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The Beauty of Purple House Plants: 21 Stunning Varieties

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Historically, purple was the color worn by royals and the papacy, mainly because purple dye was exorbitantly expensive and unaffordable to the less privileged.

Green contrasts purple fabulously, and purple houseplants are a clever way of adding vibrancy and a touch of opulence to indoor settings. Whether you’re adding purple flowers or purple leaves, there are several choices in sizes, hues, textures, and ease of care.

This article covers purple houseplants. If you’re interested in purple outdoor plants, check out my trees with purple flowers, purple flowering plants, or growing lavender in pots articles.

Purple Flowers or Purple Leaves?

Flowers are often seasonal but add elegance, refinement, and exciting textures. As you’ll see below, indoor plants with purple flowers can create a beautiful spectacle. 

There are so many forms to choose from to match your decor. Purple leaves are nature’s way of showing off. 

These are often bold, bright, and dark purple. As you’ll see, some have interesting textures, patterns and color mixes, so choosing one is almost impossible. 

Some, like the Ti plant, have both purple leaves and flowers.

Below is a list of 21 purple house plants to mix and match to add vibrancy to your home.  

Purple Indoor Plants with Purple Flowers

1. Purple Vanda Orchid

Because of its fragrant, showy, and long-lasting flowers, the purple vanda orchid is one of the most widely planted genera of orchids. 

Grown to maturity, most species of this plant will be between 6 and 10 inches tall. However, some are a mere two inches tall.

Purple vanda orchids grow from bulbs and need bright indirect light, well-draining soil, and warmer temperatures. In the summer, they demand a lot of humidity. 

Consider an inorganic soil medium, coarse potted bark, or a soil-free open basket for your vanda orchids.

2. African violet

Strepsiaulia streptocarpus

The African violet has a range of stunning blossoms and purple stems that can liven up any space – from vividly pink flowers to dark purple. 

The best part is that African violets can bloom continuously throughout the year if given the proper care. Humidity, direct sunlight, and fertilizer are the three most important things you can do for your African violet. 

Although African violets require little attention, the pubescent green leaves should be kept dry to prevent any damage to the plant.

If you can grow one, you can grow hundreds, as the African Violet is one of the best purple house plants for propagation. 

Propagate this semi-succulent using leaf cuttings, allowing the cut to callus before planting it in damp inert soil.

3. Glory Bush

Tibouchina urvilleana

The Princess Flower, or Privet, is a shrub of the genus Streptocarpus, native to Brazil. It thrives as a  plant in USDA hardiness zones nine and lower. It will die down to the ground each winter in zone 8, but it can come back in the spring.

This shrub typically grows to a height of 6-8 feet but can be trained into a tree if given enough time. It prefers slightly acidic soil kept moist and shaded during the day’s heat in regions where summers are hot.

The long blooming season of the tree’s spectacular purple blooms occurs in terminal panicles. The 4- to 6-inch-long evergreen leaves are dark green on top and paler underneath. Use as a patio tree for accent and as a specimen

4. Clematis Arabella

Clematis, a member of the buttercup family, is a woody, perennial, thick vine that comes in various varieties and cultivars. They range from 6 feet to 18 feet, depending on the underlying structure.

Clematis ‘Arabella’ has stunning flowers and can reach a height of 30 feet. In its prime, it can out-bloom practically any other plant.

In hotter climates, midday shade is preferable, but they can handle full sun. Mulch or a ground cover plant can provide much-needed shade for the roots. 

Moist, well-drained soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH is recommended. As a heavy feeder, clematis needs fertilizer every 4–6 weeks throughout the growing season. 

Ideally, this fertilizer would be low in nitrogen and slow-release.

5. Lavender

The Mediterranean climate and soil conditions are ideal for growing lavenders, which include full sun and a neutral to slightly alkaline soil pH.

If your soil is slightly acidic, you may need to add some limestone to raise the pH level.

Lavender like light, sandy soil, so growing it in containers is a good idea. Acidic, water-retentive soil is terrible for lavender, especially in the winter.

Lavender can be grown annually by simply transplanting it every spring, even in less-than-ideal environments. 

Once lavender plants have established themselves, they can withstand drought conditions successfully.

Lavender is a beautiful and fragrant plant that does exceptionally well when grown in a container. 

The beautiful lavender fields of Provence can be recreated in your backyard by scattering your lavender pots in a random pattern.

Purple Indoor Plants with Purple Leaves

1. Persian Shield Plant

Strobilanthes dyeriana

The attractive deep purple foliage of the beautiful royal purple plant is one of the reasons why it’s at the top of my list. The leaves have a silvery iridescence with a metallic shine that changes depending on where you’re standing.

The Persian shield plants are ideal purple house plants with pliable tropical evergreen stems. The leaves have a dark purple underside and a silvery purple iridescence on the upper surface. 

The Persian shield plant loses its vibrant colors at low temperatures, when they don’t get bright indirect sunlight, and as the plant ages. 

Plant Persian shield plants in a spot with lots of indirect light and rich soil for optimal growth and vibrancy.

As with most plant species, this purple plant also loves soil that manages water well, draining excess and retaining some moisture.

2. Ti Plant

Cordyline fruticose

The Ti plant is a popular tropical purple indoor plant in warmer regions. For generations, the Ti plant has been a symbol of good fortune in Polynesian culture and a favorite among purple house plants. 

Stunning foliage comes in various pastel pink, green, purple, and deep red tones. The Ti plant needs lots of sunlight to keep its leaves vibrant.

Never let the dirt in the bottom of the pot become soggy; water the plant only when the soil feels dry on top. Raise the plant’s humidity in a saucer of pebbles and water.

Fluoride in tap water may kill this plant, so you may want to use distilled water instead.

If you want to cultivate a ti plant indoors, you need to know that it can reach a height of 10 feet and a width of 3 feet. 

Ensure the soil is warm, the plant is getting plenty of light, and the roots are getting watered regularly but not too much.

3. Purple Passion Plant

Gynura aurantiaca 

Commonly grown as an indoor plant, the purple passion plant is a member of the Asteraceae family. 

Because of the purple passion’s unique purple velvet leaves and stems, it is sometimes referred to as the purple velvet plant and is best showcased in a hanging basket.

The optimum purple passion leaf coloring occurs in bright, indirect light shielded from the afternoon sun, allowing their purple velvet features to pop. 

In the winter, it’s best to water less frequently to keep the soil moist but not wet, as too much water might promote root rot.

Purple passion plants grow tiny clusters of yellow flowers in fall. These are commonly removed as they are messy and give off a foul odor. Pinch back stems to encourage bushier growth and less legginess in the purple passion.

4. Purple Shamrock

Oxalis triangularis

The O. triangularis, also known as false shamrock or purple shamrock, is a plant that looks like a shamrock but has purple leaves. 

The purple shamrock closes its trifoliate leaves at night and opens them in the morning, much like a prayer plant. The leaves also respond to touch.

The purple shamrock thrives in the warm, humid climates typical of South America and needs a sunny area in your home. 

It’s important to remember that purple oxalis lies dormant in the summer, so occasional droopy foliage is typical.

Once you start seeing new growth, you can increase your watering frequency and return to business as usual. The shamrock-like trifoliate leaves of the purple oxalis range from bright green to dark burgundy.

Use a loamy potting mix that drains well, and let the soil dry up between waterings. 

5. Calathea

Calathea picturata ‘Crimson

The prayer plant family (Calathea) has several purple-leaved options, including the picturata ‘Crimson,’ the Calathea Princess Jessie, the Calathea roseoptica, and Cora. Each offers a unique mix of green and purple leaves.

Calathea makes beautiful purple house plants and is grown primarily for their clumps of 14 to 16-inch exquisite foliage with dark green upper side, purple underside, and silver midrib and veins.

 As a “prayer plant,” its leaves respond to light, closing at night.

The plant dies at temperatures below 61 °F (16 °C) and should be kept inside to get bright indirect light and enough humidity. 

The leaves of the Calathea picturata are distinctive due to the bright purple central color, encircled by a belt of green. 

6. Purple Waffle Plant

Strobilanthes alternate

The Strobilanthes alternata, or purple waffle plant, is a lovely low-maintenance houseplant that looks great on a tabletop or dresser. 

Their purple, wrinkled leaves may look more like Swiss chard than a waffle, but they are uniquely attractive. 

The purple waffle plant is an evergreen tropical plant that was first discovered on the Indonesian island of Java. It plays an important role in a few traditional herbal remedies.

Warm temperatures and consistent watering are the cornerstones of purple waffle plant care. 

It is best to maintain the waffle plant in moderate or indirect sunlight, as direct sunlight will dull the leaves’ characteristic shine.

Its purple leaves contrast nicely in terracotta pots or containers in shades of purple, green, pink, blue, or yellow. 

7. Prayer Plant

Goeppertia insignia

Previously known as the Calathea lancifolia or the rattlesnake calathea, the prayer plant looks like nature’s camouflage. 

This prayer plant is a stunning perennial evergreen that grows wild in the Brazilian rainforests and is known for its vibrant yellow blossoms. 

It is not frost-hardy and is mainly cultivated in greenhouses or indoors.

Fascinating in the winter are the leaves, which include wavy borders, purple undersides, and an alternating pattern of little and large green ellipses. 

There is a spreading, fountain-like shape to the plant; indoor plants usually reach a height of around a foot and a half, while outdoor counterparts can reach as much as three feet. 

Its rattlesnake name comes from the fact that the plant’s leaves bear markings that are similar to those of rattlesnakes.

The prayer plant offers bright yellow flowers on conical spikes between two and four inches, emerging from late spring to early summer.

8. Wandering Jew

Tradescantia zebrina

While the reference to the Jewish nation is inappropriate, the plant is still commonly called the wandering Jew, presumably referencing the plant’s propensity to spread (an emphasis on wandering).

To learn more about this unique species, check out my Tradescantia (Spiderwort) – The Ultimate Care & Identification Guide article.

The wandering Jew is a perennial often grown as a houseplant for its attractive variegated foliage striped green, white, and gray leaves with purple undersides. 

Tiny three-petaled lavender-purple flowers infrequently appear indoors. 

The wandering Jew tolerates various growing conditions but does best in filtered sun, average room temperatures, and moist but well-drained soil. Reduce watering in the winter.

Pinch back to encourage bushy growth. Plants can be pruned back hard every spring and taken outside on a protected patio in the summer. The wandering Jew is commonly grown in a hanging pot.

This plant is synonymous with Tradescantia pendula and Zebrina pendula. The purple queen plant from the Tradescantia family is an alternative purple house plant (Tradescantia pallida). 

The purple queen plants are not variegated, offering pure purple plants. Though not covered in this article, the purple queen is a definite contender for my top 10 plants with a purple color.

9. Metallic Leaf Begonia

Begonia rex cultorum

The rex begonia grows into a compact, spherical houseplant that requires little care. Outdoors this Mexico and Central America native thrives in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11. 

Rex begonia is also called the metallic leaf begonia due to its metallic, glossy green and purple leaves.

Large clusters of small, hairy, purple blooms appear on sturdy, thin, erect stalks from summer to fall as the plant grows steadily. 

The leaves are deep green at maturity, but the veins are a vibrant purple. Rex begonia is intolerant to temperatures lower than 50 °F (10 °C). 

As a purple indoor plant, rex begonia needs bright light but not direct sunlight to produce healthy leaves. 

In the winter, the rex begonia may tolerate moderate sun but does not tolerate low humidity and fluctuating temperatures well. 

Overwatering and temperature swings are particularly dangerous for the plant, and these purple plants grow best in well-draining, slightly acidic soil. 

New growth can be stimulated in spring and early summer by pinching or pruning the existing stems. 

Another rex begonia that may be of interest is the Begonia ‘Fireworks’, which also offers purple leaves. 

10. Rubber Plant

Ficus elastic

Rubber comes from the rubber plant’s (Ficus elastica) thick, glossy leaves. The botanical name (Ficus elastica) gives away its fig family ancestry and the elasticity of its dried fluids. 

The rubber plant can bear little yellow fruits that resemble figs but are poisonous. The purple and green leaves of Ficus elastica are typically between 4 and 14 inches in length and shaped like broad ovals. 

Take note that the leaves on immature rubber plants are substantially smaller than those on mature ones. 

A rubber plant is easy to care for; if you make a mistake, the plant will likely recover. You should keep the humidity up and provide indirect sunlight and water frequently. 

You can keep most indoor plants healthy by providing them with well-drain, slightly acidic soil and adequate light.

11. Purple Potato Vine

Ipomoea batatas

The purple potato vine can be grown as an indoor plant for hanging baskets. Its dark purple decorative foliage is a low-maintenance option for indoor purple plants. Although the plants’ tubers are edible, most people grow them for the vibrant purple color and dense foliage. 

The purple potato vine needs training or can be grown as a quick-spreading ground cover. May I suggest the Proven Accents® Sweet Caroline Bewitched After Midnight purple potato vine with stunning purple/black foliage?

