Adding Pops of Color with Red and Green Leaf Houseplants

It can be hard to choose a new houseplant that will stand out from the others when you already have your collection. Yes, a lot of people who garden indoors stick to the most common houseplants, which are nice, but sometimes boring. Adding a houseplant with red leaves or leaves with different shades of red could be just what your indoor garden needs.

Before you look for a houseplant with red leaves, you should take a look at your home or office and your way of life to figure out what kind of plant you want. You might need something easy to take care of, or you might want to use a room with high ceilings to its full potential by adding a taller houseplant.

Obviously looks are one of the main factors for any indoor gardener. As such, we’ve hand picked this list of beautiful red leafed houseplants for indoor gardens. There are many plants that can be kept indoors that have red leaves and many that are green with red spots. Let’s dig in!.

As an indoor gardening enthusiast, I’m always looking for ways to liven up my plant collection. One easy way to inject visual interest is by incorporating houseplants with colorful red or variegated red foliage. The vivid hues provide a lively contrast against all the green.

In this article, I’ll share my top tips for selecting, caring for, and enjoying houseplants with red leaves. Whether you’re a beginning or expert indoor gardener, these plants allow you to add striking colors to your home or office. Read on to learn how to grow a vibrant indoor oasis using red leaf specimens.

Choosing the Best Red Foliage Varieties

With so many houseplants to pick from, it can be tricky to narrow down the best red leaf varieties for your needs. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Growth habits – Choose climbing, trailing or bushy plants to match your space. Compact varieties work well for shelves and tabletops.

  • Light requirements – Most red leaf plants need bright, indirect light to maintain their vibrant foliage. But some, like begonias, do fine in low light.

  • Ease of care – If you’re a beginner pick hardy plants like peperomia and caladium. More advanced growers can try finicky beauties like croton.

  • Mature size – Pay attention to each plant’s expected height and width so you can provide adequate space.

  • Texture and shape – Mix up shapes like oval, spiky, ruffled, and more for visual interest.

Some of my favorite red leaf houseplants include:

  • Imperial Red Philodendron – Vibrant red new leaves mature to burgundy
  • Polka Dot Begonia – Green leaves spotted with red flecks
  • Moses-in-the-Cradle – Dramatic red and green striped foliage
  • Lipstick Plant – Shiny red leaves with bright green veins
  • Bloodleaf Plant – Burgundy leaves with scarlet undersides

Providing the Right Growing Conditions

While striking in appearance, red-leafed houseplants often need specific care to thrive indoors. Here are some top tips:

  • Bright, indirect light – Place plants near an east or west window where they’ll receive adequate sunlight without scorching. Rotate periodically.

  • Warm temperatures – Maintain indoor temperatures above 60°F. Cooler conditions can dull red pigments.

  • High humidity – Group plants together on trays of pebbles and water to boost moisture. Mist leaves frequently.

  • Quick drainage – Use containers with drainage holes and well-aerated potting mixes. Allow soil to partly dry between waterings.

  • Good air flow – Keep red leaf plants spaced out with small fans circulating air to prevent fungal diseases.

  • Consistent conditions – Avoid drafts and sudden shifts in light or temperatures that can shock plants.

Caring for Red Foliage Houseplants

While specific needs vary by species, most red leaf plants thrive with these general care guidelines:

  • Water when the top inch of soil becomes dry. Take care not to overwater.

  • Fertilize monthly in spring and summer using a balanced houseplant formula.

  • Prune back leggy growth and pinched off spent flowers to encourage bushiness.

  • Repot when roots fill containers using a houseplant soil with added perlite for drainage.

  • Check for pests like spider mites that may attack stressed plants and treat any issues promptly.

  • Clean leaves occasionally with a soft cloth and tepid water to keep them dust-free.

With attentive care focused on providing suitable moisture, humidity, light, and nutrients, your red houseplants will stay lush and vibrant for years of enjoyment.

Ideal Placement for Maximum Impact

When incorporating red-leaved specimens into your indoor garden, take some time to find each plant’s ideal spot for optimal showstopping effects.

  • Place red plants against green foliage for bold color contrast.

  • Let trailing red vines spill over shelves and ledges.

  • Use tall red specimens in corners to draw the eye upwards.

  • Cluster red pots together for high visual impact.

  • Add pops of red to dreary spaces like bathrooms and laundry rooms.

  • Grow red plants on desks or counters to boost creativity and energy.

  • Let red leaves become living artwork by displaying on plinths or pedestals.

How to Propagate Red Houseplants

Many red leaf varieties can be easily propagated at home using tip cuttings:

  • Take 4-6 inch cuttings from the growing tips of healthy plants.

  • Remove lower leaves and dip the cut end in rooting hormone powder.

  • Stick into a sterile potting mix, sand, or perlite. Enclose in a plastic bag or propogation dome.

  • Keep warm and humid until new growth emerges in a few weeks.

  • Gradually acclimate young plants to normal indoor conditions before transplanting.

This allows you to create beautiful red plants for free! You can also divide plants like begonias and learn to grow new specimens from leaf cuttings for certain philodendrons.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Red-leaved houseplants are prone to certain issues you may need to troubleshoot:

  • Wilting, drooping leaves – This often signals underwatering. Feel soil and water if dry.

  • Brown crispy leaves – Could indicate too little humidity. Mist more frequently.

  • Leggy, stretched growth – Give more sunlight if possible, or prune back.

  • Loss of red color – Usually caused by insufficient light. Move plant or add grow lights.

  • Dry brown leaf tips – Likely caused by irregular watering. Maintain careful moisture.

  • Sticky leaves or webbing – Check for pests like spider mites and treat accordingly.

Catching problems early allows you to take corrective action and keep your plants happy and colorful.

