Every bedroom deserves a potted plant or two – or three or four. Living greenery adds interest to a room that inanimate, mass-produced décor can never match, and helps creates the tranquil, relaxed feeling that is so important in the bedroom. But plants have health benefits as well, both physical and mental:
- Houseplants help purify the air, removing potentially harmful chemicals and pollutants
- Potted plants increase the humidity level of the bedroom, soothing parched sinuses, skin, eyes and... throats
- Plants release oxygen, improving the quality of your bedroom air
- Caring for plants has been shown to reduce stress and increase happiness
- Tending to plants reduces healing time
But wait – as if all of those benefits weren’t enough, many plants go above and beyond, adding striking color, shape and pattern with foliage that goes way past basic green. If you really want to liven up the bedroom, check out these eight plants, all of which have colorful leaves and most of which are not especially difficult to grow.
01 of 08
These cheerful little plants have leaves liberally spotted with one of three colors: white, pink or red. The only drawback to the polka dot plant is that it generally doesn't live long... so plan on replacing it after a season or two. Set the plant near a sunny window and water regularly. Keep the mounding shape by pinching off leggy stems or ungainly offshoots.
02 of 08
Not quite as trendy as they once were indoors, but with far more colorful varieties and interesting leaf shapes than back in the 1970s, Coleus offer a huge range of foliage color: hot pink, orange, burgundy, lime green, chocolate brown, purple, yellow and cream. Coleus like it warm, light and moist -- for healthy plants, water regularly, set the plant near a bright-but-not-hot window and mist the leaves occasionally.
03 of 08
Sometimes called wandering Jew or inch plant, the Tradescantia family is large, with several colorful varieties. Most are happiest in a hanging basket, or where their long stems have room to drape. Leaf patterns and colors depend on the variety, but many have white and green striped leaves with purple undersides. A few are striped with purple or pink. Keep your Tradescantia away from overly-bright light, and allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings.
04 of 08
Okay, Crotons are not the easiest houseplants to grow, due to their love of warm temperatures and high humidity. But it's worth babying them a bit to enjoy their tropical beauty. Keep your Croton near a bright window -- but not in scorching heat - and give the leaves a misting of water several times per week. The plant prefers soil that is moist, but not soggy. Treat your Croton right, and you'll be rewarded with a happy plant blazing in shades of red, yellow and orange.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Rex Begonia aren't the typical garden begonias -- these are grown for their stunning foliage, which comes in a mind-blowing range of colors -- including orange, silver, purple, gold, pink and red -- and striking patterns, which vary from swirling snail-shell markings to stripes, netting or blotches. Shown here is variety "Merry Christmas." Keep your Rex Begonia in a well-lit but not hot location, and keep the soil moist but not too wet.
06 of 08
The purple velvet plant has a sort of retro charm -- like a velvet-flocked poster or a disco ball. It's not a long-lived plant, but it packs a lot of punch into its short life -- showing off leaves covered in a velvety coating of purple "fur." Keep your plant in bright light and water it well. If it starts to flower, pinch away the buds; they don't smell good.
07 of 08
The Peperomia family includes a lot of colorful varieties. Shown here is P. obtusifolia, with creamy yellow and green leaves. P. clusiifolia adds pink to the colorful mix. Other varieties have purple leaves, or silvery stripes. What all the Peperomias share in common is a love of moderate light, continually moist but never soggy soil, and an occasional dose of houseplant fertilizer.
08 of 08
Small, trailing houseplants, Fittonia look like they have netting over their leaves. Depending on the variety, the netting can be white, pink or red. Fittonia are tempermental: they want high humidity, low light and moderate temperatures, but they cannot tolerate standing water or soggy soil. If you really want to make a Fittonia happy, grow it in a terrarium.