5 Best Plants With Red Leaves For Dramatic Decor And Landscaping

House plants have become an essential part of home decor and are the most economical way to upgrade any living space. In some circumstances, people consider them as pets because they’re easier to maintain and cause less trouble.

When it comes to decorating your living room or balcony in a fashionable and sustainable way, a plant with red leaves or dark green leaves remains a popular pick, which can add a pop of color in a trendy style.

Red leafed plants are some of the best plants for decor. However, decorating your living space with indoor plants can be a little overwhelming because you have endless choices and maintenance can be intimidating too, but no need to worry.

In this post, we’ll provide you with the most exciting and beautiful plants with red leaves for your home, and tips on plant care and needs.

5 Best Red leaf indoor plants

Some of us resonate with red, it’s the color of passion, so when choosing indoor plants with red foliage or tropical plants, it can bring us joy along with elevating our homes in a cost-effective way.

The mix of maroon, burgundy and crimson can add warmth to a colorless space in your home.

Some red-leaf houseplants such as Caladium, and Anthurium offer us bright red foliage whilst other types of red-leaved plants such as Ti plants, and Dracaenahave darker reds.

Let’s have a look at some of the best red and green leaf indoor plants for your home:

1. Angel Wings

Angel Wings (also known as Caladium Red Flash)
Angel Wings (also known as Caladium Red Flash) // Photo by IZZ HAZEL on Shutterstock

Angel Wings (also known as Caladium Red Flash) are part of the Caladium Species family which are native to South America and Central America, and naturalized in India, parts of Africa, and various tropical islands.

These plants prefer full to partial sunlight, with moist and well-drained soil. Make sure you do not allow the soil to dry out completely at any point in time.

Since this is a tropical plant, it prefers the air and soil to be slightly moisture-laden. Make sure you check the topsoil to see if your Angel Wings need more moisture. A rich, slightly acidic soil type works best for this plant.

These beautiful plants have green leaves with brilliant red veins with pink freckles, which make them stand out.

Features of Angel Wings:

  • large and vibrant, heart-shaped olive green leaves
  • red veins and pink spots
  • 2 – 3 feet in height
  • 1 – 2 feet spread

Maintenance and Tips

  • They only need about 2 – 3 hours of direct sunlight (preferably in the morning)
  • For best growth results the ideal temperature should be around 68 degrees F

2. Coleus Plants

Coleus house plants
Coleus house plants are very popular for their brightly colored foliage // Photo by thanawat treetrisit on Shutterstock

Coleus house plants are very popular because of their brightly colored foliage and can brighten up any room or space with their multitude of colors.

These plants a very easy to maintain and are low maintenance requiring bright, indirect sunlight. Make sure your Coleus plants grow in a well-draining potting mix and apply fertilizer weekly to the potting soil to encourage bushy growth.

Also ensure the soil is moist, but never damp or soggy.

Coleus requires warm weather, so ensure that you grow them in a container in order to move them around whenever the temperature drops.

These vibrant plants have yellow or green leaves splashed with a range of colors, from yellow, purple, pink to an intense red.

Features of Coleus

  • Comes in shades of Magenta, Pink, Maroon, Red and many many more
  • Bi or tri colored leaves
  • Yellow or green leaves on the outside with vibrant colors in the center
  • Variety of leaf shapes and sizes with serrated edges
  • 1 – 3 feet in height
  • 1 – 2 feet in spread

Maintenance and Tips

  • Use a neutral to slightly acidic soil with pH 6 to 7
  • It only needs partial sunlight, then move to the shade for the remainder of the day
  • It prefers temperatures of about 70 degrees F

3. Poinsettia

Poinsettia is an indoor plant
Poinsettia is an indoor plant that’s usually associated with Christmas // Photo by Katia Seniutina on Shutterstock

Poinsettia is an indoor plant that’s usually associated with Christmas, which makes it an excellent choice for this time of year and can be a focal point at your Christmas dinner.

These Christmas delights bloom in winter, and unfortunately, lose their red leaves in the following seasons which make them moderately difficult to maintain, however, your green leaves will still be maintained. With the right care, you can make the leaves red again in time for the next Christmas season.

It is particularly known for its contrasting bright red and dark green foliage.

Poinsettia, also known as Euphorbia pulcherrima, are stunning plants that are indigenous to Mexico and Central America.

