Let’s get this out of the way first, black houseplants are not actually black. Their foliage come in darker shades of green, red, purple or maroon, and their pigment can change based on their environments, so don’t fret if your black plant is starting to change shades or become greener. Just make sure it’s getting the proper growing requirements and everything should be just fine.
In a previous article, we’ve mentioned that variegated leaves come with a disadvantage for plants, as the lack of chlorophyll lessens the amount of energy produced. But what about black plants? Well, there’s actually a study that compared the photosynthetic efficiency of black and green plants. According to it, black foliage doesn’t come with competitive advantages, and the black plant used in the study accumulated less shoot biomass than their green counterparts.
However, you’re probably not here to learn about the functional advantages of black foliage, so let’s discuss the aesthetics part.
1. Philodendron erubescens ‘Black Cardinal’
First on our list is a type of philodendron that actually offers a decent range of shades during its growth. Emerging leaves start with a deep burgundy or bronze and as the plant matures, they slowly become darker, almost black.
Just like most types of philodendrons out there, Philodendron Black Cardinal is easy to grow and doesn’t require any intricate ritual to be kept alive. All you have to do is pot it in loose, well-drained soil, place it in a spot with bright, indirect lighting, and not forget to water it when the top of the soil goes dry.
2. Burgundy Rubber Tree
Burgundy Rubber Tree’s leaves are a darker shade of green with tinges of red, especially in new growth. Just like its green cousin, this Ficus elastica cultivar is easy to care for and doesn’t require much attention. Bright, indirect lighting and moderate watering should do the trick and allow the plant to maintain its color, while growing to a few feet tall.
3. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ‘Raven’
When it comes to hardy plants, Zamioculcas Zamiifolia is one of the top choices – there’s a reason why it’s also known as “plant of steel”. And the Raven cultivar shares these characteristics, being extremely easy to care for.
When it comes to appearances, ZZ Raven new growth starts with lush green leaves that gradually turn black with time.
4. Alocasia reginula ‘Black Velvet’
As the name suggests, Alocasia reginula ‘Black Velvet’ has quite an exquisite appearance. With its black-velvety leaves, contrasted by silvery venation, this houseplant is definitely a must-have.
When it comes to growing requirements, this Alocasia cultivar isn’t necessarily picky, but you’ll need to take care when it comes to watering, as it’s susceptible to root rot.
5. Ludisia discolor ‘Jewel Orchid‘
You probably weren’t expecting this, but the next on our black houseplants list is an orchid. Ludisia discolor ‘Jewel Orchid’ isn’t the usual type of orchid, as its flowers are not showy. However, its leaves make up for it, as their dark green color, symmetrically striped with white-pink lines are creating quite the interesting contrast.
6. Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie’
Here’s a cool combination of colors – almost entirely black foliage with deep-pink stripes and also red-purple undersides. Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie’ won’t disappoint you when it comes to appearances. However, when it comes to growing requirements, well… it actually requires some special attention, especially when it comes to humidity.
7. Echeveria ‘Black Prince’
If you were looking for a knight in shining armor (and even if you weren’t), Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ is the next best thing, especially if you’re a succulent lover. While the center of the rosette is green, the rest of the stems come in a deep green-purple shade. And the best part, this echeveria produces stunning fiery-red flowers that create an amazing contrast with its dark foliage, making it fit for Instagram (or for spamming your friends with pictures).
When it comes to growing requirements, the usual succulent recommendations apply to this one too. However, the amount of sun exposure can influence its colour intensity, less sun meaning greener leaves.
8. Peperomia ‘Metallica‘
Peperomia Metallica, also known as Red Tree, is a small sized variety that comes with a highly attractive foliage. Its round, deep-green leaves have a silvery streak across the center and are contrasted by red undersides.
9. Sinocrassula Yunnanensis
The last on our list is a rosette-forming succulent that turns into a tiny jungle in a pot when it starts flowering. Its fuzzy leaves are actually blueish green, but will darken in sunlight, and during fall and early winter its rosettes will lengthen up getting ready to produce an impressive amount of small, white flowers.
So, if you’re looking for an interesting addition to your indoor garden, a black houseplant will definitely do the trick. It doesn’t matter if you’re a master gardener or just starting out, there’s a black plant for everyone.