Enjoying the Vibrant Colors

Caring for houseplants with red foliage does take some effort, but it’s incredibly rewarding. The dramatic colors create an energizing, welcoming living space. Here are some ways to enjoy these lively plants:

  • Place red pots in drab corners to inject color and interest.

  • Create fun themed displays with all red foliage plants.

  • Use as striking table centerpieces for events and holidays.

  • Photograph your vibrant red leafed plants to share on social media.

  • Give red houseplants as gifts for any occasion to share the beauty.

  • Let the cheerful colors lift your mood on dreary winter days.

With infinite varieties to select from, it’s easy to add pops of red to your indoor plant collection. Just provide the right care conditions, and your house will soon brim with dazzling red foliage. They’re sure to spark conversations and brighten any room with their striking hues.

‘Confetti Blush’ Freckle Face Plant

‘Confetti Blush’ Freckle Face Plant grows well in shady places, prefers well-drained soil.

  • Plant Type: Perennial Herb
  • Geographic Origin: Madagascar, South Africa, and Southeast Asia,
  • Plant Size: 6″ -12″
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Sun/Shade

This plant has thin green leaves with red or pink spots people associate with freckles. These plants are perfect for compact shady areas. The roots prefer well-draining soil to stay moist but not stay too wet.

Creeping Inch Plant is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows well in little shade or diffused bright light.

  • Plant Type: Forb
  • Geographic Origin: Mediterranean
  • Plant Size: 2″ -4″
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Exposure: Full/Partial Sun

This plant has a lot of small green to pink to rosy ovate leaves. The growth pattern is trailing and looks great on ledges.

Simulate humidity by misting the plant. Use fast-draining soil, including something like peat. Let the soil surface dry between waterings, whether in a container or hanging basket.

Emerald Ripple Red needs abundant but diffused lighting all year round.

  • Plant Type: Perennial Herb
  • Geographic Origin: Brazil
  • Plant Size: 6″ -8″
  • Water Needs: Low
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade

Plants with Peperomia in the name usually get called Radiator Plants because of the way they spread out. These houseplants retain water and live underneath a tropical canopy in the wild.

Use loose soil with good drainage and add water infrequently when the soil feels barely damp.

Firebrand Cordyline needs to be watered as soon as the top layer of soil dries out in the spring and summer.

  • Plant Type: Perennial Shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Australia
  • Plant Size: 15′
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade

These large plants have lance-shaped leaves with streaks of red in the middle and on the margins. Use loose soil for good drainage. Follow the rule of thumb of feeling the soil for moisture about an inch down.

Fittonia is a medium-sized herbaceous plant with straight stems that has light green, oval-shaped leaves that are slightly bent back and have red veins running through them.

  • Plant Type: Evergreen Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: South American Rainforests
  • Plant Size: 6″
  • Water Needs: High
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Sun/Shade

Some pictures of this plant only show green leaves. The green leaf variety is Fittonia argyroneura, which will never have red leaves. Get Fittonia gigantea or Fittonia verschaffeltii to enjoy the red to pink veins throughout the leaves.

Fittonias reward owners with their beauty packed into a compact size, but they are difficult to keep healthy. For example, the soil should drain well and maintain a pH of about 6. 5.

The temperature shouldn’t drop below 70°F, and they need humidity. Spray the leaves with water if necessary. Keep the soil moist without standing water.

Caladium Bicolor ‘Florida Red Ruffles’

Caladium Bicolor ‘Florida Red Ruffles’ has beautiful red leaves with wavy edges and a thin green band around the edge.

  • Plant Type: Tropical Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Latin America
  • Plant Size: 12″ -18″
  • Water Needs: Moderate to Heavy
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun/Shade

The patented Florida Red Ruffles has a lance-shaped leaf with a stunning shade of red in the middle and green around the edges. These plants can tolerate good sunlight. You can set this plant up to change a room’s sunlight to Earthy light.

Water regularly, but don’t keep the soil moist constantly. Use good soil along with a pot that allows for adequate drainage. This plant likes the soil to dry out between waterings.

Top 10 Indoor Plants with Colorful leaves


What houseplant has red and green leaves?

Poinsettia. 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.

What is the name of the indoor plant with red and green leaves?

Philodendron Imperial Red Philodendron is native to South America, where it grows as an evergreen perennial in tropical rainforests. As an indoor houseplant with red and green leaves, it is in high demand for its glossy appearance, easy care, and air-purifying qualities.

What plant has a red stem and small green leaves?

Pilea glauca, also known as Red stem Tears, is a trailing plant with small, round, thick green leaves that grows in clumps against red stems.

Which houseplants have red and green leaves?

Paddle Plant (Kalanchoe Luciae) The Paddle plant, with its well-rounded green leaves with brilliant streaks of red on the outside, is a worthy addition to this list of beautiful houseplants with red and green leaves. You can keep the red color flaming bright if you ensure they enjoy lots of bright sunlight.

What do red and green leaves on a house plant mean?

Generally speaking, red and green leaves on a house plant indicate that the plant is healthy and doing well. The red leaves are usually a sign of new growth, while the green leaves indicate that the plant is getting the nutrients it needs. Coleus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae.

What plants have red leaves?

Some red-leaf houseplants such as Coleus, Caladium, and Anthurium have bright red foliage. Other types of red-leaved plants such as Begonia, Ti plants, and Dracaena have darker reds or subtle shades of red. If you’re looking for a houseplant with red leaves, you will find one in this article. Some species of plants have natural red leaves.

How do I choose a houseplant with red leaves?

Adding a houseplant with red leaves, or some red leaf variegation to your collection might be exactly what your indoor garden needs. One of the first considerations when looking for a houseplant with red leaves is to look around your home or office, as well as your lifestyle, and decide what kind of plant you want.

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