m tall in the right conditions, making it a very statuesque specimen – ideal for double height spaces that require plants with a bit of drama. But ‘Tineke’ is no drama queen – it looks equally good combined with other plants in a pyramid scheme, and it comes in a range of sizes. It’s also an air-purifying powerhouse, filtering harmful pollutants from the air, so an all-round ‘hero’ plant in our book!

Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’

The power of tumbling tendrils

Tall and imposing plants are great for formal floor-standing displays, but let’s not forget the power of trailing plants. The tumbling and twisting growth habit of hanging plants is great for disguising and softening harder elements in a space, such as exposed ductwork in a ceiling. Trailing plants also look beautiful as a standalone feature – for example, hanging in a stairwell, or trailing in a row, forming a green curtain. One of our favourites, philodendron scandens ‘Brasil’, has beautiful heart-shaped dark green leaves, with contrasting stripes of pale yellow. ‘Brasil’ can grow to astonishing lengths, producing an abundance of variegated leaves. Trailing or climbing up a support, it’s quite a sight!

Scindapsus pictus 'Trebie' 

Philodendron scandens ‘Brasil’

Patterns to repeat again and again

And finally, onto a plant that loves being the centre of attention – the maranta leuconeura, otherwise known as the prayer plant. What the maranta leuconeura doesn’t have in leaf size or overall height, it certainly makes up for in the intricate multi-coloured herringbone patterns on its leaves. Up close, the pattern on a single leaf is simply mesmerising, almost like a work of art. Maranta leuconeura has a compact and uniform shape, so it looks simply stunning repeated in a line in planted furniture.

It comes in a dizzying range of colours and patterns, but we’re rather fond of the pink stripes in maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura, shown below in bespoke matching joinery!

Maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura


We’re firmly of the opinion that there is a plant for every spot. At Vantage Spaces, we certainly enjoy the challenge of finding the best combination of planting to enhance a space, and variegated plants are an incredibly versatile component in our ‘design palette’.