21 Colorful Houseplants That Stand Out from All the Green

Pink Princess Philodendron

The Spruce / Photo Illustration by Amy Sheehan / Getty Images

When you picture a room filled to the brim with houseplants, you probably imagine a sea of dark green that gives you a feeling of calm as soon as you walk through the door. And while that sounds incredibly soothing, we’re here for more than just the green. We want the pops of colors—inspiring shades of purple, yellow, and orange dusted across the room.

Some of these plants have stunning foliage sporting purples and pinks or hints of red, while others bloom in every color of the rainbow. So if you’re looking to fill your indoor jungle with some colorful houseplants, we’ve got you covered. We picked some of our favorites to share with you and reached out to some plant influencers to see what’s catching their eye. 

  • 01 of 21

    Variegated Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica 'Tineke')

    rubber plant

    Taylor Fuller

    One of the most gorgeous colorful houseplants is the rubber plant, which is a member of the Ficus genus. The newer leaves of the 'Tineke' variety have a stunning reddish-pink tint on the outside of the foliage. There’s even a red sheath at the top of the plant where the new leaves develop. These plants look especially beautiful in front of a bright window.

  • 02 of 21

    Purple Shamrock (Oxalis Triangularis)

    mark oaxlis

    @mossandfernnyc / Instagram

    “My favorite colorful plant is Oxalis triangularis," says Mark Grundy from Moss and Fern NYC. "I love that the butterfly-shaped leaves are bright purple on the interior and dark purple on the exterior.” Purple shamrock is a beautiful plant that opens and closes its leaves in response to the light surrounding it. Keep in mind that these plants often go dormant and may appear to be dying. Don’t worry—they’ll wake back up in the springtime.

  • 03 of 21

    Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)

    red aglonema

    Taylor Fuller

    Aglaonemas are stunning and easy to care for plants that can come in a variety of colors including green, pink, and red. The name is derived from two Greek words, “Aglaós,” which means bright, and “Nema,” which means threading. The deep red borders green leaves which creates a stunning and unique variegation pattern. 

  • 04 of 21

    Hoya Obovata

    hoya obovato`

    @felinejungle / Instagram

    Vionna Wai from Feline Jungle says her favorite colorful part of plants is their blooms. “I love the blooms on my Hoya obovata. I love the contrast of the pink and maroon- colored blooms versus the green foliage," Wai explains. A truly unique family among houseplants, hoya plants sport the most stunning flowers when cared for correctly and grown in optimal conditions. They need consistently bright light, so think about hanging one in the window if you want to witness these pink blooms pop open. 

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  • 05 of 21

    Hoya 'Krimson Queen'

    Hoya Krimson Queen

    Sylvie PM / Getty Images

    “I love the hoya 'Krimson Queen' for its colorful foliage that comes in variations of pink, white, and green," adds Wai. "You never know what color the next leaf will be!” The hoya 'Krimson Queen' is often nicknamed the tricolor because it usually grows thick waxy leaves in those three colors. Interested in some more pink leaves? Try placing your hoya in direct sunlight in the winter and springtime. 

  • 06 of 21

    Tradescantia Zebrina 'Violet Hill'

    transcendita

    Taylor Fuller

    These beautiful trailing plants have striped purple, silver, and green leaves. The colors are bright and the plant can grow lots of long vines. They like moist soil and don’t need to be in direct sunlight. Just make sure they’re getting enough light to maintain their variegations. A lot of plants will lose variegation if the sunlight isn’t just right, as plants will start to create more chlorophyll because green leaves can absorb the sun more easily. 

  • 07 of 21

    Triostar Stromanthe (Stromanthe sanguinea)

    Stromanthe Triostar

    @meggrowsplants / Instagram

    “My absolute favorite 'colorful' plant in my collection is my triostar stromanthe," says Meagan from Meg Grows Plants. "It stands out in a sea of green due to its lovely displays of pink. There is light pink on the tops of the leaves that you see when it is down during the day. But when it lifts its leaves up at night, you get a glimpse of the fabulous hot pink underneath. Such an underrated and absolutely stunning plant.” Part of the Calathea family, the triostar stromanthe is a prayer plant, which means that at night it will fold its leaves up. Other plants that do this are within the Maranta genus. 

