Green plants with red leaves are the perfect way to add more colorful variety to the monotone foliage of your garden plants. Some of these plants even overshadow their flowers with their vibrant foliage.

Mint Plants with Purple Flowers

This article lists some unique plants that produce red-colored leaves to enhance the appeal of your flowering garden or add a sense of dramatic passion to your interior.

Plants With Red Foliage That Will Beautify Your Garden

There are quite a few plants out there that have such brilliantly vibrant foliage that their leaves outshine everything else, making them the main selling point. Let us take a look at some red leaf plants that fit this profile.

1. Angel Wing

Angel wing, also known as Tropical Caladium or Caladium Red Flash, is a great perennial option for a rainforest or tropical-themed garden. These plants can grow quickly in many conditions, making them an excellent flexible option. If there are some shady areas in your garden that you would like to fill, angel wings are a great option.

– Characteristics

They produce large leaves that have striking red colors, but unlike caladium bicolor, whose red color appears as a splotch on the leaves.

Graceful Beauty of Angel Wing

Their foliage is the main source of attraction with its striking shades of bright red centers, producing a beautiful contrast with the surrounding green foliage.

The leaves themselves are heart-shaped and paper-thin. They fashion various patterns, including white, pink, green, and red veins, and stripes throughout the leaves.

– Growth Requirements

Caladiums are tropical plants that thrive in heat and humidity. But even then, they thrive in partial shade. Plant them in neutral, organically rich, and well-draining soil in gardens or in plant containers for the best results. Avoid soggy soils as they will inevitably lead to the plants’ death.

2. Coral Bell

Heuchera americana has many other common names, such as Alumroot, American Sanicle, and Rock Geranium. These plants offer a wide range of colors in their flowers and foliage.

– Characteristics

They come in cream, lavender, green, orange, and tan shades. The mix-and-match potential speaks for itself! The colorful foliage is the most striking feature of these plants.

Delicate Charm of Coral Bell

They have large leaves that are either heart-shaped or rounded.

– Benefits

In addition to providing visual beauty, coral bells offer protection against herbivores like deer and rabbits. They give off an aroma that the deer avoid at all costs.

– Growth Requirements

The coral bell is a fairly convenient plant that is easy to grow and maintain. Mostly they prefer to stay in partial shade, but there are some varieties that thrive under full sun. These plants prefer humus-rich, well-draining soil that is neutral or slightly acidic in nature. Water to keep the soil consistently moist, but make sure not to overwater it (1 inch per week should be fine). To make your garden even prettier, you should also try adding some of the Coral Bells companion plants!

3. Polka Dot Plant

The polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) is an eye-catching plant whose main source of attraction is its variegated foliage that can beautify any garden.

– Characteristics

The colorful foliage of these plants has unique patterns and textures that easily stand out against numerous other plants. Additionally, they are low-maintenance plants that are not particularly difficult to grow and are generally grown as annuals by most gardeners.

– Varieties

The most common polka plant has leaves that have a pink base color with green edges and patterns across the leaves. There are also many other varieties that produce unique spotted or molted patterns on their foliage.

Playful Pattern of Polka Dot Plant

Their leaves can include white, purple, red, and other deeper colors that create brighter contrasts.

– Planting Options

Polka plants are adaptable: you can grow them in gardens or place them as house plants. They do not grow very rapidly, and even when they are fully matured, they do not take up a lot of space as they maintain a small size.

Growth Requirements

Polka dots have moderate maintenance requirements. They need warm temperatures and humidity to grow and thrive in partial shade. Soil that is rich in organic matter and retains moisture well with excellent drainage to prevent sogginess is ideal. Let the topsoil dry out in-between waterings for optimal moisture.

4. Crassula Red Pagoda

Crassula capitella (or red pagoda, sometimes also called the red flame or campfire plant) is a unique succulent among 200 related varieties that can instantly catch everyone’s attention with its unique shape and distinctive colors. It is an extremely showy plant with vibrant leaves that are adorned in fiery colors. It is named after its shape, which resembles a pagoda building.

– Characteristics

Red pagoda plants have small textured leaves with vibrant orange and red colors. These burning hues make them stand out from the rest of their surrounding greenery. In its dormant state, the red pagoda has primarily green leaves with red edges.

