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Purple Leaf Houseplants: 12 Green and Purple Varieties to Brighten Your Day

Plants with purple and green leaves offer an eye-catching contrast of colors that can liven up any room. Not only are they visually appealing, but they can also serve as a statement piece, adding character and personality to your home.

When it comes to caring for these plants, they’re generally low-maintenance, making them a great option for those who are new to plant parenting. Many of these plants thrive in bright, indirect light and can tolerate dry conditions, making them ideal for those who are forgetful with watering.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 12 indoor plants with purple foliage. From the stunningly beautiful Ecvheveria ‘Perle von Nürnberg’ to the unique Purple Passion, we’ll take you through some of the most attractive plants in this category. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of purple-leaf indoor plants!

1. Purple Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis)

purple oxalis

This plant’s most unique feature is its three heart-shaped leaves that are purple in color, making it stand out from other green-leaved species. Each leaf has three symmetrical sides that resemble a trio of butterflies joined together, creating an elegant and dainty look.

One of the most interesting things about the Purple Shamrock is its ability to revive itself from the bulbs below the surface. If conditions above ground become unfavorable, the plant will wilt and die back, but as soon as the proper growing conditions are restored, it will quickly come back to life. This makes it a resilient and forgiving plant for those who tend to forget to water their houseplants.

2. Wandering Dude (Tradescantia zebrina)

Wandering dude plant

This dude is a fast-growing plant with trailing stems and heart-shaped leaves that have purple stripes and a silvery sheen to them. The leaves can be solid or variegated, depending on the variety. Blooms are small and have three petals that can be either violet or white.

Its vining growth habit makes it perfect for hanging baskets or to cascade down from a pedestal. You can even train it to grow on obelisks outdoors during the summer and then bring it indoors as a houseplant during the winter.

It’s also extremely easy to propagate from cuttings, as each segment is capable of producing a new plant that roots readily in moist soil. However, if you plan to grow it outdoors, be aware that it’s considered invasive in many regions of the world.

3. Rose Painted Calathea (Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie’)

rose painted calathea

Remember that article we wrote about indoor plants with black and green foliage? Well, we’re going to introduce you again to one of the stars of that article – the Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie’ or Rose Painted Calathea!

This gorgeous plant is a real showstopper with its large oval-shaped green leaves that turn into a glossy dark purple as they mature. But what really makes the Calathea Dottie stand out are the striking rings of fuchsia pink that surround the center of each leaf and the deep purple undersides that scream tropical vibes.

However, we have to warn you that the Calathea Dottie is not the easiest plant to care for. It can be a bit fussy and difficult to look after, but the effort is definitely worth it for the stunning display it offers. 

4. Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides)

different varieties of coleus with purple variegation

This plant is a foliage fanatic’s dream, with over 1500 different varieties to choose from. That’s right, you read that correctly – 1500! So, you’re guaranteed to find a coleus plant that will tickle your fancy.

Now, we know you’re probably thinking “But wait, isn’t coleus just a purple and green plant?” Nope! While those are certainly some popular color options, coleus actually comes in almost every color you can imagine (except blue, despite what you may have seen online). In fact, we even featured a few coleus varieties in our previous article about plants with red leaves – that’s how versatile this plant is.

Not only is coleus a feast for the eyes, it’s also incredibly easy to grow and propagate. You can start cuttings in a glass of water, or propagate it by seed indoors about eight to ten weeks before your last expected spring frost. Plus, with its tolerance for a wide range of temperatures and soil conditions, it’s a low-maintenance plant that’s perfect for beginners.

5. Begonias

begonia with purple and green leaves

These hardy perennials are a treat for the eyes with their large, gorgeous leaves that come in an array of colors ranging from pink, red, silver, purple, and white. One of the most unique features of these painted leaf begonias is their ability to blend colors, creating a mesmerizing effect that is sure to leave you spellbound. 

They are also relatively easy to care for, making them a popular choice among indoor gardeners. They can grow well in an office or home, and only require well-draining soil, moderate sunlight, and regular watering, but not too much as they don’t like to be overwatered.

Here are our favorite begonia varieties with purple foliage: 

  • Begonia Rex
  • Begonia ‘Fireworks’ 
  • Wax Begonia 
  • Begonia ‘Salsa’
  • Begonia ‘Rumba’
  • Begonia ‘Plum Gorgeous’

6. Sand Rose (Anacampseros Rufescens)

sand rose succulents with pink-purple and green leaves

This slow-growing succulent spreads out in clumping mats, forming a green-purple mat over time. The tops of its leaves are a beautiful dark green, while the underside is a deep purple color. However, the green color gives way to red when it is happily stressed. This means that if you give it enough sunlight, it will reward you with a beautiful display of red leaves.

Growing and caring for this succulent is easy, whether you choose to grow it indoors or outdoors. It can thrive in any location outdoors during the warmer months, but it’s not cold hardy and should not be grown outdoors during the winter.

7. Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus)

persian shield plant

The Persian Shield comes with iridescent purple leaves that create a striking contrast against its green foliage. Its lance-shaped leaves also have slightly toothed edges and prominent veins, creating a quilted look. 

As a soft-stemmed shrub, it can grow up to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide, but typically remains much smaller when grown indoors or in cooler climates. Persian Shield languishes when the weather is cool but grows quickly under hot and humid conditions to form a large, bushy, mounded plant. However, as plants age, they develop woody stems, and the coloration of the foliage tends to decline.

8. Purple Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.)

purple basil near normal basil

The Purple Basil plant is not only a feast for the eyes, but also for the nose. Its foliage emits a strong aroma that is more intense compared to green basil, making it an excellent choice for herb gardens. The plant produces pink or white flowers that complement its beauty.

Purple basil is relatively easy to care for and can grow well both indoors and outdoors. You can grow it in pots or directly in the ground, and it is typically grown as an annual crop during the summer months. The more sunlight the plant is exposed to, the darker its leaves will become, thanks to the high content of anthocyanin present in the plant cells.

Some popular cultivars with purple leaves include ‘African Blue’, ‘Dark Opal’, ‘Red Ruffles’ and ‘Red Rubin’, which are somewhat similar in appearance and can be bought in many shops.

In addition to its visual appeal, Purple Basil is also an excellent ingredient to add to your dishes. Its leaves have a beautiful coppery glow and a clove-like, slightly spicy flavor. You can use them in salads, for pesto, or preserved in oils and vinegars. 

9. Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’)

purple heart succulent

Purple Heart, also known as Purple Queen or Purple Shamrock, is a cool plant with amazing purple foliage. It’s easy to grow and perfect for beginners. Its stems and leaves are dark purple with shades of dusty turquoise that becomes darker as the foliage grows older. It produces small, pink or pale purple flowers with bright yellow stamens at the ends of the stems in midsummer through fall.

Even if it’s quite delicate, it can spread wide, making it ideal for hanging pots, groundcovers, or rock gardens. It comes back from its roots in spring after dying back in winter. The only thing to keep in mind is that it can form dense groundcovers, preventing other plants from growing, being quite the invasive species. 

10. Purple Passion (Gynura aurantiaca)

purple passion plant

One of the most unique features of Purple Passion is its velvety texture. The soft, fuzzy leaves are covered in many tiny purple hairs that give them their distinctive purple sheen. This texture, combined with the plant’s bright coloring, makes it a popular choice for adding a pop of color and texture to any indoor space.

When it comes to caring for Purple Passion, it’s important to provide it with bright, indirect light or filtered sun, and to keep the soil moist but not soggy. This plant prefers soil that has good drainage, so be sure to use a potting mix with vermiculite and choose a pot with plenty of drainage holes to prevent root rot.

Despite its specific care requirements, Purple Passion is not too difficult to care for and can provide years of beauty as an indoor plant.

11. Echeveria ‘Perle von Nürnberg’

echeveria von nurnberg

Echeveria ‘Perle von Nürnberg’ stands out from the rest with its unique appearance. The edges of its leaves have a lovely purple-ish hue that complements the blue-green base color of the rosettes. 

It’s also hardier than other Echeveria species, which means it can thrive both indoors and outdoors in USDA zones 9b to 11b. During summer, this succulent produces coral pink flowers on long, red stems that can grow up to 30 cm in height. 

12. Never-Never Plant (Stromanthe Thalia ‘Triostar’)

Stromanthe triostar

Shades of pink, cream, magenta, and green, perfectly blended to give it a unique and eye-catching appearance. Its leaves are beautifully striped, with the undersides sporting a dark pinkish-purple hue.

This plant is a perfect choice for those looking for an easy-to-care-for houseplant that adds a pop of color to their indoor space. It can thrive in medium to bright indirect light, and its soil should be kept moist but not waterlogged. It also prefers a humid environment, so misting its leaves regularly or placing it near a humidifier will keep it happy and healthy.

There are also a few more Stromanthe varieties similar in appearances that can be grown indoors, so make sure to check them out. However, keep in mind that some might be harder to find in nurseries or online plant shops. 

Conclusion

Indoor plants with purple foliage are a great way to add some color and character to your home. They’re visually appealing, low-maintenance, and perfect for creating a natural aesthetic. 

And if you’re interested in exploring other unique plant varieties, be sure to check out our articles on plants with red leaves, black leaves, pink leaves, and yellow flowers. These articles provide detailed information on some of the most attractive and easy-to-care-for plants in these categories, and can help you create a stunning indoor garden that truly stands out.

With the right plants and a little bit of care, you can create a beautiful and natural indoor environment that brings life and color to any space. So why not start today and begin exploring the wonderful world of indoor plants!

About Author

Hey there! I'm Denis, a lifelong plant lover and gardening enthusiast. I've been in love with gardening since the age of 10 when I successfully grew my first roses from cuttings. Since then, my passion has only grown stronger, and I now write articles about plants to share my knowledge and experiences with others.

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