Purple leaves on various houseplants offer a sophisticated, rich appeal that stands out among a sea of green plants. Below we will share with you our top 10 list of houseplants with purple leaves.
From the distinct Purple Velvet Plant to the texture-rich Purple Waffle Plant, there is a wide array of purple-leaf houseplants you’ve likely never heard of or seen before, but ones that can be super easy to care for.
The Benefits of Having Houseplants with Purple Leaves
Having houseplants with purple foliage is not just about adding a splash of colour to your indoor spaces. There’s so much more to it.
Uniqueness and Beauty
These houseplants stand out boldly from your more traditional green-leafed varieties. Adding them to your indoor collection can make a strong design statement while giving your home a unique flair.
Ranging from plants with deep, inky maroon to light lavender hues, these houseplants feature an array of exciting purples that can complement a variety of styles.
Houseplants with purple leaves can have a significant impact on your mood. Colours greatly influence how we feel and react.
Purple, as a combination of calm blue and fiery red, can invoke feelings of serenity and creativity so these houseplants can make you feel relaxed and inspired.
Boost Health and Clean Air
Like other houseplants, our violet-hued friends can be excellent air purifiers.
Numerous scientific studies show that indoor plants can remove toxins from the air, boost humidity, and increase oxygen levels creating a more comfortable, healthier, and fresher living space.
Increase Focus and Productivity
One more reason to consider houseplants with purple leaves: they can enhance focus and productivity.
Research demonstrates that having plants in your workspace can reduce fatigue, improve attention span, and fuel productivity. So adding a touch of purple to your office or study can be a great idea.
Top 10 Houseplants with Purple Leaves
1. Purple Velvet Plant
Standing out with its strikingly textured leaves, the Purple Velvet Plant, also known as Gynura Aurantiaca, is a great choice if you’re wanting to add a pop of colour to your indoor plant collection.
Their leaves are not just purely purple, but they’re also covered in fine purple hairs, giving them a unique velvety appearance.
The Purple Velvet Plant is naturally a tropical plant, which means it loves humidity. Therefore, it would be a fantastic choice if you’re living in a high humidity area.
But don’t worry if you’re not; you can always help to mimic the environment by misting the plant regularly or using a humidity tray.
Other Care Tips:
- Watering: Don’t let the soil get too dry. Keep it consistently moist by watering when the top inch of soil becomes dry.
- Temperature: They like temperatures between 60 – 75°F (15 – 23°C), with no drastic fluctuations.
- Fertilizer: Feed them with an all-purpose liquid plant food at half strength once a month during the growing season.
Important: This plant is toxic if ingested. So, it would be wise to keep them out of reach from children and pets.
2. Purple Heart Plant
Officially known as Tradescantia pallida, the Purple Heart Plant admired for its cascading, heart-shaped leaves that display rich, velvety shades of purple.
The signature royal purple leaves a shimmer with a slight silver sheen add a touch of luxury to any space. And if the leaves weren’t enough, there are small, delicate pink flowers that bloom in summer and autumn.
But there’s more to the Purple Heart Plant than just its good looks. It’s also a hardy houseplant that is tolerant of various light conditions and resistant to drought.
Now, while they’re relatively easy to care for, these plants do have some specific needs…
When it comes to positioning the Purple Heart Plant prefers plenty of natural, indirect sunlight. They can, however, tolerate partial shade, but their vibrant purple hue may not be as intense.
Fertilising your Purple Heart Plant every two weeks during its growing period (spring and summer) is beneficial for its overall health and supports lush, robust growth. Severely cut back on fertiliser during the dormancy period (autumn and winter), as the plant’s growth will slow.
3. Persian Shield
If you’re looking for a showstopper plant, then the Persian Shield, also known scientifically as Strobilanthes dyerianus, is your perfect match. This prominent houseplant presents bold, purple leaves etched with silver veins which makes the leaves give off a metallic shimmer.
A tropical plant originally from Myanmar, the Persian Shield can grow up to 4 feet in outdoor settings, but generally stays smaller as a houseplant so you don’t need to worry about it outgrowing your space.
