Plants with purple stems can be eye-catching leafy perennials or succulents with dramatically appealing dark foliage.

Plants With Purple Stems for Your Garden

Why do these plants have dark colors, which are easy to grow and maintain and how do you keep conditions perfect?

Keep reading to find answers to all your queries.

A Variety of Purple Stemmed Plants

Purple-leaf plants have dark leaves due to higher anthocyanin levels in the foliage. Anthocyanin absorbs green and yellow light, turning it deep crimson or purple in human eyes. These leaves still include chlorophyll, which is necessary for photosynthesis, but the strong anthocyanin pigmentation obscures the green coloration.

This pigment changes the color of the leaves from pale lilac to light pink, mauve, reddish-purple, violet, amethyst, and dark purple, almost black. The vibrant purple plant leaf can provide beautiful bright colors in the fall.

Are you searching for magnificent shrubs and decorative plants with stunning purple leaves to add vibrancy to your landscape? Here’s a list of some plants:

1. Purple Cannabis

The name refers to cannabis plants with a purple color or tinge. Anthocyanin is the chemical component responsible for purple cannabis stems.

cannabis strains with purple stems

The cannabis plant may not necessarily have the rich purple color that one would expect and can sometimes vary from dark green to bluish to even black, depending on pH levels.

For example, pH must be neutral or slightly acidic, as more alkaline soil renders anthocyanins unavailable to plants.You can also widely find cannabis strains with purple stems. Some of these include Grape Ape, Mendocino Purps, and Obama Kush.

Make sure this plant is legal in your country or state before attempting to plant it.

– Growing Season

For outdoor plants, the months of February and March are ideal for acquiring and germinating cannabis seeds in order to optimize harvest.

Plants can be nurtured indoors and transplanted outside in May when the ground is warm enough and the evenings are short enough. They’ll get huge and tall in the fall.

– Specific Needs

The most important factor for your plant to thrive is to prevent nutrient deficiency. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are possibly the three most important nutrients for cannabis plants. They do, however, require additional nutrients such as magnesium. This nutrient is necessary for photosynthesis. It also aids in the stabilization of plant cell walls.

Reduce your nighttime temperatures once your plants have reached the flowering stage. Colder temperatures break down chlorophyll and encourage your plants to create more anthocyanins. It would be best to aim for a temperature difference of 10 – 15 degrees Fahrenheit between daytime and overnight temperatures.

2. Japanese Barberry

This plant is also commonly known as berberis thunbergii. It is a thorny shrub native to Japan and eastern Asia that grows up to 3 – 6 feet tall and makes an excellent hedge plant or specimen bush.

Japanese Barberry has purple burgundy leaves

Barberry is a rounded, thick shrub with many branches. With beautiful purple burgundy leaves and red stems, this plant has a medium to fine texture.

Japanese barberry is edible as well, though less tasty. In many aspects, this species is very similar to the common barberry, but it’s easy to tell them apart, especially when they’re in fruit or blossom.

– Growing Season

Japanese barberry is best grown in the fall, late winter, or after blooming in the spring. The little rounded leaves are rich reddish-purple in the spring and summer, turning deep red in the autumn. Small red-tinged yellow or pale purple flowers develop in the spring, followed by glossy red berries.

– Specific Needs

Plant in average to dry, well-drained soils in full sun to mild shade. As long as the ground soil is not too damp, it is tolerant of many soil types, including clay. This shrub is hardy to zone 4, resistant to deer grazing, and drought and air-pollution tolerant. Propagation is accomplished through stem cuttings.

3. Purple Shamrock

Purple shamrocks are decorative house plants or garden plants with dark purple triangular leaves. The trifoliate leaves of the purple-leafed plant resemble a purple shamrock. The purple plant has an odd tendency to close its dark leaves when disturbed or at night. Throughout the day, the leaves move, frequently turning to face light sources.

Purple Shamrock with dark purple triangular leaves

When enough light hits the leaves during the day, they should open wide and then close gently as the day ends. If you don’t detect any movement in the leaves, it could be an indication that the plant is in a dark spot and requires an increase in light intensity. 