  • 08 of 21

    Philodendron Brasil (Philodendron hederaceum 'Brasil')

    Philodendron Brasil

    Taylor Fuller

    If you love pops of color then you definitely need to check out the philodendron brasil. There are tons of variations or plants that fall into the philodendron family. You can tell which one is the brasil as it has beautiful yellow-gold and lime-green variegations in its foliage. They’re incredibly easy to care for and the vines can grow to be super, super long. It’s a classic twist on a “hard-to-kill” houseplant. 

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  • 09 of 21

    Philodendron Lemon-Lime (Philodendron hederaceum 'Lemon-lime')

    lemon lime philodendron

    @plantiiplants / Instagram

    Another member of the Philodendron family is the Lemon-Lime, which is the favorite of Odarlyn from Plantii Plants. “My lemon lime Philodendron is one of my favorites because of all the vibrant yellow-green leaves that it gives me. My favorite thing is watching her trail down as she grows,” she says. "These plants are fast growers, and unlike the brasil, they are only one color. They’re amazing to look at when placed next to a deep green plant." 

  • 10 of 21

    Philodendron Micans

    philodendron mican

    @aplanthaven / Instagram

    Not only are the colors on the Philodenron micans amazing but the texture is really cool too. Llamar from A Plant Haven loves the beautiful coloring of this variety: “One of my favorite plants to watch grow is the Philodendron Micans. When the sun hits the back leaves, a beautiful copper-gold brown color pops. While the front of the leaves remain a deep green. It’s breathtaking to me!”

  • 11 of 21

    Nerve Plant (Fittoni spp.)

    fittonia

    @aplanthaven / Instagram

    Another stunningly colorful plant is the nerve plant. There are many different kinds of these and Llamar is particularly fond of the magical nature of this plant. “The foliage is so mesmerizing with all the veins running through the leaves," says Llamar. "If you stare at it long enough, you get lost in the details.” These plants come in all different shades but the most stunning versions have pink or red veins in the foliage. They’re often used in terrariums as they come from rainforests and love the humidity.

  • 12 of 21

    Rhoeo 'Tricolor' (Tradescantia spathacea)

    Rhoeo Tricolor or Oyster

    Taylor Fuller

    Purple and green go so well together so it’s no surprise that many plants have stunning purple and green foliage. One particular plant is the Rhoeo 'Tricolor,' or oyster plant. One thing to note is that these are toxic, so handle them with care (and gloves). They like to live in indirect sun and like their soil to stay moist. They generally grow upwards but some will start to trail when they’re reaching for the sunlight.

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  • 13 of 21

    Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium Podophyllum 'Neon Robusta')

    neon syngonium

    Taylor Fuller

    People (ahem, millennials) love pink, which is probably why this houseplant became so popular in recent years. The Syngonium podophyllum 'Neon Robusta' has pale pink blush leaves with striking light green undersides. This plant is called the arrowhead plant due to the shape of its leaves. These can trail or be left upright. It really depends on your environment at home how you want to style it.

  • 14 of 21

    Calathea sanderiana

    Calathea Sanderiana

    Pornanun / Getty Images

    Calathea are plants that people love to hate. They can be extremely finicky, but once you’ve got the knack for caring for them you’ll want to fill your whole home with them. They also have some of the most beautiful foliage. One variety, Calathea sanderiana (also known as Calathea ornata), is known as the pin stripe calathea because of the pink stripes on its leaves. And that’s not all: these plants are prayer plants so at night you get to see the deep purple of their undersides. 

