Plants with dark foliage are ideal for adding major drama to your landscape. They are eye-catching due to their color and tend to stand out or create a dramatic contrast when mixed with other colored plants.

Plants With Dark Foliage

You can grow these plants alone as statement plants or mix them with green-leaved plants. Whatever the case, here are some interesting dark foliage plants you can try.

Top Plants With Dark Foliage

1. Yellow Hammer Dahlias

Yellow Hammer Dahlias

  • Dwarf-growing dahlia 
  • Grows in clumps
  • Produces single yellow flowers
  • Native to Mexico
  • Growing in the whole of America
  • Every year in summer and autumn
  • Produces pale-yellow single flowers with bronze florets
  • Deadhead the early blooms to prolong flowering
  • Trim the plant back to the ground in the fall

Yellow dahlias are generally gorgeous late bloomers that flower in midsummer to autumn, they are beautiful flowers native to Mexico and grow even other parts of the Americas, too. They produce a rainbow of colors that brighten up the season especially with their dark foliage. 

These beautiful flowers are perennials that do well in warm USDA hardiness zones eight and higher climates. You will need to dig them up in cold climates as they don’t tolerate winter, but you must also deadhead them so that they would bloom back up in their growing season.

2. Heuchera

Heuchera Plant

  • Available in many colors all year round
  • Dark purple, pale pinky, yellow and dark green foliage plants
  • Native to North America
  • Growing in USDA hardiness zones four through nine
  • Produces pretty pink flowers
  • Spring and summer
  • Provide them with partial sun and shade
  • Keep the soil moist but not soggy

Heuchera is a lovely low-growing plant best for front of borders, container planting, and lining a path. It makes neat low mounds of foliage in its bold, exciting colors. It is easy to grow to require low maintenance. 

Moreover, this is the type of plant that plant provides color all year round, keeping your garden bright and beautiful, as long as it sees partial to full sun, it will grow so well, and the soil that it’s in should be a well-draining one that has to be kept moist. When these conditions are met, you will see this plant thriving with its beautiful flowers with dark colored foliage. 

3. Smoke Bush

Smoke Bush

  • Green, gold, or purple leaves
  • Misty clouds of flowers
  • Ovate-shaped leaves up to three inches long
  • Native to Southern Europe to Central China
  • A common plant in USDA four through nine 
  • Grown as hedges
  • Late spring or early summer
  • Misty pinky clouds of flowers emerge
  • Place the plant outdoors in the fall or spring
  • Keep the soil moist

The smoke bush is a deciduous plant grown for its beautiful blooms and colorful leaves. Its name derives from the billowy hairs on the flower clusters that stay in place all through summer.

This is the plant that is an upright multi-stemmed tree with waxy purple, green, or gold leaves. When it starts to bloom, the Cotinus plants have ovate leaves that turn orange, yellow, or purple in autumn, which would be darker shade of leaves, and they would start to then show very tiny flowers with a clustered arrangement. 

4. Purple Basil

Purple Basil

  • Deep purple to light red colored leaves
  • More intense aroma compared to green basil
  • Native to America, Asia, and Africa
  • Cultivated worldwide
  • Thrives in USDA hardiness 13b
  • Produces pink or white flowers 
  • Happens in the summer season
  • Provide at least six hours of full sunlight
  • Grow in well-drained soils
  • Amend soils with compost or a standard fertilizer

Purple basil thrives indoors and outdoors and can grow in pots or in the garden. It is an annual that mainly grows in the summer season. The purple leaf results from the high content of dark blue pigments in the plant cells. 

This pigment develops intensely in areas that have full sunlight, and it would thrive and become deeper in color, the more light they would be exposed to. In addition to this, the soil of the plant must be a well draining one, and it should have an acidity level of 6 to 7, with a moist condition. 