To keep its purple colour vibrant, you should make sure it gets plenty of bright, indirect light. Keep in mind direct sunlight might scorch its leaves. Here are some other care tips:
Water: The Persian Shield prefers a well-draining soil and you should allow it to dry out slightly between watering. Be careful though, overwatering can cause the leaves to develop brown, mushy spots.
Temperature: As a tropical plant, it loves warm conditions, between 60°F-75°F (15°C-24°C) for the best growth.
Humidity: Aim for a high level of humidity around this plant. Regular misting or placing it on a tray of pebbles and water should help to avoid humidity related issues.
Fertiliser: Feed it every two weeks during the growing season with a balanced plant food diluted to half the recommended strength.
4. Purple Passion Plant
The Purple Passion Plant, or Gynura aurantiaca, has vibrant serrated leaves that look like they’ve been speckled with purple felt. While it’s sometimes a bit fussy about light and humidity requirements, its incredible purple leaves makes the extra effort worthwhile.
- Growth: These plants are fast-growing and can reach up to 1.5 metres under ideal conditions.
- Light: They thrive best in a well-lit location with indirect sunlight.
- Water: Water when the top inch of soil starts to feel dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot.
Wondering how to make your Purple Passion shine even brighter? Here’s a tip: wipe its leaves with a damp cloth to keep them dust-free. This not only maximises light-absorption but also helps to maintain that stunning velvet-like sheen.
Flowers: While the Purple Passion Plant is loved for its purple leaves, it does also produce bright orange flowers. However, most indoor gardeners opt to remove these as they give off quite a strong (and not so pleasant) smell.
5. Tradescantia Zebrina
Also known as the Wandering Jew or inch plant, the Tradescantia Zebrina is a favourite among houseplant enthusiasts. This fabulous plant has trailing vines with purple and silver striped leaves, creating an almost metallic effect.
The backside of the leaves impressively reveal a deep royal purple!
Characterised by its fast-growing nature, the Tradescantia Zebrina is an excellent choice if you’re after a plant that can quickly create volume and colour in your space.
- Light: The Tradescantia Zebrina thrives in bright, indirect light. It can also tolerate lower light conditions but its vibrant purple colour will fade.
- Water: This plant prefers a good drink once the top inch of its soil has dried out. Be careful not to overwater as it can lead to root rot.
Something exciting about the Tradescantia Zebrina is its ability to quickly generate roots from cuttings. In no time, you can propagate new plants to place in various spots around your home, or gift to friends and family!
6. Calathea Medallion
The Calathea Medallion houseplant, known for its round, beautifully patterned leaves, makes a bold statement in any indoor space and is one of our all-time favorite houseplants.
The combination of dark green and purplish-red on the undersides makes the leaf colour appear almost black.
The Calathea Medallion prefers a humid environment, similar to its natural habitat, the tropical forests of South America. It is perfect for bathrooms or kitchens which are naturally a little bit more humid than the rest of your home.
- Light: Prefers bright, indirect light.
- Water: Keep the soil moist but avoid overwatering.
- Soil: Well-draining soil is ideal.
7. Coleus Blumei
The Coleus Blumei, also known as Painted Nettle, originates from the tropics and boasts flamboyant leaves with a mix of purple, green, and often a hint of yellow.
What’s particularly great about the Coleus is its adaptability. It’s equally happy in low light conditions as it is in bright ones, making it a versatile option for different corners of your home.
Just bear in mind – if left in too much direct sunlight, the leaf colours can fade and lose their vibrance.
The care routine for a Coleus is fairly straightforward. Here are a few pointers:
- Watering: Keep the soil constantly moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering could lead to root rot.
- Fertiliser: Feed every couple of weeks during growing seasons with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser to promote leaf growth.
- Pruning: Pinch back the tips occasionally to encourage a bushier growth instead of a tall leggy one.
With certain care, it can produce small flowers. These aren’t as flamboyant as the purple leaves but will add a nice touch at points throughout the year.
8. Oxalis Triangularis
The Oxalis Triangularis, often known as the false shamrock, is a purple plant with leaves that come in sets of three, resembling a shamrock. They are beautifully vibrant with deep purple and occasional flashes of pale pink.
Although it’s a tropical plant, Oxalis adapts well to indoor conditions. However, it appreciates a good amount of indirect sunlight and regular watering.
