Red is a vibrant and bold color that can really bring some excitement to your indoor garden. It’s often associated with love, passion, and power and is seen as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune in many cultures. Plus, red is often used in decorations and clothing during special occasions and celebrations.
And because there are so many plants with red leaves available, ranging from deep burgundy to bright scarlet, we decided to showcase some of the most stunning and eye-catching ones. They’re perfect for adding some color and personality to your indoor space, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out.
So if you’re interested in adding some red-hues to your collection, this list is a great place to start. And don’t forget to check out our previous articles on plants with pink leaves and plants with black leaves for even more plant inspiration.
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of these red beauties!
Table of Contents
1. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Starting with one of our indoor favorites: the Chinese Evergreen, otherwise known as Aglaonema. This houseplant hails from the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and New Guinea, and made quite a name for itself around the globe.
Aglaonema’s leaves are the stuff of dreams. Bright and bold red leaves, soft and subtle variegation, each leaf is a piece of art. And it’s not all about looks, either; this sturdy plant is quite the survivor, tolerating lower light conditions better than most houseplant.
- Plant Type: Evergreen Perennial, Low-Maintenance
- Ease of care: Low. Make sure the soil drains well to keep her roots happy. Tolerates low to moderate indirect light. But if it doesn’t get enough, the colors might fade a bit.
- Native to: Tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and New Guinea
- Mature size: Usually sitting pretty between 1 and 2 feet tall, but some varieties can stretch up to 4 feet!
- Cultivars with red leaves: ‘Red Anjamani’, ‘Siam Red’, ‘Red Gold’, and ‘Red Emerald’. Each one has its own unique look and personality.
Want more? Make sure to check our our article on Aglaonema varieties.
2. Nerve Plant (Fittonia)
Next up is the Nerve Plant, also known as Fittonia. Despite its modest size, this plant has a significant impact, thanks to its vein patterns set against a vibrant green background.
Each leaf of the Nerve Plant features intricate patterns in lovely colors, including red, that contrast with darker foliage.
- Plant Type: Perennial Evergreen
- Ease of care: Medium. The Nerve Plant requires consistent moisture and indirect light to thrive, and it’s not tolerant of drought or direct sunlight.
- Native to: Tropical rainforests of South America.
- Mature size: Quite petite, typically reaching a height of 3 to 6 inches.
- Cultivars with red leaves: Several options to choose from, including ‘Red Star’, ‘Ruby Red’, ‘Forest Flame’, ‘Red Vein’, ‘Red Anne’, and ‘Skeleton’, each offering its unique variation of color and pattern.
3. Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) is a lively plant that can brighten up any indoor space with its leaves. They feature a mix of green, yellow, red, orange, and even purple. This rich display of colors makes it an attractive centerpiece for any room.
Moreover, numerous cultivars of the Croton exist, several of which boast lovely red leaves. Despite the dramatic appearance, Crotons require a moderate level of care. Consistent lighting and watering conditions are key to keep this plant looking its best.
- Plant Type: Evergreen Perennial
- Ease of care: Moderate. Crotons need consistent lighting and watering conditions, but with regular care, they can thrive indoors.
- Native to: Tropical regions of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.
- Mature size: Depending on the specific variety, Crotons can reach heights ranging from 3 feet to 8 feet.
- Cultivars with red leaves: There’s a variety to choose from – ‘Nervia’, ‘Mother and Daughter’, ‘Petra’, ‘Mammy’, and ‘Magnificent’.
Philodendrons are loved worldwide for their fascinating foliage and impressive array of colors, textures, and shapes.
One of the captivating features of red-leaf Philodendrons is the transformation of their foliage over time. New leaves often emerge in brilliant hues of red and burgundy, then gradually darken into rich greens as they mature.
- Plant Type: Evergreen Perennial
- Ease of care: Easy. These plants are generally low-maintenance and forgiving of occasional care lapses.
- Native to: The tropical rainforests of South America.
- Mature size: Varies widely depending on the specific variety, from small and compact to large and sprawling.
- Cultivars with red leaves: Some of the popular ones include ‘Imperial Red’, ‘Sun Red’, ‘Red Congo’, and ‘Red King’. Each of these cultivars brings a unique blend of reds and greens.
And if you want more, make sure to check out our article on philodendron varieties!
Echeverias are a group of succulents treasured for their distinct rosette formations and straightforward care requirements. These plants come in a variety of colors and textures, so the chances that you’ll find a perfect match for your taste are quite high.
While their lovely leaves might suggest otherwise, Echeverias are remarkably easy to care for. As succulents, they are drought-tolerant and require minimal watering. When given the right light conditions, their leaves can develop lovely hues, adding more color to their appearance.
- Plant Type: Evergreen Perennial Succulent
- Ease of care: Easy. They’re drought-tolerant and require minimal watering, making them great for those who prefer low-maintenance plants.
- Native to: Semi-desert regions of Central America, specifically Mexico.
