The color purple is a rarity in nature, but when it does appear, it creates a stunning sight. In this article, we’ve handpicked 28 exquisite purple houseplants that will add a touch of royalty to your collection. If you think of violets when you hear “purple houseplant,” think again! We’ve got an outstanding selection that goes beyond your expectations.
- Our Favorite Purple Houseplants
- Purple Passion Plant
- Purple Vanda Orchid
- Purple Oxalis
- Ti Plant
- Tradescantia Zebrina
- Rex Begonia
- Calathea Roseopicta
- Persian Shield Plant
- Echeveria (Purple Succulent)
- Cordyline ‘Tango’
- African Violet
- Waffle Plant
- Silver Squill
- String of Rubies
- Purple Sword
- Rattlesnake Plant
- Iron Cross Begonia
- Rubber Trees
- Purple Heart
- Purple Sweet Potato Vine
- Bromeliad Neoregelia “Purple Star”
- Royal Flush Plant
- African Milk Tree “Rubra”
Our Favorite Purple Houseplants
Here are some of our favorite purple houseplants that you can easily keep at home:
Purple Passion Plant
The purple passion plant, also known as Gynura aurantiaca, is an exotic and beautiful choice. Its velvet-like leaves are outlined in a vibrant shade of purple. This plant is an annual, meaning it cannot survive for multiple years. However, the purple passion plant looks best before it matures, making it a true delight to have.
Taking care of the purple passion plant is a breeze. Just place it in an area with bright, indirect sunlight, water it moderately, and watch it thrive. Be mindful that the plant’s color may fade if it doesn’t receive enough sunlight.
Purple Vanda Orchid
With over 80 different species, the Vanda orchid family offers many options for those seeking deep purple foliage. However, these orchids require a bit more attention. They need to mimic their natural environment to thrive, which means you have to recreate the rain and drought cycle of the jungle. But don’t worry, the effort is worth it when you witness the long-lasting, fragrant flowers of the Vanda orchid.
If you’re growing seedlings, you’ll have to wait 1-2 years for the first bloom. However, mature plants should blossom three times a year.
You might recognize the coleus plant as the “painted nettle.” Though it belongs to the same family as deadnettle, it’s not a true nettle. Coleus plants come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and they are exceptionally easy to care for and grow. In fact, they can reach their maximum height of 3 feet in just one growing season. The small flowers produced by coleus plants can be pinched at the base to direct more energy toward the vibrant variegated leaves.
If you’re looking for a vibrant purple plant that folds its leaves at night and opens them in the morning, the purple oxalis is the perfect choice. Commonly known as the false shamrock or purple shamrock, this plant has clover-like leaves with a muted purple hue. Native to South America, the purple oxalis thrives in warm and humid environments. It’s easy to care for indoors, requiring a sunny spot and moderately moist soil. Don’t worry if you notice droopy foliage during the summer; it’s just going through its dormant phase.
The ti plant, also known as Cordyline fruticosa, goes beyond its vibrant foliage. In Polynesian culture, the ti plant symbolizes good luck and is used in traditional medicine and food. With palm-like leaves and an imposing size, this plant demands attention. However, if you’re planning to keep it indoors, make sure you have enough space as it can grow up to 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Provide the ti plant with plenty of light, a warm spot, and consistently moist but not waterlogged soil.
Tradescantia zebrina, also known as spiderwort or inch plant, is a trailing plant with purplish leaves. It’s a great choice for hanging planters or creeping up a trellis. The best part is that it’s incredibly low maintenance, making it suitable for those with a not-so-green thumb.
With striking foliage, the rex begonia, or begonia rex, is aptly named after the Latin word for king. Its variegated leaves typically have a splash of brighter color, such as purple. Rex begonias grow wild in Southeast Asia, where they cover the jungle floors. While they don’t require a jungle-like environment to thrive, they do appreciate humidity, warmth, and indirect light.
