Red leaf plants add dramatic shades of crimson, burgundy, maroon, and deep pink to any home interior. Plants with bright red and green leaves brighten up rooms and add a touch of warmth to the décor. 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. Other red foliage plants are cultivars or hybrids that have been developed with green and red leaves.
Reading: Plant with green and red leaves
This article is a guide to some of the most spectacular red-leaf plants. Along with descriptions of the plants’ foliage, you will find great growing tips on where to grow these colorful houseplants.
Red Leaf Houseplants (Including Plants with Red and Green Leaves) – With Pictures
Some houseplants varieties have stunning bright red leaves. Others have variegated red and green leaves. Still, other types of indoor plants have multicolored leaves with shades of red, green, purple, and white. Please read on to find some of the best houseplants with tropical, colorful foliage.
Coleus is a genus of ornamental plants that has many varieties with brightly-colored red leaves. These tropical evergreen perennial plants have ovate leaves with serrated edges. Coleus cultivars are low maintenance houseplants that have leaves in color combinations such as red, burgundy and green, sunset orange, magenta pink, or lime green leaves with red margins.
Here are descriptions of some red-leaved coleus houseplants:
- Coleus ‘Wizard Scarlet’—This Coleus cultivar has bright red leaves with vibrant green margins. ‘Wizard Scarlet’ coleus grows best in well-draining potting soil in a bright location protected from direct sunlight.
- Solenostemon Redhead (Coleus ‘Redhead’)—The ‘Redhead’ coleus plant has dark red ovate leaves that keep their colors growing in the shade or full sun. This bushy Coleus houseplant cultivar has masses of red leaves with a few red and green leaves in the mix.
- Coleus ‘Kong Red’—This Coleus cultivar has broad light green leaves with dark red and cherry red centers. It’s best to grow this houseplant in partial or full shade to protect the colorful tropical foliage.
- Solenostemon ‘Pineapple’ (Coleus ‘Pineapple’)—This tropical tender perennial plant has bright lime-green leaves with thin red serrated margins. The elongated, colorful ovate leaves are ideal for brightening up any room. Grow this coleus plant in full sun or part shade for best results.
Caladium is a genus of tropical foliage plants with bi-colored and multicolored leaves in red, green, pink, and white colors. Also called ‘angel wings’ plants, Caladium plants have some of the most stunning colorful leaves on any houseplant. The two caladium varieties are fancy-leaved caladiums with large heart-shaped leaves and strap-leaved caladiums with slender, arrowhead leaves.
Here are some breathtaking varieties of caladium plants with red and green leaves:
- Caladium bicolor ‘Florida Sweetheart’—This fancy-leaf Caladium bicolor houseplant has rosy-red heart-shaped leaves with wavy green margins. Closeup pictures of the red leaves show bright pink veining creating intricate patterns.
- Caladium bicolor ‘Florida Red Ruffles’—The lance-leaf angel wings plant has vibrant red or dark pink leaves with dark green ruffled margins. Even growing in bright light, this Caladium cultivar keeps its pinkish-red colors.
- Caladium ‘Bombshell’—The ‘Bombshell’ caladium is a great indoor plant that has intense red leaves surrounded by wide, green-colored margins. The green and bright red colors add a dramatic accent to any home interior.
- Caladium bicolor ‘Red Flash’—This fancy-leaved Caladium bicolor variety has green leaves with dark red veins that seem to bleed into the green color. To add to its ornamental value, the ‘Red Flash’ has bright pink speckles.
Related reading: How to care for caladium plants.
Plants from the genus Anthurium have unusual flowers that consist of a shiny, bright red waxy leaf (bract or spathe) and a yellow or cream-colored flower (spadix). The red leaf-like bract is usually heart- or lance-shaped and contrasts with the plant’s green foliage. Anthurium cultivars are magnificent houseplants that have spathes in lipstick red, light pink, dark orange, and lilac purple.