5. Baneberry

Baneberry Plant

  • Dark leaves
  • Colorful berries 
  • Originates from the Northern Hemisphere
  • A valuable addition to gardens across America
  • Late July
  • After most plants have already spent their blooms
  • Produces long spikes of white fragrant flowers
  • Provide adequate watering during dry spells
  • Keep the soils moderately fertile
  • Provide partial sun and shade

Baneberry has eight woodland perennials with serrated leaves, visible berries, and fluffy flowers. It is an excellent border plant growing up to three to six feet tall ad wide. It flowers from late summer to fall after most flowers are spent.

This beautiful plant should be kept in the proper condition so that it thrives, this means that the soil must be balanced, regarding its fertilization level, and you should place it in partial sun and even shade.

Moreover, since it is a plant that is known to blossom up during summer, when the weather is hot, this is why you should irrigate it properly in that type of water. 

6. Castor Oil Plant

Castor Oil Plant

  • Glossy dark-reddish or bronze leaves 
  • Long-stalked, alternate, and palmate
  • Deep lobes with serrated edges
  • Native to tropical Africa 
  • Naturalized in the warm areas of the world
  • Cultivated in China, India, and Brazil as the source of castor oil
  • Flowers are yellowish green with creamy stamens
  • Happens from June to July
  • Keep it weed-free 
  • Full sun
  • Provide moist but not soggy soils

The castor oil plant is a fast-growing perennial shrub that reaches the size of a small tree about 35 to 40 feet tall. The plant produces giant 12-lobed star-shaped leaves that are eye-catching. 

The fruits are ones that have a bronze spine that would range to red clusters, and they require to be harvested before they mature. As this is the type of plant that contains concentrated ricin in their mottled beanlike seeds, which is why you should make sure that if you have pet cat, you should make sure it stays away from this plant, because it has toxic traits for them. 

7. Afterglow Weigela

Afterglow Weigela

  • A compact dark leaved shrub
  • Rich green foliage 
  • Native to North America 
  • Thrives in USD hardiness zones four through seven
  • Grows in many parts of the world
  • Produces pink and cream flowers 
  • Blooms in spring
  • Provide well-drained acidic to alkaline soils
  • Water the plant every week for the first year
  • Keep it under the full sun for at least six hours

Afterglow weigela is an ornamental shrub with an inviting vibe to your landscape, this is for a number of reasons, such as its beautiful foliage, and even the way that they would start to turn from dark green to a hint of red. In addition, they also have upright arching branches covered in dark leaves. 

The plant produces clusters of long tubular pink and cream-colored flowers in spring. It puts on a lovely display for a long time, even after the flowers fade. If you wish to grow it, make sure that you would provide the right care, which is a well draining soil, that has an alkaline level of soil, and water it well especially in the beginning period of its growth. 

8. Black Elder

Black Elder

  • Has dark purple, almost black foliage
  • Large pink flowered bunches
  • The leaves turn a rich red in autumn
  • Native to Europe 
  • Thrives in USDA five through seven
  • Blooms in mid-summer
  • Large bunches of pink flowers appear and smell of citrus
  • Blooms turn into blackish-red berries
  • Provide adequate watering
  • Requires well-draining soil
  • Trim it to keep it compact

Sambucus nigra black beauty is easy to grow and adapts well to most areas. It requires full sun to partial shade and well-drained, moist soils. Make sure that you are watering this plant well and that you wouldn’t overwater it, or else it would be prone to fungal infestation. 

It also tolerates waterlogged or chalky soils, and it also needs proper pruning of the dead leaves so that the black foliage would look even more vibrant at the end of summer when their growth has been properly established.


Plants with dark foliage are many; not all of them could fit into this list. Here are a few points to remember as you grow these stunning plants:

  • Plants with dark leaves refer to those plants with dark red, purple, or blackish color on their leaves all year long.
  • Some plants only get a color change during fall; these do not qualify to fall in this category of black beauty.
  • You can grow any of these plants outdoors heuchera, yellow hummer dahlias, and afterglow weigela, as they require less maintenance.

Get in the groove of the colorful landscape by adding these plants to your green plants to bring out that stunning contrast. Now, you can add these beautiful plants and see your garden or your front yard look much more edgy and vibrant. 

5/5 - (5 votes)
Evergreen Seeds