Spice Up Your Plant Collection with these 25 Types of Red Leaf Plants

As you expand your indoor or outdoor plant collection, you might be on the lookout for something unique and eye-catching. Look no further! Red leaf plants are the perfect addition to bring vibrant color and personality to your space.

Unlike green plants that owe their hues to chlorophyll, red leaf plants owe their striking appearance to a pigment called anthocyanin. While these plants may not be super rare, they offer a diverse array of options that can easily elevate your landscape or accentuate your home.

25 Types of Red Leaf Plants to Consider

Quick Look

  1. Coleus
  2. Burning Bush
  3. Celosia
  4. Begonias
  5. Caladium
  6. Croton
  7. Peperomia verticillata
  8. Coral Bells
  9. Bromeliads
  10. Dracaena
  11. Euphorbia cotinifolia
  12. Barberry Bush
  13. Acalypha wilkesiana
  14. Euphorbia pulcherrima
  15. Ninebark
  16. Ti Plant
  17. Chicken Gizzard Plant
  18. Bugleweed
  19. Japanese Maples
  20. Pencil Cacti
  21. Red Ruby Aglaonema
  22. Cryptanthus
  23. Smoke Trees
  24. Maiden Grass
  25. Polka Dot Plants

1. Coleus

coleus

Coleus is a classic houseplant known for its ease of propagation through stem cuttings. If you prefer starting from seeds, note that they can be quite small and sometimes challenging to germinate. This resilient and forgiving plant thrives in full sun and prefers well-drained soil.

2. Burning Bush

burning bush

The burning bush is a common feature in landscapes, especially during colder months when its foliage transforms into stunning shades of red. Pruning in the fall helps maintain its vibrant color. This deciduous bush is low-maintenance and thrives in full sun.

3. Celosia

celosia

Also known as Cock’s comb, celosia is a popular annual that comes in various colors, including red. This easy-to-propagate plant prefers full sun and flourishes when the flower buds are trimmed to encourage vegetative growth.

Further reading:  Identifying and Solving Cucumber Plant Issues

4. Begonias

begonias

Begonias offer a wide range of varieties, many of which feature red foliage. However, be cautious with these delicate plants, as they can easily suffer from sunburn. It’s best to avoid overhead watering when sunny and ensure they are placed in shady conditions.

5. Caladium

caladium

Caladium plants used to come in limited color combinations until the University of Florida conducted research and development, resulting in a wider variety of options. The red Caladium, in particular, has gained immense popularity and adds a stunning touch to any space.

6. Croton

croton

Croton plants come in captivating colors, including red, but they can be a bit challenging to keep alive. They thrive in full to part sun, and maintaining consistently moist soil with a touch of humidity helps them flourish. Additionally, they can be pruned to maintain a smaller size if desired.

7. Peperomia verticillata

peperomia verticillata

Peperomia is gaining popularity as a foliage houseplant. Its stunning red under leaves, where gas exchanging cells are located, set it apart. These plants enjoy moist and humid conditions, making them a perfect addition to your indoor green oasis.

8. Coral Bells

coral bells

Coral bells, with their unique leaf textures and attractive flowers, are a common find at local landscape nurseries. Some varieties feature red foliage, adding an extra pop of color. They thrive in partially shaded areas with well-drained soil and belong to the Saxifragaceae family.

9. Bromeliads

bromeliads

Bromeliads come in stunning colors, including red, and can be grown as epiphytes or in soil media. These plants have a built-in water-holding capability, requiring you to keep their “cups” filled. Harvesting the babies at the base of the plant ensures continuity after the main plant matures.

10. Dracaena

dracaena

Dracaenas, available in various shapes and sizes, are classic houseplants. If you’re seeking a red-leaf variety, consider the red-edged Dracaena. Interestingly, DNA analysis has revealed that Dracaenas and Sansevierias belong to the same plant family, despite their visual differences.

11. Euphorbia cotinifolia

euphorbia cotinifolia

This red beauty is a perfect addition to your landscape. Euphorbia cotinifolia develops its vibrant red leaves in full sun and thrives in well-drained soil. Its leaves provide a burning red color, making it an eye-catching feature in any garden.