- Lighting: Indirect sunlight is optimal. Too much direct sunlight can fade the leaves’ vibrant purple colour.
- Watering: Regular watering, but avoid waterlogged soil. Let the surface dry out between waterings.
Remember, Oxalis Triangularis, like a few other houseplants, goes dormant during the winter months. When this happens, don’t worry – just reduce watering and wait. Come spring, these plants bounce back with renewed vigour and new growth.
9. Purple Waffle Plant
Next up is the Purple Waffle Plant, also known as Hemigraphis alternata.
This plant is loved for its unique leaf texture and purple undertones. It’s name is directly related to its crinkly, waffle-like leaves which make is a very unique houseplant.
- The leaves, green on top and purple underneath, have a peculiar crumpled texture which gives it the name – ‘waffle’.
- It grows as a low ground cover and can quickly spread in proper conditions.
- It produces small white flowers which further add to the charm of this plant.
As for the care factor, the Purple Waffle Plant enjoys a well-draining soil and a spot that gets bright, but indirect light. It’s one to watch when it comes to watering as overwatering can cause root rot quite quickly, so you need to make sure the soil is almost dry before the next watering session.
10. Syngonium Podophyllum
Wrapping up the list of our favourite purple houseplants it the Syngonium Podophyllum, also commonly known as Arrowhead Plant.
Interestingly, the usual green foliage of this houseplant transforms into a vibrant purple hue under the right conditions. As the plant matures, it goes through a fascinating morphological transformation, with leaves changing from arrow-shaped to a highly segmented form.
The Arrowhead Plant is native to Latin America, thriving in the humid and warm climate. It appreciates higher humidity environments, moist soil, and indirect light conditions, as long as it’s kept away from direct sunlight which can scorch its beautiful leaves.
Tips for Caring for Houseplants with Purple Foliage
First and foremost, lighting plays a crucial role in maintaining the vibrant purple hue of these plants. A lack of adequate light exposure can cause them to lose their purple leaf colour and revert to green.
- Light: Most purple-leaved houseplants thrive well under indirect sunlight. Therefore, it’s advisable to place them near east or west-facing windows. Some, like the Purple Passion Plant and Oxalis Triangularis, can tolerate small bits of direct sunlight, but it’s always a good idea to gradually expose them to avoid shocking the plant.
- Water: Overwatering is a common pitfall when caring for any houseplants. As a rule of thumb, ensure the soil is dry before adding water. The frequency of watering will depend on the plant species and environmental factors so make sure to monitor things regularly and adjust as needed.
- Temperature and Humidity: These plants prefer warm temperatures ranging from 15 – 25°C. Also, a relatively high humidity level contributes to their healthy growth. So, don’t hesitate to mist them occasionally or place them in a tray filled with pebbles and water to increase ambient humidity.
- Soil: A well-draining soil mix is necessary for the growth of purple foliage houseplants. A balanced potting mix of peat moss, perlite, and compost provides adequate nutrients and improves soil aeration.
- Fertiliser: These plants will appreciate a balanced liquid houseplant fertiliser during their growing periods. Always remember to follow the instructions on the fertiliser package to avoid over-fertilising.”},
- Pot Size: A pot that’s too large for a plant can encourage overly damp soil conditions that can lead to root rot. Make sure your pot suits your plant’s size and growth rate.
How to Use Houseplants with Purple Leaves in Interior Design
Accentuating contrast: Consider placing a richly-hued purple houseplant against a light or white backdrop. The contrast will accentuate the plant’s unique colouration, grounding the space and drawing the eye to the plant.
Creating mood: The colour purple is often associated with royalty and luxury. Utilise this association to inject a sense of opulence to your setting. Whether adorning a lounge area, office desk, or any corner, purple-leaved plants can create an intriguing and plush atmosphere.
Mixing and matching: Don’t be afraid to pair your purple houseplants with green-leaved varieties. The green and purple combination can bring an added layer of visual interest to your settings.
Lastly, you can use these houseplants to create purposeful zones within a room. For instance, a large Persian Shield plant at the corner of a reading area demarcates the space, making it more cosy and inviting.