Here are two notable Anthurium cultivars with red leaves:
- Flamingo Lily (Anthurium andraeanum)—The most common Anthurium plant is the Flamingo Lily with its waxy, heart-shaped red leaf and yellow-white spadix. The red spathe has a lacquered appearance with a bumpy surface.
- Pigtail Plant (Anthurium scherzerianum)—Also called the Flamingo Flower, this exotic tropical indoor plant has a curled orangey-red waxy leaf (bract) that curls like a pig’s tail.
Related reading: How to care for flamingo flowers.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Chinese evergreen plants have some cultivars that have variegated red and green leaves. Chinese evergreens have broad, elongated elliptic leaves in many attractive shades and colors. Plants in the Aglaonema genus grow well in indirect light and a porous, well-draining potting mix.
Here are some types of red-leaf plants from the Aglaonema genus:
- Aglaonema ‘Siam Aurora’—This type of red Aglaonema plant has spectacular red and green lanceolate leaves. The green leaves have rich red margins and veining.
- Aglaonema ‘Red Anjamani’—This big red-leaved houseplant has bright red oval leaves with pointed tips. You will notice thin green edges and subtle green veining on the leaf blades.
- Aglaonema ‘Valentine’—The large red leaves with green margins and flecked green coloration make this Chinese evergreen an eye-catching colorful tropical houseplant.
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
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Many varieties of Croton plants have vibrantly colored leaves in variegated red, green, orange, and yellow colors. Croton plants grow best in warm temperatures and are ideal houseplants with colorful foliage. The bright leaves of these houseplants can help to brighten up rooms and add tropical colors to an interior.
Here are some types of croton plants with red, green, and yellow leaves:
- Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy Red’—The ‘Mammy Red’ croton plant has long, curling leaves with bright red, orange, green and yellow patterns. The upright growth of this fiery-looking plant makes them popular houseplants.
- Codiaeum variegatum ‘Bush on Fire’—This croton houseplant has multicolored dark lanceolate leaves with colors of dark red and green and yellowish or orange highlights.
- Codiaeum variegatum ‘Red Secretary’—The ‘Red Secretary’ croton plant has eye-catching red and green oblong leaves with wavy edges.
- Codiaeum variegatum ‘Nervia’—The ‘Nervia’ croton cultivar is an ideal indoor plant if you want a brightly-colored plant. The plant has bright pinkish-red foliage contrasting with yellow and light green colors.
There are over 100 species of croton plants, all with variegated oblong or lanceolate leaves. Other croton cultivars have green leaves with yellow splashes, others have large yellow leaves and green markings, and some have long, ribbon-like green leaves with red stripes.
Nerve Plant (Fittonia)
Nerve plants are small tropical houseplants, and some cultivars have dark green leaves and red mosaic patterns. Nerve plant leaves are oval or egg-shaped leaves with intricate patterning. Nerve plant leaves look like they have colored veins. Apart from red veining, nerve plants can also have white, pink, or light green patterns.
Here are some nerve plant cultivars with green and red leaves:
- ‘Juanita’ nerve plant—Large leafed nerve plant with bright red nerve-like patterns.
- ‘Red Anne’ nerve plant—Compact tropical houseplant with intense pink-red veining.
- ‘Black Star’ nerve plant—Green leaves with bold purple-red patterns.
- ‘Red Star’ nerve plant—The intense red veins make the small, ovate plant leaves look pinkish-red.
Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)
Polka dot plants are related to nerve plants. Some cute indoor polka dot plants have egg-shaped ovate leaves with stunning red or pink splashes. The amount of color on the green leaves makes some of the tropical leaves look entirely red.
Due to their spotted patterns, polka dot plants are also called freckle-faced plants and splash plants
Here are some red-leaved polka dot cultivars:
- ‘Red Splash Select’—Ovate red leaves with small green blotches on the central vein.
- ‘Confetti Blush’ freckle face plant—Dainty green leaves with red or pink spots that look like colorful freckles.
- Polka dot ‘Carmina’—Lime green leaves that have irregular splashes of red or pink colors.
Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
Poinsettia is an excellent indoor plant with large, showy red, pointed leaves that appear from winter through early spring. The colored leaves on poinsettia houseplants are typically blazing red bracts or modified leaves. These intensely-colored red leaves contrast with the dark green foliage of the plant’s other leaves.
Although scarlet red is the typical leaf color of Euphorbia pulcherrima, there are also cultivars with other colored leaves. Some popular colorful houseplants have orange, cream, pink, white, or pale green leaves.
Red Leaf Begonias
Many of the thousands of begonia species have red foliage that ranges in colors from dark burgundy red to bright crimson red. The most stunning examples of red-leaved plants in the begonia genus are painted begonias or rex begonias (Begonia rex-cultorum). Also, wax begonias have shiny red leaves with dainty pink, red, or white flowers.
Here are some examples of begonias with red leaves:
- ‘Omaha Beefsteak’ Begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum)—This medium-sized leafy begonia has bright reddish-pink leaves with dark patches in the center.
- ‘Red Kiss’ Begonia (Begonia rex ‘Red Kiss’)—This spectacular begonia cultivar has red leaves with purple-black centers. The contrasting dark red and purple give this plant a dramatic look.
- Begonia ‘Red Bull’ (Begonia rex ‘Red Bull’)—This pointed small-leaved red begonia has bright, shiny metallic red leaves with wavy, dark leaf margins.
- Begonia ‘Revelation Maroon’ (Begonia)—This trailing begonia hybrid has deep burgundy, shiny leaves with dark green veins. This red-leaved plant is ideal for hanging baskets.
- Begonia ‘Stained Glass’ (Begonia rex ‘Stained Glass’)—The stunning ‘Stained Glass’ begonia has ruby red leaves with bluish-white margins and striking black veins.
Radiator Plants (Peperomia)
Radiator plants are small tropical houseplants with wide variations in leaf shape and colors. At first glance, it may seem that ornamental peperomia plants only have green leaves. However, many radiator plants have green leaves with red undersides and red stems.
Here are some examples of peperomia plants with red and green leaves:
- ‘Emerald Ripple Red’ (Peperomia caperata)—This stunning dark red peperomia plant has green and reddish-purple heart-shaped leaves and a metallic texture.
- ‘Red Log’ Peperomia (Peperomia verticillata)—The ‘Red Log’ radiator indoor plant is a colorful houseplant with vibrant red colors on the leaf undersides. You’ll also notice that the red and green leaves are slightly fuzzy.
- Peperomia rubella—This small, compact houseplant has slightly furry, button-like green leaves with red undersides and red stems.
- ‘Jelly’ radiator plant (Peperomia clusiifolia)—This brightly-colored leafy houseplant has obovate leaves that are spectacular shades of greens, reds, and cream. Due to its colorful foliage, this plant is also called ‘Peperomia Tricolor.’
Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata ‘Tricolor’)
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The tricolor Madagascar dragon tree has pointed, ribbon-like leaves that are green, light pinkish-red, and creamy-yellow. The thin tapering leaves are green and cream with pale, crimson-red margins. The beautiful colorful foliage grows in a rosette shape on top of a long, slender woody stem. The upward growth of the thin tapering red and green leaves gives the plant a spiky crown.
You can grow Madagascar dragon trees in bright, indirect sunlight. The tall indoor houseplant grows about 6 ft. (1.8 m) tall. This tropical evergreen tree-like shrub is excellent for adding colorful height to any interior.
Plants from the genus Dracaena are also on NASA’s list of air-filtering plants.
Wandering Jew (Tradescantia)
Tradescantia is a genus of perennial plants with colorful lanceolate or ovate-oblong leaves. Many of the 75 species of Tradescantia are common houseplants that have reddish leaves, some having stripes and others just plain reddish-purple. Thanks to their long, trailing stems and attractive leafy foliage, many plants in the Tradescantia genus are ideal hanging basket plants.
Apart from being called ‘wandering jew,’ Tradescantia plants are also called spiderwort, spider-lily, oyster plants, and flowering inch plant.
Here are some examples of Tradescantia plants with reddish leaves:
- Tradescantia ‘Cool Leaf’—This large-leaved tradescantia has dark pinkish-red leaves growing on woody stems.
- Moses-in-the-Cradle (Tradescantia spathacea)—Also called Boat Lily, this tradescantia has reddish-purple pointed leaves.
- Wandering Jew ‘Red’ (Tradescantia zebrina ‘Red’)—The reddish-green leaves of this ‘inch plant’ have stripes on the upper side and a burgundy red color on the underside.
- Inch Plant ‘Quadricolor’ (Tradescantia zebrina ‘Quadricolor’)—This four-colored silver inch plant has lance-shaped leaves with green and dark purplish-red stripes on the upper sides and dark maroon on the undersides.
Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa)
The Ti plant is a popular tall, evergreen houseplant with multicolored green and red leaves. Depending on the cultivar and sun exposure, the red leaves can range in shades from bright pink to dark red. The large lanceolate leaves grow in a rosette shape and produce dramatic red crowns upward-pointing spiky leaves.
Cultivars of Cordyline fruticosa are also called ‘Cabbage Tree,’ ‘Hawaiian Good Luck Plant,’ and ‘Cordyline.’
Here are some examples of Ti plant with bright red leaves:
- Rubra Cordyline (Cordyline fruticosa ‘Rubra’)—The broad-leaved Ti plant Rubra Cordyline has deep red, scarlet leaves with dark green tinges.
- Cordyline fruticosa ‘Firebrand’—A tall red-leaved tropical plant with dark red and green leaves.
- Cordyline fruticosa ‘Lilinoe’ – A tall great landscape deep pink-red leaf plant for full sun.
Bromeliad plants (Bromeliaceae)
Bromeliads are a family of plants with thick, leathery leaves that can be red, white, yellow, and variegated colors. Many species of bromeliad look like they have large colorful rosette-like flowers. However, these ‘flowers’ are colorful modified leaves called bracts. The rosette leaves can be various colors like scarlet red, autumn orange, bright yellow, or red and yellow combinations.
Most species of bromeliad plants survive well in low light conditions with plenty of humidity. Due to this fact, they are ideal tropical plants for bathrooms.
There are many varieties of succulents with thick, fleshy red leaves. Some types of succulents have green leaves that develop red blushing when in direct sunlight. Other succulent varieties have dark red, burgundy, scarlet, or rosy-red leaves.
Related reading: How to care for succulents.
Here are some examples of beautiful succulents with red leaves:
- Crassula capitella ‘Red Pagoda’—The stunning Red Pagoda succulent is a tower of triangular red and green leaves. The triangular leaves grow in a rosette pattern and look like a colorful pagoda. You can also grow this succulent in hanging baskets.
- Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’ – A compact colorful succulent with narrow leaves that mature from green to orange and red in bright sunlight.
- Sempervivum calcareum—Some succulents in the genus Sempervivum have tongue-shaped red or orange leaves. These succulents grow in the shape of a rosette. Some species have bluish-green leaves with red tips, and others have vibrant lipstick red, pointed fleshy leaves.
- Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’—Many varieties of Sedum succulents have rounded plump green and red fleshy leaves. Sedum succulents that get a lot of sunlight develop bright red crimson leaves. In lower light, sedums have bi-colored red and green leaves.
- Moon Cactus (Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii) – A stunning grafted cactus with colorful ball-shaped top that is usually bright red, yellow, pink, or orange colors. Read how to grow it in this detailed care guide.
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