  • 15 of 21

    Flamingo Flower (Anthurium Andraeanum)

    Flamingo FLower

    Tim Graham / Getty Images

    The anthurium family is filled with interesting varieties of plants. One of the most colorful and interesting is Anthurium andraeanum, more commonly known as the flamingo flower. The plant gets its name from the beautiful flowers it puts out. The leaves of it are usually a bold reddish-pink which often reminds people of flamingos. To keep them flowering, make sure to fertilize your plant.

  • 16 of 21

    Anthurium Doc Block F2 (Anthurium Crystallinum x Magnificum hybrid)

    doc block

    @caileysjungle / Instagram

    Occasionally we come across something really cool that we just have to share. Today it’s a hybrid plant that Cailey Elle from Cailey's Jungle loves: “This special plant is a hybrid that was created in a way that produces bright red-purple leaves when they emerge. As they grow larger, the leaves fade to a very dark green. It's such a beautiful experience to watch them change!” These are incredibly rare plants that are a cross between two species of anthuriums. They’re very expensive and can cost hundreds of dollars.

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  • 17 of 21

    Anthurium King of Spades (Hoffmannii x Papillilaminum)

    red spade

    @youdontevengrowhere / Instagram

    Deep red leaves look incredible in a sea of green and the Anthurium King of Spades has velvety-soft red leaves that you just want to reach out and touch. Alice from You Don't Even Grow Here counts this as one of her favorite colorful houseplants. “While technically this plant does not stay colorful, emergent leaves are bright red, fading to purple, and finally to green (with an adorable pink sinus!)," she explains. "If you keep it in lower light, new leaves will stay dark purple-green for quite some time.”

  • 18 of 21

    Philodendron Pink Princess (Philodendron Erubescens ‘Pink Princess’)

    philodendron pink princess

    @youdontevengrowhere / Instagram

    Another favorite of Alice's is the pink princess. "If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a PPP with great genes, hold on to it and don’t ever let go," she says. These are rare plants because variegation can vary from plant to plant. You may be lucky enough to have one that has a lot of pink in it, or you may end up with one that only has a little on each leaf. It's all about luck when it comes to variegated plants. Keep this in mind when buying them, because they’re often very expensive, and you may not end up with what you wanted. 

  • 19 of 21

    Orchids (Orchidaceae)

    orchids

    @caileysjungle / Instagram

    Orchids are perhaps an obvious choice when it comes to colorful houseplants, but they’re just too pretty not to include on this list. You can find orchids in all different colors ranging from deep blue to bright orange. You may have seen people watering their orchids with ice cubes on social media. While this isn’t particularly damaging to plants in the long term, you shouldn't be putting ice-cold water on your plants. Instead, melt the ice cube in a dish, wait until it’s room temperature and then pour it over your plant (this is a good way to prevent overwatering). 

  • 20 of 21

    Polka Dot Begonia (Begonia Maculata)

    Begonia Maculata

    Taylor Fuller

    Begonias come in all shapes and sizes and all different colors. One of the fan favorites is Begonia maculata, a polka-dotted plant with red under-sided leaves. They can grow quite quickly under the right conditions and the leaves are constantly changing colors—the under sides are more of a pink color and as they age they change to a deep red. If you take care of these the right way (bright, indirect sunlight, water about once per week), they’ll even bloom for you.

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  • 21 of 21

    Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia)

    bird of paradise

    Medir Borras Guasch / Getty Images

    If you’re someone who loves color but doesn’t need it all the time, then the bird of paradise is an amazing choice for you. When they bloom, they get these stunning orange and purple flowers that look like a bird, hence the name. A healthy, mature bird of paradise plant can bloom multiple times during the year if it’s growing in ideal conditions. That means at least six hours a day of direct sunlight and moist soil. Note though that your bird of paradise won't bloom at all until its four to seven years of age.

Article Sources
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  1. Tradescantia spathacea. North Carolina State Extension.

  2. Mahr, Susan. Bird of Paradise. University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension.