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Farfugium japonicum 'Aureo-maculata'

/ Spotted Leopard Plant

( Farfugium japonicum 'Aureo-maculata' )

Farfugium Japonicum Aureo maculata young crop of one gallon plants S & J NurseryFarfugium japonicum Aureo-maculata / Spotted Leopard Plant Origins:


 - A beautifully spotted  selection with yellow variegated leaves that look the sky on a clear starry night. One of my favorite selections of farfugium to add color to the shaded landscape. 


 - Fast growing and easy to care for, these Spotted Leopard plants originate from Asia and add an instant feel of the tropics to your Northeast Florida landscape.


Preferred Exposure of the Farfugium japonicum Aureo-maculata / Spotted Leopard Plant:


- Plant these specimen plants in a shade to part sun / part shade garden location in the Northeast Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscapes. When planted into a location that receives more sun, plants may need more frequent irrigation during hot dry summer months.


Foliage and Plant Size of the Farfugium japonicum Aureo-maculata / Spotted Leopard Plant:


- Thick leathery dark green leaves are randomly patterned with spots of bright yellow variegation on the surface of the 3-5 inch wide leaves.   

 - Foliage grows in a rounded mound and can reach heights of 2 ft and 2 ft wide. A very unusual garden specimen with appeal for both the seasoned plant collector and new gardeners. These pretty plants are easy maintenance and should be utilized more in our Northeast Florida area gardens.


  - Farfugium plants are cold hardy well above our semitropical climate zones in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape. ( Hardy in zones 8-11) and make a reliable garden perennial planting.



Soil Preference / Salt tolerance of the Farfugium japonicum Aureo-maculata / Spotted Leopard Plant:


- Farfugium japonicum Aureo-maculata will thrive in soils that are rich and moist but that do not hold water after heavy rains. (No continually wet soils) 


 - They need well draining soils that are rich in organic matter and seem to be quite tolerant of the dry sandy soils that I continually expose them to on my home garden site. Don't shy away form these plants if you have dry shady areas, just  amend sandy soils generously with compost at planting time. These plants are extremely forgiving and although they will have a tendency to wilt during hot summer months under dry conditions they bounce back quickly when watered and just keep on growing!


 - Salt tolerance unknown, it seems garden authorities are hesitant on the subject. I have yet to try them on the ocean side of the coast but would love to find out as they are coastal members of the plant community in their native Japan.



Growth Habit of the Farfugium japonicum Aureo-maculata / Spotted Leopard Plant:


- Clumping perennial herb forms an attractive, upright mound of tropical foliage. Clumps can be divided in early spring for more garden plants. Remember to water daily for a week or two after dividing to be sure plants make a speedy recovery.



Growth Rate of the Farfugium japonicum Aureo-maculata / Spotted Leopard Plant:


- Moderate to fast growing, you can expect your plant to double its height in the first year when planted from a one gallon pot. 2-3 years in the landscape under ideal conditions to mature height and width. ( a little slower in gardens that do not receive supplemental irrigation)



Water Requirement of the Farfugium japonicum Aureo-maculata / Spotted Leopard Plant:


- Although much more durable once established in the landscape, regular water is necessary to get the plant rooted and growing on its own after being planted in the ground from an S & J Tree Farm and Nursery container. Use supplemental irrigation when planted in full sun or in extremely sandy soil.



Uses  For Farfugium japonicum Aureo-maculata / Spotted Leopard Plant in the Jacksonville | St. Augustine Area Landscapes :


- Farfugium is a great easy care low maintenance addition to just about any landscape. It is no secret that I think every yard should have them in it, I get so excited when I visit a botanical garden and see that they have added a plant or two to their collection you would think I discovered the things myself. Here are a few of the ways I have seen them incorporated into our Northeast Florida landscapes.


 - Farfugium plants will blend perfectly into traditional formal landscapes or tropical gardens.


 - Farfugium plants are right at home in the middle of a perennial bed amongst the flowers and blend beautifully into any Cottage garden setting.


 - They make an excellent potted plant accent for the pool or patio area.


 - Excellent pond side planting, as long as they are planted just above the flood line.


 - Perfect in masses under larger trees and palms and add to the instant eye appeal when planted near statues, seating wall areas, park benches, bird baths etc.



Care  of Farfugium japonicum Aureo-maculata / Spotted Leopard Plant:


 - Low care landscape pant selection.


- Water every day during the establishment period after planting in the garden from a nursery container.


- Farfugium japonicum plants will need good water during the establishment period and occasional supplemental irrigation during dry spells or particularly hot dry summers if not planted into naturally moist soils.


- As with all perennial plantings, amending the soil with compost when planting your Farfugium japonicum Aureo-maculata / Spotted Leopard plants will help keep them healthy and happy through the years.


- Fertilize each spring with a handful of garden compost or a mixture of Milorganite or Green Edge Fertilizer and a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food or 10-10-10. I particularly like the Milorganite or even cow manure option for sandy soils each year as a surface application before you remulch the area to help the plants hold moisture.



Check out the links below for more information about other great


Farfugium Japonicum selections grown here at


S & J Tree Farm and Nursery



Farfugium japonicum Crispata


Farfugium japonicum Gigantea


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Farfugium japonicum Aureo-maculata / Spotted Leopard Plant for the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden.




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