Majestic Structure of Crassula Red Pagoda

But, once exposed to bright sunlight, the red color will bleed across the leaves, giving them a shiny flame-like look, which leads to their nickname, “crassula red flames.”

– Growth Requirements

Like most succulents, the pagoda prefers moist soil that can quickly drain the water to avoid soggy situations. They can also survive in clay, but it would be ideal to use potting soil that is specifically made for succulent plants to maximize their growth. They have moderate water requirements and only require supplementary water once the soil has completely dried.

5. Jelly Bean Plant

Jelly bean plants (Sedum rubrotinctum) are a part of the Sedum genus and look exceptionally attractive in a succulent garden. Native to Mexico, they are sometimes also called “banana cactus” or “pork and beans.”

– Planting Options

They not only fit perfectly with their surroundings but also add a touch of extra color, thanks to their mixture of green and red foliage. These low-growing plants can also be used as ground covers thanks to their growth habit.

– Characteristics

Jellybean plants are a hybrid between two different types of sedum, which are Sedum epiphyllum (orchid cactus) and Sedum stahlii (coral beads).

Wet Jelly Bean Plant

They are characterized by their thick leaves that change color when they are exposed to bright sunlight, turning bright red.

– Growth Requirements

Jellybean plants will adapt to most situations and can even survive for quite a while if you neglect them. Use cactus soils for the best results, but as long as it drains well, any soil type will do, as they rarely need water. This means that it is very easy to overwater a Jelly Bean, so be extra careful!

– Light Requirements

Their leaves will only turn the brightest red possible when you keep them in full sun. If you see fully green leaves or they appear elongated, they are probably not receiving enough sun exposure.

6. Croton

The croton plant (Codiaeum variegatum) has hundreds of different varieties that have unlimited leaf forms. The ‘Mammy Red‘ is a particularly famous variety that comes with distinctly red leaves. These plants prefer to grow outdoors, but they are also a good option if you are looking for indoor plants.

– Characteristics

Croton plants can reach a height of about 8 feet and a spread of 6 feet, which is only possible when they’re planted outdoors under the sunlight.

Vibrant Foliage of Croton

They are temperature-sensitive plants, and maintaining their ideal temperature is the biggest challenge you will face if you want to grow them indoors. However, these plants are well worth the effort they take to grow.

– Growth Requirements

Their primary growth requirement is consistent warm temperature. The best soil for crotons is moist soil that can drain quickly and does not retain water. They prefer nutrient-rich soils that are slightly acidic in nature. These plants need a good amount of sun exposure, and you should keep them under bright indirect light. Provide them with one inch of water per week for consistent moisture.

7. Chinese Evergreen

Aglaonema commutatum is a broad-leaved herbaceous perennial known for its leathery oval-shaped leaves and delightful growth habit.

– Varieties

Their primary attraction is the leaves, which are available in a natural green and red, and cultivated red, silver, and pink colors. Red Evergreen and Aglaonema Red Star are two favorite red-leaved varieties in the gardening community, and there are many, other varieties as well.

– Characteristics

It grows between 1–3 feet tall and wide, which means that they are ideal as indoor plants.

Resilient Beauty of Chinese Evergreen

The red leaves are oval-shaped, though some varieties may be lance- as well as heart-shaped, and are generally 4–12 inches long and 2–4 inches wide. Keep in mind that the leaves are toxic to cats and dogs.

– Growth Requirements

The plant prefers partial to full filtered sun exposure, which allows its leaves to thrive with the most vibrant colors. The ideal soil type is slightly acidic and well-draining. The plant prefers a moist environment but does not like to be constantly damp or moist, so allow the top two inches of the soil to dry out completely before you water again.

8. Coleus

Coleus is a hardy, herbaceous perennial that belongs to the mint family. It is a popular choice for new and veteran gardeners alike for its colorful leaves and adaptable, low-maintenance nature.

– Characteristics

The leaves are its primary attraction in the garden. The Redhead Coleus (or Solenostemon Redhead) variety is particularly famous for its bright red leaves and delicate, serrated edges. It can grow up to 48 inches in height.

– Planting Options

Coleus can be grown just about anywhere as an annual due to its resilient nature, provided you move them indoors during the harsh winter months.