Features of Poinsettia

  • Blazing cherry-red and crimson bracts
  • dark green leaves
  • 1 – 2 feet in height
  • 1 – 2 feet in spread

Maintenance and Tips

  • They thrive in temperatures ranging from 65 – 70 degrees F
  • Ensure they have an abundance of direct sunlight
  • They grow best in organic, loose, and sterile soil

4. Polka Dot Plant

Polka Dot Plants, also known as Hypoestes phyllostachya
Polka Dot Plants, also known as Hypoestes phyllostachya // Photo by Charles G. Haacker on Shutterstock

Polka Dot Plants, also known as Hypoestes phyllostachya, are native to South Africa, Madagascar, and south-east Asia and are related to the nerve plant.

An interesting fact about Polka Dot Plants is that they were incorrectly categorized for many years. They are now in the Hyphoestes group, or nerve plant group now, which is a group of over a hundred plants.

Due to their spotted patterns on green leaves, polka dot plants are also called freckle-faced plants and splash plants

These indoor plants are great for spaces that don’t get a lot of sunlight and do well in shady spots. But if you want the colors to pop and come out brighter, a little sunshine is great for them every 10 to 15 days.

Make sure the soil is well-drained and organically rich, the best way to do this is with potting soil.

Features of the Polka Dot Plant

  • They have ovate egg-shaped leaves
  • Plants with red and pink splashes of color
  • Three main color varieties of pink, white and red
  • Grows about 1 foot tall and wide

Maintenance and Tips

  • These indoor plants grow well in humid environments and thrive in temperatures ranging from 55 to 60 degrees F
  • Make sure these plants have well drained and organically rich soil
  • Ensure you don’t overwater these plants and that the soil is moist

5. Ti Plant

Ti Plant
This stunning plant looks great indoors // Photo by Viganism on Shutterstock

For a more dramatic effect in your home, consider the Ti Plant which is an evergreen flowering plant in the Asparagaceae family of species.

Cultivars of Cordyline fruticosa are also called ‘Cabbage Tree,’ ‘Hawaiian Good Luck Plant,’ and ‘Cordyline.’

This stunning plant looks great indoors, which is perfect because it doesn’t require direct sunlight. So leave it in a bright spot in your room.

They are tropical house plants which means they love humid temperatures and ensure the soil is moist and not flooded with water.

Features of the Ti Plant

  • Large leaves in a rosette shape that point upwards
  • Upward-pointing spiky leaves
  • Burgundy leaves with shades of pink and red
  • 3 – 5 feet in height
  • 2 – 3 feet in spread

Maintenance and tips

  • To help them thrive make sure they’re in temperatures ranging from 60 – 80 degrees F
  • Water moderately, check if the soil is moist

Red Leaf Plants FAQs

What other plants have red leaves?

The color pop and warmth red leaf plants bring to our home is undeniable. What’s great is there are so many to choose from, many of which are tropical and some evergreen too.

We have shared some of the red leaf plants that we think are the best above, but also check below for a few extra that we also think are great:

  • Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
  • Bromeliads
  • Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum)
  • Rex Begonia
  • Lipstick Echeveria

How much sunlight do red leaf plants need?

As a rule of thumb, most red leaf house plants don’t need direct sunlight and can be left in shady spots in your home. However, some plants with red leaves can be left out in the sun without worry.

Below is a shortlist of plants that need more sunlight than others:

  • Croton
  • Ti Plant (Cordyline minalis)
  • Moon Cactus (Gymnocalycium mihanovichii)
  • Nivosa Cactus (Parodia nivosa)
  • Crown Of Thorns Plant (Euphorbia milii)

Are red-leafed plants toxic?

Before engaging in some gardening or decorating your interior using plants with red leaves you need to check how toxic it is, and if it can harm your children and pets.

Most red leaf plants aren’t toxic, but there are a few that can cause some real damage and you need to be aware of them before any harm gets done.

The toxicity in some red leaf plants can also vary, so it’s important to check and avoid the worst ones.

Below is a shortlist of plants that one should avoid in order to keep a healthy home:

  • Red maple showing rounded axillary buds
  • Bittersweet nightshade (Solanum Dulcamara)
  • Chinese Lanterns (Physalis alkekengi)
  • Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
  • Castor Beans (Ricinus communis)

Redecorating our homes can be an expensive and arduous task. However, plants are always the best and cheapest way to improve our living space and your physical and mental health too.

Using plants with red leaves and green leaves can and will give your room a splash of color and increase the harmony in your home.

If you’re new to gardening, or even landscaping and decor, our top 5 picks of the best red leaf plants and maintenance tips will ensure healthy plants and sustained growth.

If you’re looking for more advice, check out our guide to using your plants as decor.

However, if it’s a beautiful planter you are looking for, don’t hesitate and get started today by browsing our fiberglass planter store.

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