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Love Camo Print? Then You’ll Love These Houseplants

The well-loved camouflage print can be found on practically everything - from apparel to accessories and footwear, you name it and there’s probably a military-inspired version of it out there.

And in the world of indoor gardens, houseplants with camo-inspired foliage are just as visually arresting. Instead of blending into the shadows, the patterned leaves stand out proudly - with good reason. Plant enthusiasts simply adore the natural colouration, and they make for an aesthetic conversation-starter in any living space.

Looking to get your own? Check out our choice picks below - some are as affordable as $10, whilst the rarer finds may command a three-figure sum. Nevertheless, do check in with local nurseries retailing exotic plants or even platforms like Carousell - you may just score yourself a fabulous deal.

Aglaonema pictum tricolor

When one thinks of camo patterns on plants, the stunning foliage of the aglaonema pictum tricolor often comes to mind. Each leaf on the mini “tree” is patterned with shades of dark, medium and light greens, making them all uniquely different.

A variegated version of the Chinese Evergreen, and originally discovered in the jungles of Sumatra and Nias Island in Indonesia, the exotic slow grower can be a little more fussy than other aglaonema varieties. However, the head-turner is well worth the TLC for gardening enthusiasts.

How to keep it happy: No direct sun, please. To maintain its gorgeous variegation, diffused bright light will work best. Pot it in an airy mix and water frequently - it loves evenly moist soil and humidity. Add a suitable amount of your preferred slow-release or liquid fertiliser as indicated on its label.

Variegated aglaonema commutatum ‘Schott’

Speaking of aglaonemas, this variegated beauty is a showstopper too - it’s as if Nature took a paint brush and splattered artistic shades of green, silvery greys and creamy whites all over its lance-shaped leaves.

Native to Indonesia and the Philippines, it’s a slow grower as well, but easy to care for once established - some would even say it thrives on neglect. And should you spot red fleshy berries growing on the plant, do avoid ingesting any as they are poisonous!

How to keep it happy: It will do fine in both partial shade and a bright spot with diffused light. Pot it in an airy mix and water thoroughly (until you see water dripping out from the bottom of the pot) whenever the top inch of media feels dry. Add a suitable amount of your preferred slow-release or liquid fertiliser as indicated on its label.

Musa 'Ae Ae'

If you've got ample space in your garden to spare, the variegated banana plant - commonly referred to as Musa 'Ae Ae' - is one statement plant you shouldn't miss out on. Creamy whites and green adorn its ornamental foliage, stem and fruit skin, making the rare Hawaiian variety a real work of art to admire.

With that said, it isn’t suitable for all spaces. Whilst a baby plant can be kept in a regular pot, this beauty truly thrives when it has plenty of space and is rooted into the ground. Plus, it can grow up to 5 metres tall, so you probably won’t want to have one in a smaller apartment.

How to keep it happy: Give it plenty of room to grow, and they will do well with indirect bright light and a well-draining soil mix that’s consistently moist. Add a suitable amount of your preferred fertiliser as indicated on its label.

Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’

New to variegated plants? The variegated rubber plant is probably your best bet. Its thick glossy leaves feature a striking watercolour look, with tender brush strokes of muted ivory and creamy shades.

And it’s hardly a diva too - the India-Indonesia native is fuss-free, forgiving and can even withstand low light conditions. Best of all, it’s an affordable pick- most shops sell it for no more than $20 for a small to medium-sized plant.

How to keep it happy: Bright, indirect light will encourage richer variegation. Use an airy potting mix and water when the potting mix is completely dry. Add a suitable amount of your preferred slow-release or liquid fertiliser as indicated on its label.

Ficus virens ‘snowstorm’

Back in early 2021, a batch of these baby plants were made available at local nursery Little Botany, and every self-professed variegation lover had to bring one home. True to its name, this unique cultivar of the ficus virens, or spotted fig, is covered in speckles of whites and creams, and its pixelated pattern is not unlike the camo print found on the SAF uniform. And here’s a fun fact - it’s actually a tropical tree native to places such as India, Southeast Asia and northern Australia.

Unlike its other ficus friends, however, the delicate ‘snowstorm’ can prove to be a challenge for those without a green thumb. It’s prone to rust fungus, and tends to drop its bottom leaves in rapid succession when stressed or exposed to harsh sunlight.

How to keep it happy: Keep it out of direct sun. It appreciates indirect bright light, an airy potting mix and frequent watering - moist soil is its best friend. Add a suitable amount of your preferred slow-release or liquid fertiliser as indicated on its label.

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