Colorful Foliage of Coleus

When planted outdoors, it is most commonly used as a lush bedding plant and as a vibrant decorative in hanging baskets and window boxes. Typically, though, if you are growing it as a perennial, you would plant it indoors next to a window that gets a little filtered sun throughout the day.

– Growth Requirements

Coleus naturally prefers partial to full shade. The leaves will be the most vibrant with direct and filtered sunlight in the morning and afternoon, respectively. Coleus prefers moist and well-draining soil. Add compost to enrich the organic nutrients if you plant it outside. Otherwise, good quality potting mixes are enough for indoors. Water the plant consistently and regularly.

9. Madagascar Dragon Tree

The red edge Dracaena, which is another name for it, is an attractive plant that is native to Madagascar and has unique sword-like leaves. It is a low-maintenance house plant which makes it both beginner friendly and convenient for veteran gardeners. The plant is practically indestructible if it can meet its basic requirements.

– Characteristics

Different varieties have different shades on their leaves.

Striking Form of Madagascar Dragon Tree

For example, Dracaena marginata ‘tricolor’ has red-edged green leaves that have an ivory stripe at the center, whereas marginata ‘colorama’ has pinkish leaves that can have white and green variegation.

– Growth Requirements

D. marginata is known for its tolerance toward a wide range of temperatures and growing conditions, making it very popular as a houseplant. The plant does best in indirect bright sunlight, which will help it keep its unique colors. Rich, loamy, and moist soil with good drainage will help the plant grow to its full potential.

10. Bromeliads

Several bromeliad plants resemble spider plants, much like the Dracaena mentioned earlier. They offer the familiar drooping, spiky leaf energy near the base of the plant. However, their leaves do not share the same density or color scheme, which varies from species to species. Petite variants suitable for indoor use are also common.

– Characteristics

Guzmania lingulata (Scarlet Star) and Vriesea splendens (Flaming Sword) are two unique species with a flashy red color. The former grows white flowers on a flower head that is surrounded by red-colored bracts, which practically hide the flowers.

Exotic Beauty of Bromeliads

The latter produces an upright, spike-like red inflorescence that grows up to 2 feet tall and is surrounded by mottled green leaves at a lesser height. It looks like a “flaming sword” rising from the foliage, which makes it quite a dramatic addition to any room.

– Growth Requirements

The Bromeliad species above are easy enough to care for but are susceptible to root rot. If you decide on them, plant in soil that holds moisture and drains well. A weekly sparse watering schedule works, but the ideal time is when the top two inches of soil becomes dry.

Most of the indoor varieties prefer bright, indirect light. Try to place them next to a window or inside a room that remains sun-bright most of the day.

11. Peperomia

Peperomia is a genus of well over a thousand species of plants that are also known as radiator plants. They are native to Central and Southern America.

– Characteristics

The ornamental varieties used in gardens and homes are usually succulent and have elliptical or oval leaves with a waxy, thick surface. The stems and petioles in some of these varieties are red, and there are cultivars with fully red leaves as well.

– Species

Two species within this genus are popular for their red vegetation: Peperomia rubella (scarlet-red undersides) and Peperomia caperata (red stems with a slight hint of reddish-pink on the leaves).

Unique Texture of Peperomia

Both these varieties are tiny at usually 4–8 inches tall, which makes them excellent as houseplants, with P. rubella being particularly famous for its use in hanging baskets where its leaves trail over the sides of the basket.

– Growth Requirements

In general, ornamental peperomia grow naturally in shady crevices. They thrive in these partial shade conditions, and you should only offer them indirect sunlight for a while in the morning. Plant them in loamy soil that is rich in organic nutrients, retains moisture well, and has good drainage. Water regularly, but wait for the topsoil to dry before you water again.

12. Rex Begonia

The painted leaf begonia or king begonia is one of the many varieties of red leaf begonias. Like almost all the entries in this list, its primary attraction is its ornamental foliage with large (around 6 inches long) variegated leaves that far out shadow its relatively insignificant flowers. In fact, most gardeners pinch the flowers off to help maintain the foliage’s vibrance.

– Characteristics

The king begonia is a common choice for a houseplant and is very rarely grown outside in gardens.

Fascinating Foliage of Rex Begonia

This is due to its semi-tropical nature and requirement for indirect sunlight, as well as the fact that for a begonia, it is not a vigorous grower and has a small height and spread of around 12–18 inches. However, it is toxic to animals, which may be a challenge to manage if you have pets indoors as well.