This purple potato vine is heat tolerant and very easy to care for. Its trailing habit makes it suitable as an indoor plant, growing ten to sixteen inches tall and trailing up to 28 inches.

12. Iron Cross Begonia

Begonia masoniana

The decorative houseplant known as the iron cross begonia is a fragile perennial native to Vietnam and China. Famous more for its unusual foliage than its flowers, this plant grows from a rhizome. 

The leaf’s central dark chocolate marking is reminiscent of the Iron Cross found on Crusader shields or the infamous german iron cross and offsets nicely with the plant’s deep purple hues.

The Iron Cross Begonia does best in a south-facing, east-facing, or west-facing window when kept as a houseplant, receiving bright but indirect or filtered light. 

When the plant is actively growing, ensure this purple plant gets enough water without creating wet feet.

When active development slows, you can reduce watering by a little and let the soil almost dry out before watering again. 

It is important not to overwater this purple plant. Both stem and leaf cuttings will work for propagating iron cross begonia.

Begonia, Tradescantia, and Calobrachoa are among the best purple house plants.

13. Coleus Wizard

Coleus scutellarioides

If the coleus looks familiar in sight but not in name, you may have seen it characterized as “painted nettle,” which is its famous name and a misnomer. 

Coleus is in the same family as deadnettle, while natural nettle is in the distant family Urticaceae.

Coleus comes in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Easy maintenance, proliferation, and cultivation make these plants popular. They develop rapidly; in a single season, coleus can grow three feet tall. 

The little flowers on this bushy perennial plant can be pinched off at their bases to encourage the plant’s growth in the direction of its colorful foliage. The same applies to young plants.

14. Silver squill

Ledebouria socialist

The silver squill (Ledebouria socialis)  is a small, perennial purple plant native to arid African regions. 

The silver squill’s purple isn’t as pronounced as it is on other decorative plants, but the polka dots still set it apart.

 The lance-shaped leaves of this little plant are primarily green with silver-colored polka dots.

You should not over-water your plants and wait until the top inch or two of the soil has dried up before giving them more water. 

The silver squill thrives in dim, moist, and well-drained environments.

Plant them in relatively rich soil for a succulent, such as potting soil or a houseplant mix with 25% pumice. 

Bulbs aren’t picky about their environment, and I’ve successfully grown them in every soil type I’ve ever had on hand. 

They do best in a well-draining mixture, but if you have the space, you could plant these directly in the ground, and they’d survive until the first frost.

15. Chinese Evergreen

Aglaonema ‘Siam Aurora’

The Chinese evergreen is a tropical plant genus with several different color varieties. Originally from Asia, Aglaonemas have come to symbolize prosperity and good fortune. 

Their attractiveness and versatility have won them fans all over the world. Place an aglaonema in a position that receives indirect, bright light and will flourish anywhere in your house or office. 

While some Chinese evergreen varieties do well in low light or even fluorescent conditions, they all suffer severely when placed in full sunlight. 

Aglaonema ‘Siam Aurora’ is a lovely, ornamental, easy-growing houseplant. 

It has lance-shaped leaves bordered and veined in vivid red. Aglaonema is on NASA’s list of air-purifying plants, said to eliminate Benzene and Formaldehyde toxins found in residential surroundings and help lessen the irritating side effects on humans.

16. Purple Succulent

Echeveria ‘Purple Pearl’

The echeveria, often known as “purple pearl,” is a popular succulent plant suitable for both experienced florists and amateurs. Though not a trailing succulent, it offers striking purple coloration. 

The Echeveria ‘Purple Pearl’ is a stunning evergreen succulent with a rosette of thick, slightly rounded, pointy, olive green to lavender-rose leaves with pink margins. The rosette measures 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. 

More sunshine means a more vibrant purple. This type will send up blooming spikes to a foot (or 30 cm) high in the summer, covered in vibrant coral-pink blooms. 

When used in wedding bouquets, centerpieces, or other decorative containers, ‘Purple Pearl’ can cost a packet.

Like other succulents, Echeveria needs a dry, sunny spot. They may last a few weeks without being watered because they retain moisture well. 

Rule of thumb: Water only when the soil looks dry. Plants thrive when given adequate sunlight and in soil with good drainage.

In Closing

It was fun going through all the plants that offer vibrancy to living and office spaces. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it.

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