15 Indoor Plants with Purple Leaves To Enhance Your Space
While you might associate purple plants with flowers, many indoor plants also have rich, purple leaves.
With our selection of 15 beautiful purple houseplants, you’re sure to find an indoor plant that works for you. We’ve even got care tips to help you get started.
1. Purple Heart Plant
The first plant on our list has purple flowers and purple leaves. The purple heart plant (Tradescantia pallida) is a hardy houseplant from northeast Mexico.
With deep purple leaves and pale purple flowers, the purple heart plant can be hung in a basket, planted in your yard, or grown in a large pot indoors.
Make sure your purple heart plant gets plenty of sun and plant it in soil that drains quickly. If you want your plant to stay small, give it regular trims, and always trim after flowering, so it does not become spindly.
2. Purple Shamrock Plant
Purple shamrock plants (Oxalis triangularis) have purple, shamrock-shaped leaves that close up at night and unfurl in the morning.
While the “false shamrock” won’t bring you luck, it will add some color and motion to your indoor garden. Like the purple heart plant, it also has light purple flowers.
Keep your purple shamrock plant as a houseplant with loamy soil and let it dry out between waterings. If growth slows down, water less and wait until growth resumes.
Sometimes, purple shamrock plants take a break if they get too hot or too cold so that growth may be slow during temperature shifts, the summer, or the winter.
3. Purple Waffle Plant
Thinking about the purple waffle plant makes my stomach growl, but the Hemigraphis alternata is much better as an indoor plant than a breakfast food.
The curly purple leaves are fun to look at, and they can develop a unique metallic sheen that will glitz up your indoor garden.
Also called red ivy, the purple waffle plant grows like ivy. It does well in hanging baskets, window boxes, or as ground cover outside.
Fortunately, the purple waffle plant is one of the easiest purple houseplants to grow.
4. Purple Basil
If the last entry made you hungry, you’re in luck. The purple basil plant is edible – and spicy! That’s right, Ocimum basilicum (the common basil plant) comes in a dark purple variety called Ocimum basilicum ‘Dark Opal’.
Purple Basil (Dark Opal Basil) does best in full sun and mulchy, well-drained soil. Because it is so fragrant, however, pest problems are common.
You should also keep in mind that purple basil grows slower than other varieties. Still, the spicy taste and strong aroma are worth it.
Try keeping Dark Opal basil in a kitchen window and adding a few leaves to your favorite pasta.
5. Purple Potato Vine
Sticking with the food theme, the purple potato vine or sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘blackie’) variety is edible (but mainly ornamental and very starchy) and does well in hanging pots. Beware, though, because the seeds of the plant are toxic.
According to SFGate, these plants are also susceptible to fungal infections.
6. Purple Passion Plant
The purple passion plant gets its color from the fine, purple hairs that grow on the leaves.
Also called the purple passion vine or the velvet plant, the Gynura aurantiaca or Gyurna spp. belong to the daisy family.
Purple passion plants are soft and velvety to the touch and thrive as hanging plants or anywhere they have room to vine.
Keep them out of harsh, direct sunlight, especially in the afternoon.
7. Persian Shield Plant
With striking purple leaves, the Persian Shield plant is a favorite when it comes to purple houseplants. Outside, the Strobilanthes dyerianus thrives as a shrub, but inside, it looks beautiful in an ornamental pot.
The Persian Shield plant does not like the cold and does best in hot, humid environments.
Your plant can also get large if you let it. The quilted leaves could get up to 8 inches long with a big enough pot. Use a large potted Persian Shield plant to make a statement in any room.
8. Wandering Jew Plant
Also known as the inch plant (Tradescantia zebrina) has striped purple leaves. Like many other purple houseplants on this list, the Wandering Jew is a trailing plant, which means it will work wonderfully in a hanging pot.
The Wandering Jew plant prefers full sun, but too much sun can cause the purple coloring to fade.
Additionally, each cutting of an inch plant can form a whole new plant, so many people give or receive these plants as gifts.
As a low-maintenance plant with succulent stems, Wandering Jews can be planted in a hanging pot or share a large pot with other houseplants.