– Growth Requirements

The plant grows best when planted after the last frost. It prefers partial indirect sunlight and, unlike other Begonias, can even tolerate full shade or artificial fluorescent lights. Plant it in porous soil that promotes good circulation and fast drainage. Regular watering while letting the topsoil dry out in between will provide the plant with optimal moisture.

13. Nerve Plant

The nerve plant, or Fittonia albivenis, is often grown as a potted houseplant. This evergreen perennial plant has fantastic and showy foliage with veined leaves that come in various colors. This vibrant show is reason enough to get these plants as a part of your indoor decorations.

– Characteristics

The plant has delicate leaves that have colored veins. The leaves are deep green and ovate, with the most common silver-white veins, but you can also find other plant cultivars with red, green, and pink veins.

Intricate Veins of Nerve Plant

The plant can grow up to 6 inches and spread to about 18 inches. This slow-growing plant can sometimes produce flowers as well.

– Growth Requirements

The nerve plant is one of the plants that need special care if you want them as a houseplant. It requires a constant high humidity level while protecting it from excessive direct sunlight. The plant prefers bright, shaded areas and will grow fine in standard potting soils. The moisture needs will require you to water it frequently as the plant can die quickly if it dries out.

14. Ti Plant

The Ti plant, or Cordyline fruticosa, is a beloved houseplant that is also used in tropical landscapes. This evergreen plant is known for its broad palm-like leaves that support a lot of different colors and variegation.

– Characteristics

The plant is a fast grower, and its foliage is long-lasting, making it an excellent houseplant. The plant has smooth sword-like leaves that can grow to a length of 2.5 feet. The plant has red, white, pink, lavender, yellow, or standard green leaves that are long and broad.

– Flowering

During spring, the plant produces star-shaped flowers that add to its beauty.

Rich Colors of Ti Plant

These blossoms can be white, pink, yellow, or lavender.

– Growth Requirements

It is a popular garden plant in tropical climates but has special light requirements if you want to keep it as a houseplant. It needs full sun to get the best leaf coloration, but excessive heat can also lead to scorching. It prefers rich, moist, and well-draining soil, which will help the plant avoid still water conditions.

15. Wandering Jew

The silver inch plant is an old-school Spiderwort that is still popular to keep as a houseplant. It is an excellent option for hanging baskets or for keeping on tabletops. The plant has trailing stems, and the different cultivars have unique colors and patterns of their leaves and sizes. This makes it easy for you to choose the one that fits your taste.

– Characteristics

Inch plants have long vining stems that must be pruned to keep your plant healthy and alive. But even when you provide the best conditions, they are not long-lived.

Trailing Beauty of Wandering Jew

So, expect to renew your plant yearly by planting the cuttings and growing new ones.

– Growth Requirements

These plants like to grow in moderate light conditions. Prolonged exposure to bright light can lead to harmful effects on the plant’s health. So, these are a good choice to keep in a sunny window. They like to grow in moist and well-draining soils and need water. Once their soil starts to dry up, you can incorporate fertilizers in their care if necessary.

16. Lipstick Echeveria

Echeveria is a succulent plant that is prized for its unique appearance and ease of care and maintenance. These plants are a popular choice as rock garden plants and houseplants. Their leaves are joined in a rose-like shape and come in various colors, making them an exciting addition to the scene.

– Characteristics

Their rosette leaves have a plump and fleshy texture, and they come in a large range of colors. This appearance makes them look significantly like flowers, especially during spring months when they “bloom.”

Beautiful Lipstick Echeveria

These plants generally do not grow to a considerable size and remain about a foot wide throughout their life, but some grow into 2-foot plants.

– Growth Requirements

These are very low-maintenance plants and are well-adapted to many different environments. The plant can perfectly survive in sunny and dry climates and go for long periods without much care.

The plant should be kept in well-draining soils and under adequate sunlight for ideal growing conditions. They do not require a lot of water, but it is better to avoid complete dryness.

17. Flamingo Lily

The flamingo flower is a tropical houseplant native to South American regions. The plant has shiny and dark green leaves with vibrant blooms that elevate the aesthetic of the overall scene. Under the right conditions, the plant blooms multiple times during the year, but remember that it is a toxic species.