The calathea roseopicta, or rose-painted calathea, belongs to the prayer plant family. Its large round leaves are green on top, maroon on the bottom, and heavily variegated with pink or purple stripes. What makes this plant even more intriguing is its unique leaf movement; the leaves fold at night and open during the day. To keep your calathea happy, provide bright indirect light, enough humidity, and keep the soil moist.
Persian Shield Plant
Behold the Persian shield plant! Its iridescent foliage makes it truly stand out. The plant’s leaves reflect light, creating a chameleon-like glitter effect. This plant originated in Myanmar and thrives in humid conditions. It can grow quite bushy, reaching up to 4 feet in length. Whether you choose to keep it indoors or outdoors, make sure the air is as humid as possible to maintain its shimmering beauty.
Echeveria (Purple Succulent)
Echeveria, also known as “purple pearl,” is a favorite among floral arrangers and hobbyists. Its plump, flower-like shape makes it an easy addition to any succulent garden, floral arrangement, or terrarium. Echeverias come in various sizes, ranging from a few inches to nearly 12 inches in diameter. They require the same care as other succulents, so remember to water them only when the soil dries out, provide plenty of sun, and plant them in well-draining soil.
The moses-in-the-cradle, also known as the oyster plant or boat lily, is an ornamental beauty with stunning purple foliage. Its slender leaves showcase a flashy purple underside. This plant naturally grows in Central America and the West Indies and requires 6-8 hours of sunlight. If it doesn’t receive enough light, it may become leggy.
If you’re looking for a larger plant, consider the cordyline ‘tango.’ This small tree boasts lance-shaped leaves that appear as though they’ve been dipped in purple dye. While it can grow in different sizes, note that it has the potential to reach up to 8 feet tall. This plant requires very little water and thrives in full sunlight.
African violets are known for their stunning purple-blue flowers that can brighten up any room. With the right conditions, these violets can bloom all year round. Ensure the air is humid, provide ample indirect light, and supplement the plant with essential nutrients through fertilizer. African violets are generally easy to care for, but remember to avoid getting water on their fuzzy leaves and trim them as needed.
The caladium plant offers a vast range of cultivars, many of which showcase mahogany or purple foliage. The leaves of caladium plants look as if they’ve been painted with watercolors. They can grow up to 35 inches tall in the wild but tend to be smaller when grown as houseplants. Caladiums prefer partial sun and well-draining soil to preserve their vibrant colors.
The waffle plant, also known as Strobilanthes alternata, is a perfect small houseplant that adds a unique touch to any desk or dresser. Despite its name, its crinkly leaves resemble kale more than waffles. Native to the Indonesian island of Java, this plant is a tropical perennial that thrives in warm temperatures and regular watering. Keep your waffle plant away from direct sunlight to maintain its distinctive shimmer.
The silver squill, or Ledebouria socialis, is a pocket-sized perennial plant native to the deserts of South Africa. Its purple polka dots on silver-spotted leaves give it a special flair. Similar to succulents, the silver squill stores water in its bulb. This means you should water it sparingly, only when the top inch or two of the soil dries out. Place your silver squill in indirect light and use well-draining soil for optimal growth.
String of Rubies
For a trailing succulent that adds a touch of elegance, consider the string of rubies, or Othonna capensis. This hanging plant produces oblong bead-like leaves that attach to purple stems, creating a magnificent cascade. With proper care, the string of rubies may produce small daisy-like flowers. Provide this succulent with deep waterings, allowing the soil to dry out in between, and ensure it receives plenty of sun.
The purple sword, or Alocasia Lauterbachina, is a unique variety of Alocasia with waxy, lance-shaped leaves featuring purple undersides. This tropical native thrives in bright, indirect light and requires thorough watering once the top layer of soil becomes dry.