– Growing Season

Purple shamrock plants develop and flower actively from fall through spring and then become dormant in the summer. This may only happen for some years, especially for houseplants, but it is a possibility that necessitates specific attention. The foliage will decline when they are dormant.

– Specific Needs

This plant grows best in bright sun to partial shade, which equates to four hours of direct sunlight on most days. If you’re growing it outside and live in a hot climate, shield it from the scorching afternoon sun. Indoors, the plant should be grown near a brightly lit window.

Soak the soil first, then allow the one inch or two to dry before you water again. Although inconsistent and erratic watering is not a concern, the plant may spend months without harm, especially when the weather is cooler.

Frequent fertilization is ideal for preventing any nutrient deficiencies, so adding an all-purpose fertilizer at full strength once every few months is sufficient.

4. Boat Lily

The evergreen perennial boat lily has sword-shaped purple and dark green leaves. With its green and purple foliage and tiny boat-shaped white flowers, this tradescantia houseplant provides a lot of aesthetic interest to any interior.

Boat Lily has sword-shaped purple leaves

The pointed purple leaves can grow up to 12 inches tall. The boat lily leaves have been used medicinally because they are known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and potentially even cancer-fighting properties.

– Growing Season

The ideal season to grow this plant is late spring to early summer. Boat Lily can bloom any time of year if cultivated in adequate light. It is a little plant with a short stem. During the spring and summer, when the plants are actively growing, fertilize them once a month.

– Specific Needs

These plants require very little care. They will thrive in bright, indirect light, as direct, hot sunshine will destroy their leaves. However, if the colors in the foliage appear to be losing their brilliance, this could be a clue that it isn’t getting enough light.

Plant it in well-draining soil to help prevent root rot (which the boat lily is prone to), and keep it constantly moist but not soggy. Your plant pot must contain drainage holes so that excess water may flow.

5. Persian Shield

The Persian shield is a beautiful delicate perennial with lilac, purple, green, and gray leaves. The plant’s silvery leaf is distinguished by light to dark purple shading in the center and prominent, dark green veins and borders. Each shimmering purple and green lobed-shaped leaf is up to 8 inches long.

Persian Shield Growing Season

This evergreen shrub, native to Southeast Asia, thrives as ground cover on rainforest floors in dappled shade. Persian shield plants can grow as evergreen perennials or annuals, depending on the climate.

Because of the striking purple foliage and moderate growth height, they make an excellent border or edging plants. Persian shield plants can also be a beautiful focal point in mixed plantings.

– Growing Season

The ideal growing season for the Persian shield is spring. It is typically planted as an annual from a potted nursery and starts in spring when the soil has fully warmed. It grows quickly in warm, humid conditions. A little potted nursery plant will quickly grow into a bushy 2-foot plant.

– Specific Needs

The plant thrives in heat and humidity, producing the most vibrant color in bright, indirect sunshine and somewhat shaded areas. It prefers temperatures higher than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The distinctive broadleaf foliage positively shines.

Persian shields should be grown indoors in a sunny spot sheltered from direct sunlight. It thrives in a potting mix that is rich, loose, and well-draining. Water the soil regularly to maintain it moist, but don’t let it become soggy. Maintain temperatures between 60 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity.

For outdoors, choose a spot in your garden with dappled sunshine to grow a Persian shield plant in the ground. Plant in well-drained, rich, fertile soil. Mulch the dirt around the roots to keep them moist. Bring fragile perennials indoors when the temperature falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.


Colors give the garden a significant amount of interest and dimension. Plants with purple stems are especially useful in the summer when their strikingly dark foliage contrasts with colorful blossoms.

Many purple-leaved plants have gorgeously toned new spring shoots. Several of them will perform an even more stunning show in the autumn before dropping their leaves for the winter. Grow these outdoor purple plants if you want to add an instant splash of color to your garden.

Remember these points from the article above:

  • If you want visual appeal for your outdoor space or living interior, you can grow decorative plants such as the purple shamrock, boat lily, or Persian shield.
  • Plants like cannabis require much fertilization to prevent a nutrient lockout.
  • The purple color on leaves is due to a chemical compound called anthocyanin, which absorbs yellow and green light making it look purple to the human eye.

With this information, we are sure you will be tempted to add color and aesthetic appeal to your garden. So which one will you plant?


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