– Characteristics

The plant has shiny heart-shaped leaves that have a dark green color. The flowers it produces are also in the shape of their leaves but have a vibrant red color and a yellow spadix at the center.

Graceful Blooms of Flamingo Lily

These flowers are so glossy that they sometimes look like plastic. Their unique appearance makes them excellent indoor plants.

– Growth Requirements

The flamingo flower requires bright or medium indirect sunlight. The plant will struggle to grow and produce eye-catching foliage and blooms if the light conditions are too poor. The best soil conditions are moist with good drainage. It is advised to avoid dryness and water the plant accordingly to keep it moist and alive.

18. Poinsettia

Poinsettia, or Euphorbia pulcherrima, is a native Mexican perennial shrub that is mainly grown as an annual plant. It is a famous display plant during the holiday season and an excellent option for perennial gardens. The plant comes in many colors, including its signature scarlet red, thanks to the hybrid cultivars.

– Characteristics

The poinsettia blooms with clusters of tiny yellow flowers surrounded by brightly colored modified leaves called bracts.

Festive Charm of Poinsettia

These bracts are typically red but also available in white, cream, yellow, and pink. Unlike the popular misconception, the plant is mildly toxic to common pets but not fatal or extremely dangerous.

– Growth Requirements

The plant has specific growth requirements that will enable you to keep it alive and thriving even after the holiday display. The plant will continue to thrive if you provide sufficient filtered sunlight and water. The plant prefers well-draining potting soil and requires water whenever the soil surface is dried.

19. Herbst’s Bloodleaf

Herbert’s Bloodleaf or Iresine herbstii is a surprisingly uncommon but gorgeous garden plant that can be kept as a houseplant. In addition to its unique foliage, the plant also boasts a lot of exciting names, including the beefsteak plant and chicken gizzard plant.

– Species

There are about 30 different plant species, and all of them are native to South America. These species vary in terms of their size and growth habit. These flowering plants are prized for their vibrant foliage instead of their blossoms.

– Characteristics

The plant produces small green or white flowers, but their vibrant red leaves make them attractive and appealing.

Bold Colors of Herbsts Bloodleaf

The plant has pinkish stems with dark red leaves, earning it its blood leaf name.

– Growth Requirements

The plant requires a lot of heat and humidity, which can be challenging to replicate outdoors if your local climate does not have these conditions. It is better to keep it indoors as a houseplant in that scenario. They thrive in partial shade to bright light, and their tolerance increases with age. They prefer rich, moist, and well-draining soils and require regular moisture.

20. Red Maple

Acer rubrum is a native tree in North America and is a member of the Sapindaceae family. Unlike others on this list, it is not a tiny flowering plant but a giant tree that can reach 70 feet high and is a fast grower. If you want something smaller, consider the related maple bonsai. This tree is naturally found in wet woodlands in the north and dry, rocky areas in the south.

– Characteristics

The tree is long-lived and can survive up to 100 years if looked after properly. The tree is well-known for its vibrant red autumn foliage, which is also the reason for its name.

Iconic Beauty of Red Maple

This fall foliage is not on display throughout the year and gradually turns from green to red as autumn draws near.

– Growth Requirements

This giant tree is easy to care for with little requirements and thrives in many different conditions. It prefers to grow under the full sun as it helps it thrive and produce lush leaves. The tree prefers moist, acidic, loamy, and well-draining soil. The plant only ever requires water in dry soils to ensure proper irrigation.


Green plants with red leaves are unique species that will add interest to any location. In some cases, gardeners choose to cut their stalks to encourage more foliage growth. If you want to add one of these ornamental plants to your plant collection, keep in mind that:

  • Some of these, such as Crassula Red Pagoda, the jelly bean plant, and the nerve plant, need bright sunlight to show off their bright, vibrant colors.
  • Many of these plants can easily grow in gardens and in plant containers to keep them indoors. Some that are quite versatile are the lipstick Echeveria, the jelly bean plant, and the polka dot plant.
  • Proper safety measures should be taken with most of these as they are toxic in nature, especially the Rex Begonia, Chinese evergreen, and flamingo lily.

After discovering all these plants you can pick and choose what you love most and add these to your garden or indoor spaces, for a touch of elegance!

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