- Mature size: Typically, Echeverias grow to be between 2 and 6 inches tall.
- Cultivars with red leaves: There are several, including ‘Ruby’, ‘Red Ruffle’, and ‘Red Sails’, each bringing a different play of red and green.
6. Polka Dot (Hypoestes spp.)
Polka Dot Plants, scientifically known as Hypoestes phyllostachya, are known for their spotted foliage. The leaves come in a variety of colors, and many cultivars have bright spots scattered across a darker background, resulting in the plant’s “polka dot” nickname.
They are also surprisingly easy to manage, requiring moderate light and watering to thrive. Under the right conditions, they can brighten up your space all year round.
- Plant Type: Perennial
- Ease of care: Easy to moderate. These plants require consistent but not overly intense light, and they appreciate regular watering.
- Native to: The Island of Madagascar
- Mature size: Polka Dot Plants can reach a height of about 30 inches.
- Cultivars with red leaves: Several cultivars, including ‘Confetti Red’ and ‘Red Splash’.
Begonias, a group of plants that not only comes with red leaves, but also red flowers. With an impressive array of cultivars exhibiting various shades of red and green leaves, they offer plenty of options!
Caring for them is a gratifying journey, as these plants are not overly demanding. Providing them with the right balance of light, moisture, and humidity will keep their vibrant foliage looking its best.
- Plant Type: Perennial
- Ease of care: Moderate. While not overly demanding, Begonias thrive in balanced conditions of light, moisture, and humidity.
- Native to: Tropical and subtropical regions around the world.
- Mature size: Depending on the specific variety, Begonias can range from very small to over 12 inches in height.
- Cultivars with red leaves: Numerous cultivars, including ‘Inca Flame’, ‘Inca Night’, ‘Royal Red Flash’, ‘Autumn Ember’, ‘Chicago Fire’, ‘Red Bull’, and ‘Revelation Maroon’, each coming with its own take on the red-leaf theme.
Caladiums are tropical plants loved for their exceptional heart-shaped leaves. With a myriad of colors and patterns that rival even the most striking Begonias, Caladiums are sure to bring the tropics to your indoor space.
Despite their tropical origins, Caladiums adapt well to indoor conditions, provided they receive adequate humidity and indirect light. Their care needs may be slightly higher than some indoor plants, but the stunning foliage is well worth the effort.
- Plant Type: Perennial
- Ease of care: Moderate to high. They require indirect light, ample humidity, and regular watering.
- Native to: Tropical rainforests of South and Central America.
- Mature size: Typically, Caladiums grow between 1 and 2.5 feet in height.
- Cultivars with red leaves: There are several, such as ‘Florida Red Ruffles’, ‘Raspberry Moon’, ‘Burning Heart’, ‘Gingerland’, ‘Red Flash’, ‘Red Frill’, and ‘White Queen’, each seeming like a different houseplant.
An extensive family of plants recognized for their compact size and strikingly diverse foliage. With colors and textures that range from the glossy and sleek to the deeply textured, Peperomias provide an array of options for those looking to add something different to their plant collection. They are also a great option if you’re looking for plants fit for a small indoor garden.
Originating from tropical and subtropical regions, Peperomias usually have a compact growth habit. Their leaves, the stars of the show, often come with intriguing patterns, colors, and textures. And despite their fancy looks, Peperomias are fairly easy to care for, appreciating bright, indirect light and well-drained soil.
- Plant Type: Perennial
- Ease of care: Easy. Peperomias are not very demanding and thrive under regular indoor conditions.
- Native to: Tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.
- Mature size: They typically reach a modest size of 6 to 12 inches in height.
- Cultivars with red leaves: There are several eye-catching red-leaf cultivars including ‘Schumi Red’, ‘Eden Rosso’, ‘Ruby Glow’, ‘Quito’, ‘Red Luna’, and ‘Emerald Red Ripple’.
10. Poinsettia (Euphorbia Pulcherrima)
Adding a festive option to the list – Poinsettias, also known as Euphorbia pulcherrima. Noted for their striking display of vibrant red and green foliage, Poinsettias are often considered the stars of the holiday season. Their rich, leafy bracts – often mistaken for flowers – transform from green to a lovely red, creating the perfect holiday vibe.
The red and green hues of these plants are so iconic they’ve become emblematic of Christmas worldwide. Despite their lush appearance, Poinsettias are reasonably straightforward to care for, requiring well-drained soil and bright, indirect light.
- Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
- Ease of care: Moderate. Poinsettias require a bit more attention compared to other indoor plants but are still manageable for most plant lovers.
- Native to: Mexico.
- Mature size: They can reach up to 10-15 feet in the wild, but indoor potted varieties usually max out at 1-2 feet.
- Cultivars with red leaves: Some cultivars showcase different shades of red bracts, including ‘Prestige Maroon’, ‘Princettia Red’, ‘Solar Red’, and ‘Viking Red’.