The rattlesnake plant, or Calathea lancifolia, resembles its namesake with its slender, wavy leaves and distinctive pattern. Though the purple color on this plant is subtle, it adds dimension to the spotted leaves. Native to the jungles of Brazil, the rattlesnake plant prefers a warm and humid environment. Keep in mind that this plant is not beginner-friendly and is sensitive to drafts, temperature fluctuations, and inconsistent lighting.
Iron Cross Begonia
The iron cross begonia, or Begonia masoniana, stands out with its distinct shaped foliage. This rhizomatous begonia produces large bright green leaves with purple-brown crosses at the center. It’s often mistaken for a rex begonia cultivar, but it’s classified differently as a Coelocentrum. Iron cross begonias store water in their rhizomatous roots, so water them sparingly and ensure they’re planted in well-draining soil.
Rubber plants, scientifically known as Ficus elastica, get their name from the texture of their thick, glossy leaves. These plants belong to the fig family, specifically the banyan subset. Rubber plants can produce small yellow fruits, but they are not edible. With broad, oval leaves that can grow between 4 and 14 inches long, rubber plants are forgiving and can withstand various conditions. Water them regularly, provide indirect sunlight, and maintain high humidity if possible.
The purple heart, or Tradescantia pallida, is the showier cousin of the inch plant. This sprawling evergreen perennial boasts deep purple foliage that can produce clusters of small flowers ranging in color from violet to pink. Native to the gulf region of Mexico, the purple heart loves humid and warm temperatures. Place it in bright sunlight to maintain its purple color, as too much shade will result in greener foliage.
Aglaonema, also known as the Chinese evergreen, is a tropical plant with various hues, including pink-purple. Not only does this plant bring good luck in Asian culture, but it also adapts well to any home or office space. Place your aglaonema in a spot with bright, indirect light. Some cultivars can tolerate low light or even fluorescent light, but direct sunlight is harmful to all aglaonema varieties.
Purple Sweet Potato Vine
Ornamental sweet potato vines, specifically the “sweet Carolina ‘purple'” and “Blackie” varieties, are perfect for those seeking a low-maintenance yet stunning vine. While they can produce edible tubers, these plants are primarily grown for their deep purple leaves and bushy foliage. Keep the soil moist and place the vine in a bright, sunny location. If the vine becomes leggy, trim it back to encourage bushy growth.
Bromeliad Neoregelia “Purple Star”
The bromeliad Neoregelia “purple star” belongs to the Neoregelia genus, which contains nearly 90 species and numerous hybrids. These plants are native to South American rainforests, where they grow as epiphytes on tree branches. When caring for a Neoregelia, ensure it’s potted in well-draining soil and kept away from direct sunlight. While they’re slightly more cold-hardy than other tropical plants, they won’t survive temperatures below 55 degrees.
Royal Flush Plant
The royal flush plant, or Pleiospilos nelii, is a funky purple succulent that produces bright daisy-like flowers. Its leaves grow thick and in twos, resembling a splitting rock, which gives this plant its common name “split rock.” Although it requires a bit more attention than other succulents, caring for a royal flush plant is still straightforward. Plant it in well-draining soil, provide plenty of sunlight, and water it sparingly. This petite plant will never exceed 3.5 inches in height.
Cyclamen is a genus of plants that bloom with pink and purple flowers. While they can bloom at any time of the year, they go dormant for several months afterward. During this dormant phase, their foliage may die, but their roots and tuber remain alive underground. Keep watering to a minimum until you notice signs of emerging growth, at which point you can resume regular care. If necessary, check that the tuber hasn’t outgrown its pot.
African Milk Tree “Rubra”
The African milk tree, or Euphorbia trigona, is a large succulent often mistaken for a cactus. While most African milk trees are green, the “Rubra” variety is entirely pink-purple. Despite their size, these plants require minimal care. Just place them in bright light, water when the soil is dry, and watch them thrive. During the winter, they go dormant, and their color may appear more green than purple. Rest assured, this is only temporary.