Indoor plants with red leaves: our top 10
Longing to add some colour to your home? Then some colourful houseplants could be the answer! Discover some of the most eye-catching indoor plants with red leaves that would help brighten up any home.
Houseplants come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colours. Read on to discover some of the most beautiful red houseplants.
First, a classic: poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are popular plants with red and green leaves during the festive season. But people are often unaware that this houseplant has red leaves, as the bracts are easily mistaken for flowers. Poinsettias are no longer just available in red either. They now come in an assortment of colours. Find out more about planting, caring for and propagating poinsettias in our in-depth article.
Herbst’s bloodleaf (Iresine herbstii) is another houseplant with red leaves. Depending on the variety, the pattern of the leaves can vary and turn green, yellow, or orange. However, one striking feature remains the same throughout, and that is the contrast of the leaf veins with the rest of the leaf. Bloodleaf plants need plenty of sunlight to ensure that the leaves maintain their striking colour. Grown in pots, they can reach about 40 cm high and wide during their one-to-two-year life. If you prefer a fuller, bushier plant, prune the young shoot tips roughly every three months.
Tip: Bloodleaves are short-lived plants, but are easy to propagate!
Polka dot plant
The polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) is a member of the Acanthaceae family and originally comes from Madagascar, where there are about 200 species of Hypoestes. As well as the classic variety with pink spots, there are also varieties with yellow or red spots. This houseplant with its red-green leaves is particularly popular due to its contrasting leaf colours. While polka dot plants are perennials, they become less attractive as they age, so it is best to propagate your polka dot plant every few years by taking cuttings.
Nerve plant ˈRed Anneˈ
Nerve plants of the varieties ˈRed Anneˈ (Fittonia albivenis ˈRed Anneˈ) and ˈPearceiˈ (Fittonia albivenis ˈPearceiˈ) have green and red leaves, only with these plants, it is the leaf veins that are red. This sets them apart from other houseplants with red and green leaves. Find out which other colourful varieties there are and how to care for and propagate nerve plants in our separate article.
Cordylines (Cordyline) originate from Australia and New Zealand, but have been established as houseplants or ornamentals here in the UK for some time now. This palm-like plant is now available in a wide range of varieties, including Cordyline australis ˈRed Starˈ or Cordyline fruticosa ˈTangoˈ which feature red or pink leaves. Cordylines are considered undemanding houseplants that are suitable for beginners.
To ensure vigorous growth, fertilise your cordyline plants during the growing season. Our Plantura Liquid Houseplant Food is well-suited for this and can be applied by simply diluting into the water you use for watering.
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Oyster plants (Tradescantia spathacea), also known as boatlilies or Moses-in-the-cradle, have green leaves with crimson to burgundy undersides, so are a bit less conspicuous than the other red houseplants mentioned here. This houseplant with its dark red leaves originally comes from Central America, but today it can be found in the subtropics and tropics as an ornamental plant in parks and gardens. Purple-heart spiderwort (Tradescantia pallida) is a close relative of the oyster plants, and is completely red to purple in colour.
Radiator plant ‘Luna Red’
The radiator plant ‘Luna Red’ (Peperomia caperata ˈLuna Redˈ) has very wrinkly, heart-shaped, deep red leaves. The genus Peperomia has between 1500 and 1700 species, not all of which are kept as ornamental plants. Discover more about these plants in our article on Peperomia species.
Angel wings (Caladium), or elephant ears, are well known for their variegated leaves. There are many different varieties available today in bright colours, including red. Caladium ˈValentinaˈ has red leaves, with dark green, contrasting leaf veins. The variety Caladium ˈBaretˈ is another plant with red and green leaves, often having equal parts of both colours, with additional white speckling.
Earth star plants (Cryptanthus bivittatus) are part of the bromeliad family known as Bromeliaceae. You can find varieties of this terrarium and indoor plant with red leaves, including ˈRuby Redˈ, ˈPink Starliteˈ or ˈRed Starˈ. The flowers can be white, yellow, orange, red or pink, depending on the variety.
Tip: Earth star plants like high humidity, so mist them regularly with soft, lime-free water.
Rose painted calathea
Rose painted calatheas (Calathea roseoptica) have a beautiful, almost artistic pattern on the top of their leaves. Depending on the variety, it can have green, white or even pink markings. However, the leaf underside is always purple to burgundy, regardless of the variety. There are numerous different species and varieties of Calathea, each with different characteristics. Discover some of them in our dedicated article on Calathea species.
Need tips on feeding your houseplants? Visit our in-depth article to find out when and how often to fertilise houseplants and which fertilisers to use.