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12. Barberry Bush

barberry bush

Originating from Japan, the barberry bush has become a landscaping staple due to its resilience, preference for full sun, and low-maintenance nature. In spring, it produces small yellow flowers that add an extra touch of beauty.

13. Acalypha wilkesiana

acalypha wilkesiana

Acalypha wilkesiana is another landscape shrub that displays stunning red foliage. These plants thrive in full sun, but it’s crucial to avoid overwatering. With their striking color, they are an excellent addition to any garden.

14. Euphorbia pulcherrima

euphorbia pulcherrima

Known as a holiday favorite, Euphorbia pulcherrima (poinsettia) features magnificent modified leaves. These plants can be quite particular in their care, preferring consistent room temperatures and indirect sunlight. Growing them from stem cuttings can be tricky, but the end result is worth it.

15. Ninebark

ninebark

Ninebark plants attract a variety of bees with their unique flower anatomy. Beyond their red foliage, they also offer interesting bark color and texture. These weather-resistant shrubs are excellent for combatting soil erosion while adding beauty to your landscape.

16. Ti Plant

ti plant

Ti plants, part of the asparagus family, are widely recognized as both houseplants and excellent landscape additions. In the right conditions, they display brilliant red leaves that serve as a focal point in any setting. These plants prefer well-drained soil and occasional drying out periods.

17. Chicken Gizzard Plant

chicken gizzard plant

The Chicken Gizzard Plant derives its name from its leaves, which bear a resemblance to a chicken’s anatomy. These vivid leaves thrive with consistent moisture, but be careful not to overwater, as the soil should be moist rather than soaking wet.

18. Bugleweed

bugleweed

Bugleweed is a popular ground cover plant known for its persistent growth. With countless varieties available, you can find ones with dark red to purple leaves that beautifully contrast with their eye-catching blue flowers. These plants favor shady areas and belong to the mint family.

19. Japanese Maples

japanese maples

Japanese maple trees are widely known for their shocking red foliage. They are a common find at landscape nurseries and thrive in full sun, preferring soil that isn’t clay-based. Their vibrant colors can add a show-stopping element to your outdoor space.

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20. Pencil Cacti

pencil cacti

Pencil Cacti, an interesting houseplant, can be toxic due to a latex substance it produces. However, their bright tips bring a touch of brightness to any room. Care should be taken while handling these plants to avoid any mishaps.

21. Red Ruby Aglaonema

red ruby aglaonema

Aglaonemas prefer to dry out between waterings and thrive in well-drained soil. The Red Ruby Aglaonema, as seen in the picture, can serve as a sensational centerpiece due to its vivid leaf color.

22. Cryptanthus

cryptanthus

Cryptanthus, also known as Earth Stars, come in various colors, including striking red shades. These epiphytes thrive in moist and humid conditions and can add a touch of exotic beauty to your indoor plant collection.

23. Smoke Trees

smoke trees

Smoke Trees grow rapidly, providing blazing red foliage that is often used to outline properties. Some varieties maintain red to purple foliage year-round and bloom during the summer months. This low-maintenance plant adds visual interest to any landscape.

24. Maiden Grass

maiden grass

Maiden Grass, known for its resilience, offers a variety that features flaming red foliage. This ornamental grass thrives in full sun and is drought-tolerant, making it a perfect choice for those seeking low-maintenance options.

25. Polka Dot Plants

polka dot plants

Polka Dot Plants are a beautiful addition to any home, with their stunning red foliage. These plants prefer indirect light and consistent fertilizer during the growing season, making them an excellent choice for indoor color.

Conclusion

Adding red leaf plants to your collection is an excellent way to inject vibrant color and life into any space. Whether you prefer houseplants or outdoor landscapes, the diverse array of options ensures there’s a perfect red leaf plant for you. So go ahead, explore the world of red leaf plants and discover the one that speaks to you. Happy gardening!

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Remember, for more plant inspiration and to see these red leaf plants in action, visit Ames Farm Center.