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Houseplants with Purple Leaves – GIY Plants

Purple leafed shamrock plant

Houseplants come in a variety of different colors, from dark green, to red, and even purple. The options are virtually endless.

Purple houseplants, in particular, are an interest for many. However, you might find that compared to their common, green counterparts, they’re more difficult to find.

To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of several purple-leaved indoor plants. Each of these plants can effortlessly add a pop of color to your home.

Indoor Plants with Purple Leaves

Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina)

Close up of purple wandering jew plantWandering Jew, also known as Tradescantia zebrina are native to Mexico. They have long, slender stems with clusters of small, three-petaled flowers. With colorful leaves, which is green, purple, or variegated.

Wandering Jew plants are easy to care for and low maintenance. They prefer well-draining soil, moderate watering, and bright, indirect light. Jew plants can be pruned and propagated by rooting stem cuttings in soil or water.

Tradescantia zebrina can be grown in hanging baskets or in pots. In warm climates they can be grown outdoors. Due to their easy care and tolerance, they’re a popular houseplant.

Calathea (Calathea roseopicta ‘Dottie’)

Purple and Green leafed Calathea Dottie

Calathea roseopicta ‘Dottie’ is also known as the rose-painted Calathea. A native to the rainforests of South and Central America. They are known for their striking, colorful leaves. The leaves are dark green with distinctive pink and purple markings. They have a glossy texture and are oval-shaped. Growing no taller than two feet making it managable for indoors.

Being a tropical plant they thrive in humid environments and prefer indirect, bright light. Avoid direct light as this can burn their leaves. Calathea Dottie perfers moist but well-draining soil to prevent root rot.

Calathea Dottie are easy to care for and a great choice for those new to indoor plants. They can thrive and add a unique or tropical feel to any room.

Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa)

Purple and pink leaves of Ti Plant

The Ti plant is a tropical plant that is native to the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia. It is a popular ornamental plant that is often grown for its ease of care and colorful foliage. The Ti plant features long, narrow, glossy and pointy leaves. Its foliage is green and pinkish-purple, sometimes a combination of colors.

The Ti plants prefer regular watering with well-draining soil. They do not like to be over-watered or waterlogged. Place the plant where it can get bright but indirect light. Being from the tropics, they do not tolerate cold temperatures or frost. With it’s broad, lush appearance it can grow up to 10 feet tall. They are often grown as a hedge outdoors, but do well in containers and pots.

The Cordyline fruticosa is also referred to as a good luck plant. In the frost-free tropics, it’s believed to bring luck and safety from evil spirits when planted outside a home.

Purple Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis)

Flowering purple shamrock plant

The Purple shamrock ( Oxalis triangularis) is native to South America and a perennial flowering plant. Also referred to as a false shamrock. Known for it’s bright purple triangular leaves resembling a three-leaved shamrock. Features white stems and white flowers that contrast with its dark purple foliage.

These plants prefer well-draining soil and bright, indirect light. Water regularly, but allow soil to dry slightly between watering. This will prevent issues like root rot and fungus. The best time to fertilize is during the active growing season.

The false shamrock or purple shamrock remains small and is low maintenance. Making it the perfect houseplant to add a bold statement in any indoor space.

Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula)

Flowering purple orchidIf you want just a dash of purple in your home, the Purple Orchid might be the right fit. Indoor plants with purple flowers and green leaves can be difficult to find. However, this humid-loving tropical rainforest variety meets the latter description. Unlike some houseplants, this one will bloom indoors.

Cordyline ‘Tango’ (Cordyline fruticosa ‘Tango’)

leaves of a cordyline fruticosa tango
Like the Ti Plant, this Brazilian plant is another Cordyline variety characterized by purple leaves. However, unlike the Ti Plant, this shrub features more of a grayish-green color alongside its magenta coloring. Its palm-like leaves grow mostly upright and reach up to 1.5 meters in height.

Purple Coleus (Coleus scutellarioides)

Close up of purple leaves on coleusColeus comes in a variety of colors, including yellow-green and red. The plant can also be found in a solid purple variety or as a tricolor variety that features purple. These colorful, nettled-leaved plants originate from southeast Asia through Australia. Because they remain small, they’re easy to pot and grow indoors.

Rex Begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum)

Green and purple leaves on rex begoniaBegonias are known for their thick, jagged leaves and vivid blooms. Their foliage and flowers alike come in several different colors. The Rex Begonia is a variety with pinkish-purple leaves with silvery notes. This semi-tropical variety produces pink flowers and will even bloom indoors.

Purple Sword (Alocasia lauterbachiana)

Purple sword leavesPurple Sword Plants are texture-rich with their serrated-edged leaves. This houseplant with purple leaves underneath can also offer a subtle burst of color. However, this South Asian plant isn’t for you if you can’t accommodate a large houseplant. Purple Swords reach an average height of six to eight feet.

Ruby’s Necklace (Othonna capensis ‘Ruby Necklace’)

Ruby necklace leaves green and purpleRuby’s Necklace lives up to its name with its bead-like foliage. It’s also nicknamed “String of Rubies.” The South Africa-based trailing succulent features deep purple and forest green colors. Indigenous tribes used to use the plant medicinally and believed it had protective powers. Today, we know it as a delicate yet beautiful houseplant.

Iron-Cross Begonia (Begonia masoniana)

Purple and green foliage of iron-cross begoniaThe Iron-Cross Begonia originated in southern China and northern Vietnam. This indoor plant with purple leaves features an iron cross-like pattern against a strong green pigmentation. The contrast adds depth and variation to an interior space. Watch as it blooms tiny, white flowers.

Persian Shield (Strobilanthes auriculatus)

Purple and green leaves on a persian shield plantThis Myanmar-based Strobilanthes variety features powerful purple and green hues. It’s also noted for its intense veining. While it can get a whopping five feet tall and three feet wide, it’s easy to contain in a pot indoors. Its tall, upright growth habit adds a jungle vibe to a space.

Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis alternata)

Close up of waffle plant meavesAdd texture to your home with a Waffle Plant. Like its common name suggests, its foliage has a strong waffle-like pattern. The leathery green tops and purple bottoms of its leaves add drama to a space. Expect the Java plant to remain bushy yet modest at six inches tall, 18 inches wide.

Purple Passion (Gynura aurantiaca)

Purple and green leaves on purple passion plantThe Purple Passion Plant is quite strong in the texture and tactile departments. It features jagged, fuzzy leaves. Due to its fuzziness, the southeast Asian plant is also called the Velvet Plant. While the foliage is primarily green, the bright purple edges make a striking statement.

Moses-in-the-Cradle (Tradescantia spathacea)

Green and purple leaves of the moses in the cradle plantAlso called the Oyster Plant, this Central American houseplant stands out from the latter. It features grassy, bushy monocot leaves. The leaves of this plant are typically purple and green. However, there is also a dwarf tricolor variety that also features white.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Leaves Turn Purple?

You might be curious how a plant’s leaves turn purple. Purple leaves contain a pigment called anthocyanin that gives them their signature color.

The leaves of purple houseplants still contain a small amount of chlorophyll, a green pigment. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to photosynthesize.

Do Purple Plants Need More Sun?

Not all purple plants need a lot of sun. However, houseplants with purple foliage will begin to lose their violet coloration when they lack enough light. They’ll begin to turn green or a muted purple color as they create more chlorophyll. This can be resolved by giving it more sun.


While plants with purple foliage are relatively rare, there are still several options for you to consider. From an edgy Purple Sword Plant to a glittery Wandering Jew, your options for purple houseplants are plentiful. Incorporate one in your indoor space today to make a daring statement.

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