Houseplants are great for adding color and life to a room, and some of them have beautiful leaves that can brighten up any space. The plants listed in this article all have colorful leaves, so hopefully, you’ll find one or two that will work well in your home.
15 Houseplants with Colorful Leaves
The first houseplant is the African violet. These plants are native to Africa and they’re one of the easiest houseplants that you can grow, making them great for beginners. They have an earthy smell because their leaves contain saponins which help discourage pests from attacking these plants. The flowers on African violets release a sweet fragrance too and appear during springtime, in shades of pink, red, or purple, depending on the variety. If your house doesn’t get very much light, then it’s recommended that you try growing African violets under fluorescent lights.
Next on our list of houseplants with colorful leaves is the croton. These plants are native to tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Central America. They’re one of nature’s most beautiful houseplants because they come in so many assorted colors with leaves that can be green, red, or pinkish-red hues, depending on the species you choose. The flowers of the croton range from yellow to orange and sometimes purple too – but no matter what color your plant blooms it’ll add life to any room!
This houseplant is also known as Aglaonema. It comes from Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia. It has glossy deep green foliage that prefers indirect bright light. Chinese evergreens are also known for their long leaves with white-edged leaf margins, and they make a fantastic addition to any houseplant collection.
African Mask Plant
The houseplant African Mask Plant is also known as elephant’s ears. It’s native to the Philippine islands and it likes indirect light and plenty of humidity, so make sure you place this houseplant in a window that gets shaded during the day for optimal growth. These plants have beautiful, large leaves that range from dark green to dark purple. The leaves are arrow-shaped and do indeed look quite a lot like an African mask – or an elephant’s ear!
Purple Passion Plant
Another houseplant that is known for its colorful leaves is the purple passion plant. These plants are native to Central and South America, but they’re widely grown in greenhouses across Europe too. This plant is easy to grow and just needs bright light and regular watering. They have deep green leaves with soft, purple hairs growing from the leaf surface. These fuzzy plants are perfect for hanging baskets or a trellis, as they tend to be vine-like in their growth.
The aluminum plant is also known as Pilea cadierei. It has silvery leaves that really stand out when placed next to green-leafed plants. This houseplant has a tropical origin, and it likes being in bright light, but not too much sun exposure. The best place to put your houseplants that need shade during the day would be an east-facing window or somewhere with indirect sunlight. Aluminum plants are easy to take care of, since they don’t require as much watering as other houseplants do; just make sure you give them plenty of humidity by misting them regularly!
Another of our favorite houseplants with colorful leaves is the caladium. It is a tropical and subtropical houseplant that comes from South America. It likes indirect light, so make sure you place it near windows with curtains or blinds on them to keep out direct afternoon sun. Caladium plants can grow up to three feet high when they mature, and their heart-shaped leaves come in colors ranging from green with pink to red and white. Caladium plants make great year-round houseplants, or plant them outside and bring them inside in the winter.
The houseplant canna comes from the tropics. It likes indirect light and a good amount of water. In fact, you might consider planting these in self-watering pots to avoid the regular maintenance they require. These plants have long thick green leaves with red veins running through them or even solid red leaves. They also feature beautiful flower blooms in shades of orange, red, and yellow.
A bright, beautiful houseplant with green, red, and yellow leaves, the Amaranthus tricolor will bring an explosion of color to your indoor garden! These plants are commonly grown outside but also make great houseplants when cared for properly. These plants can tolerate direct sun but will need shade in the afternoon and lots of water. Fun fact: in some areas of the world, people grow the Amaranthus as a food crop!
A list of houseplants with colorful leaves wouldn’t be complete without the fittonia. It is also called a nerve plant. This houseplant prefers indirect light and has bright, green leaves with white, red, or pink veins running through them that make it look quite tropical. The best place to grow these plants would be in the bathroom or near where you do your laundry – those are two rooms that have plenty of humidity! These plants can tolerate low light, but the best leaf coloring will come from medium light exposure.
The prayer plant is also known as Maranta leuconeura. It’s native to the tropics and likes bright, indirect light, so make sure you place it near windows for best leaf colors. Prayer plants have large leaves that are bright green in color with dark red to pink veins running through them. These houseplants prefer a humid environment, so placing them near a bathroom window is a great idea! If your prayer plant is not in a humid area, be sure to mist it daily.
Triostar Stromanthe has the botanical name Stromanthe sanguinea Triostar. It’s a relatively easy houseplant to care for, and it has green leaves with red, beige, or pink sections. This houseplant does best in bright indirect light, but not direct sun exposure. These plants are native to jungle environments, so they need humidity, much like the prayer plant. Be sure to mist your Triostar daily.
Polka Dot Plant
One of the most striking houseplants with colorful leaves is the polka dot plant, also known as the freckle-faced plant. Its leaves are green with dots or splotches that can be pastel pink, red, lavender, or even purple – although pink is most common. This houseplant likes indirect light with low sun exposure and should live in well-draining potting soil.
Another beautiful species of houseplants with colorful leaves is the Ti plant (also known as a cabbage plant, or by its botanical name, Cordyline fruticosa). This plant’s leaves typically range striking purple to bright magenta. However, they can grow with solid red leaves as well. To achieve the best leaf coloring, give this plant plenty of sunlight and filtered or distilled water. They are sensitive to some chemicals in tap water.
A houseplant with colorful leaves that has long been a favorite in homes is the Snake Plant, also called Mother-in-Law’s Tongue. This houseplant prefers indirect light and can handle low levels of water – but don’t let it completely dry out! It features green leaves with yellow stripes running down its length and edges.
Houseplants with Colorful Leaves – The Wrap-up
While we indoor gardeners often turn to flowering plants to add color to our homes, the houseplants above are great additions or alternatives to our flowering gardens. They are sure to add a splash of color and excitement to any room in your home!
FAQs for Houseplants with Colorful Leaves
Most houseplants benefit from rich soil that drains quickly so their roots don’t get waterlogged. Choose an organic potting soil that advertises its well-draining properties for best results.
If your houseplant comes in a pot, it’s best to fertilize every couple of weeks during the growing season. If you have an outdoor houseplant that is overwintered inside and spends much of its time in flowerpots, then fertilizer will only need to be applied once or twice per year – preferably at the end of September when daylight hours begin shrinking.
Make sure you give your houseplants’ roots plenty of moisture by watering them at least once every week – or more as the season changes. Every plant will have unique needs when it comes to their watering schedule, but these recommendations can be helpful guidelines if you’re unsure how frequently your specific houseplant needs water.
The plants that we mentioned above can grow indoors using artificial lighting as long as you provide them with enough brightness – preferably from fluorescent bulbs. Some of these houseplants also require some direct sun exposure to maintain healthy chlorophyll production, so try placing your plant near a window on days without rain if possible. Remember: some of these houseplants are sensitive to some chemicals in tap water, so for best results use distilled or filtered water.
To maintain the coloring of houseplants with colorful leaves, most need plenty of bright, indirect light and a humid environment. However, this varies from one species to the next. Be sure to read the care instructions that come with your plants or refer to the information above for best results.