11. Coleus (Plectranthus Scutellarioides)
Coleus plants come with bold, variegated foliage that ranges across the color spectrum, with the green and red varieties being particularly mesmerizing.
Their leaves display an almost infinite range of patterns and colors, often with intricate veins or colored edges. Coleus is also adaptable and fast-growing, making it ideal for gardeners of all skill levels. Whether you’re starting from a small pot or managing a sprawling outdoor bed, Coleus plants are there for you.
- Plant Type: Annual or Perennial depending on climate.
- Ease of care: Easy. Coleus plants are adaptable and resilient.
- Native to: Southeast Asia and Australia.
- Mature size: Depending on the cultivar, Coleus plants can grow between 1 and 3 feet tall and wide.
- Cultivars with red leaves: Some of the eye-catching cultivars include ‘ColorBlaze® Rediculous®’, ‘Campfire’, and ‘Kong Red’.
12. Campfire plant (Crassula capitella)
Crassula capitella, commonly known as the Campfire plant is a succulent species loved for its unique leaf color transition and its attractive, stacked leaf arrangement.
These plants are highly resilient and versatile, adapting easily to a variety of indoor and outdoor environments. Their distinctive leaves start out a light green color but gradually transform into a brilliant red when exposed to plenty of sunlight. This gives the plant its common name “Campfire,” as the bright red leaves mimic the vibrant flames of a crackling fire.
- Plant Type: Succulent
- Ease of care: Easy. These plants are quite tolerant and require minimal care.
- Native to: South Africa.
- Mature size: The Campfire plant can grow up to 6 inches tall and spread 2 to 3 feet wide.
- Cultivars with red leaves: Some popular cultivars include ‘Campfire’ and ‘Red Pagoda’.
Kalanchoes are also a great way to add some red to your garden. One popular example is the Kalanchoe luciae, also known as the ‘Paddle Plant’ or ‘Flapjack’. This succulent has flat, round leaves that stack upon each other, kind of looking like pancakes.
These leaves come in a bright green color that, when exposed to sufficient sunlight, turn a beautiful shade of red. The color change is particularly striking during the winter months, earning it the nickname ‘Red Pancake’.
In the spring, it can produce clusters of yellow, tubular flowers that add to its appeal.
- Plant Type: Succulent
- Ease of care: Easy. They require minimal care and can tolerate dry conditions.
- Native to: Various regions, but most species originate from Madagascar and tropical Africa.
- Mature size: Depending on the species, Kalanchoes can range from a few inches tall to several feet.
- Cultivars and varieties with red leaves: Some popular options include ‘Flapjack’ (Kalanchoe luciae), ‘Dragonfire’, and Kalanchoe humilis.
14. Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata)
Dracaena marginata, commonly known as the Dragon Tree, is a popular houseplant known for its long, arching leaves that come with dark red edges.
As a low-maintenance plant, it is perfect for both beginner and experienced gardeners. It has the ability to tolerate low light conditions, though it prefers indirect light. Its watering needs are also relatively minimal, requiring a good soak only when the soil has thoroughly dried out.
- Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
- Ease of care: Low-maintenance, ideal for beginner gardeners.
- Native to: Madagascar.
- Mature size: Can grow up to 15 feet tall indoors, but typically stays around 6 feet.
15. Air plants (Tillandsia spp.)
Air plants, or Tillandsias, are a fascinating group of plants that have adapted to live without soil. They are epiphytes, taking their nutrients from air and water, which makes them wonderfully versatile and easy to care for. The genus Tillandsia includes both xeric (dry loving) and mesic (moisture loving) species, and there are a few varieties with green and red leaves to explore.
- Plant Type: Epiphyte
- Ease of care: Easy. Requires no soil and minimal watering.
- Native to: The Americas.
- Air plants with red leaves: Tillandsia brachycaulos, ‘Fuego’, ‘Red Abdita’.
16. Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
Japanese Maples, known as Acer palmatum, are adored for their elegant growth habit. These deciduous trees offer delicate, lobed leaves that change color throughout the year, making them an ever-changing spectacle in any space. In spring and summer, the leaves are typically green, then transition into vibrant red and orange hues in the fall.
- Plant Type: Deciduous tree.
- Ease of Care: Moderate; Japanese Maples require regular watering and prefer well-drained soil.
- Native to: Japan, China, and Korea.
- Mature Size: Varies by cultivar but can grow up to 20 feet in height and 25 feet in width.
- Cultivars with Red Leaves: ‘Bloodgood’, ‘Katsura’, and ‘Shaina’ are examples of cultivars with red leaves.
Overall, indoor plants with red foliage can make a strong visual statement in any space. They come in a range of sizes and shapes, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your decor and plant arrangement preferences.
Whether you prefer a bold and showy plant or something more subtle and understated, you can find a red foliage plant that meets your needs. Additionally, caring for these plants can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. With the right amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients, your red foliage plant will thrive and bring a splash of color and life to your home.