People love putting Moses-in-the-Cradle plants on patios and keeping them as purple houseplants. Only the undersides of the leaves are purple, but the color is so vibrant. The plant makes an impression anyway.
Moses-in-the-Cradle plants are also called Tradescantia spathacea, boat lilies, and oyster plants. They belong to the bromeliad family and are easy to grow and propagate.
10. Ruby’s Necklace
Ruby’s necklace (Othonna capensis) is a trailing succulent, like a String of Pearls or String of Hearts. It is sometimes called a String of Rubies.
Unlike other varieties of Othonna capensis, the “little pickles” of Ruby’s necklace take on a gorgeous reddish-purple hue.
Again, Ruby’s necklace works well as a hanging plant. If you grow it outside in a favorable climate, it will quickly form a mat over the ground.
The only way you can go wrong with a String of Rubies is overwatering. Succulents don’t need much water, and too much water can lead to root rot.
11. Echeveria Purple Pearl
Echeveria elegans or the Mexican rose is another popular succulent that comes in purple. The “Purple Pearl” variety has pleasing purple leaves, and a single rosette-shaped clump can grow in practically any pot.
Most people grow Echeveria purple pearls in small, shallow pots. Adding a purple succulent can liven up an existing house plant collection or add an artful touch to a bookshelf.
Some people even use Mexican roses as centerpieces on their dining tables. They certainly last longer than a bouquet of regular roses. Just remember not to overwater.
12. Begonia Rex
Begonias are beautiful houseplants that come in an incredible variety of colors and patterns.
If you want an indoor plant with purple leaves, look no further than the Begonia rex-cultorum, commonly called the Begonia rex.
The rich, reddish-purple leaves make quite the statement, but you may have to work hard for them. The Begonia rex enjoys high humidity with a watering technique that keeps them moist but not too wet.
To get the fabulous foliage the Begonia rex is known for, you also have to get the fertilization just right: heavy fertilization during growth and a “controlled release” of fertilizer every few months.
Once you’ve mastered the art of the Begonia rex, try the stunning, swirling “Aphrodite” variety.
13. Coleus Black Dragon
The Coleus plant is fabulous and colorful, but the vibrant pinks and purples of the “Black Dragon” variety are perfect for any hobbyist who loves the color purple.
Coleus plants belong to the mint family and grow well in various conditions. They thrive in the shade and can be grown indoors or outdoors.
There are more than 40 varieties of Coleus, so you can easily choose a purple plant that fits your space. For example, try the “Dark Star” variety or the “Fishnet Stockings” Coleus with purple veins running through it.
14. Kalanchoe Humilis
If you can get ahold of the Kalanchoe humilis or Tiger Stripes Kalanchoe, you will surely fall for the plant’s unique purple stripes.
The stripes won’t appear if you only keep this plant in shade. When growing under sunlight, the stripes will emerge.
Like other succulents, they are drought resistant & low maintenance. The only thing you have to worry about is overwatering.
Also, according to hobbyists on Reddit, the plant hibernates after flowering, so you will need to cut off the bloom and give your plant some rest.
15. Calathea Varieties
Many varieties of Calathea have purple flourishes. The leaves of the Calathea fucata have deep purple undersides, and Calathea roseopicta varieties have pink and purple in different patterns.
The rose-painted Calathea and Calathea Dottie are both popular for their pink and purple hues.
Fortunately, prayer plants are non-toxic to pets. They also seem more “alive” than most plants because they fold up at night and meet the sun each morning. Unfortunately, Calathea care depends on variety. These vibrant plants can be some of the most dramatic in the houseplant hobby.
For example, if you move your Calathea out of its favorite warm spot, it might die, and your plant needs bright but indirect light to thrive.
Purple Houseplants Come in All Shapes and Sizes
If you are looking for indoor plants with purple leaves, you have plenty of options. Whether you want richly colored hanging plants or green plants with deep purple undersides, we have you covered.
We hope our list has given you some inspiration. If you want even more purple houseplants, you can expand your search to include plants with purple flowers.
We can’t wait to see what you do with your purple indoor garden.