Lush green leaves are the traditional color of foliage and are something we’re all grown accustomed to. But what could be more eye-catching than a plant with green and purple leaves?
This unique color combination is sure to add interest to any garden. Plants with green and purple leaves are a great choice for gardeners who are looking for a way to add a touch of color to their indoor living space or garden landscape.
A few of the beautiful plants with green and purple leaves are: Wandering Jew, Purple Sword, Red Ivy, African Mask Plant, and Tiger Stripes Calanchoe.
Whether you’re looking for a pop of color or a more subdued aesthetic, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor green and purple-leaved varieties to choose from that will stand out well in contrast to your green-only garden.
What Plants Have Green and Purple Leaves?
The list below contains 21 beautiful plants with purple-green leaves:
- Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina)
- Calathea (Calathea roseopicta)
- Caladium (Caladium bicolor)
- Purple Sword (Alocasia lauterbachiana)
- Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus)
- Coleus Plant (Coleus)
- Purple Passion (Gynura aurantiaca)
- Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa)
- Red Ivy (Hemigraphis alternata)
- Silver Squill (Ledebouria socialis)
- Ornamental Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)
- Prayer Plant (Marantha leuconeura)
- Rex Begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum)
- Boat Lily (Tradescantia spathacea)
- Calathea Jungle Velvet (Calathea warscewiczii)
- African Mask Plant (Alocasia amazonica polly)
- Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
- Ruby’s Necklace (Othonna capensis)
- Red Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
- Tiger Stripes Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe humilis)
- Iron Cross Houseplant (Oxalis tetraphylla)
Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina)
Wandering Jew plants are native to Mexico and Central America, and they thrive in warm, humid climates. Also, it is one of the easiest species to identify. It is recognizable by its striped green, silver, and white leaves with purple undersides. The plant is named for its characteristic of “wandering” or “creeping”, as it readily self-seeds and propagates itself by rooting at leaf nodes that touch the ground.
Calathea (Calathea roseopicta)
Calathea roseopicta, more commonly known as Calathea, is a beautiful tropical plant that is native to Brazil. Calathea plants have long oval-shaped leaves that are dark green in color with light green stripes running across them. The underside of the leaves is purple-colored.
Calathea is a low-maintenance plant that does well in medium to bright indirect light. It prefers high humidity and warm temperatures. Calathea is an ideal plant for anyone looking to add a touch of tropical beauty to their home.
Caladium (Caladium bicolor)
Caladium (Caladium bicolor) is a species of flowering plant in the Araceae family. It is native to Brazil, but cultivated for its ornamental leaves elsewhere. Caladiums are similar to Calatheas in appearance and care requirements and have large heart-shaped leaves that are variegated with shades of white, pink, purple, and green. Common names are Angel Wings, Elephant Ears, or Caladium.
Purple Sword (Alocasia lauterbachiana)
Purple Sword belongs to the family Araceae, similar to the Philodendron Birkin and the Monstera Deliciosa. The leaves are broad and oval-shaped, with a purple or maroon central stripe and distinctive light-purple veins.
Purple Sword (Alocasia lauterbachiana) is typically found in forest habitats at elevations of 1600-6500 ft (500-2000 m). The plant is also known by the names: Silver Sword, Baroque Sword, and Elephant Ear Lauterbachiana.
Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus)
This species has been cultivated since the Victorian times in indoor and outdoor variants. It is striking because of its purple lanceolate leaves bordered by dark green.
Coleus Plant (Coleus)
The leaves of Coleus are mostly variegated with patterns of magenta, light and dark green, and the species is known around the world. A Coleus plant is very easy to maintain and propagate.
Purple Passion (Gynura aurantiaca)
Purple Passion is a beautiful plant that is native to Africa. It has long, delicate, slender and soft leaves that shimmer with a shade of purple color. Its flower is also a deep purple and is about the size of a half dollar coin. Purple Passion prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade. It does best in rich, well-drained soil.
Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa)
Ti Plant is an evergreen species that prefers more acidic soils and is native to the Pacific Islands, Asia, and Australia. The leaves on this plant are predominantly plum-purple and magenta with a touch of green. Polynesians considered it a plant of happiness and believed that it had mystical powers.
Red Ivy (Hemigraphis alternata)
Red Ivy is grown mainly for its interesting leaves that draw on a metallic shade of purple. Tiny white flowers usually appear in summer. It is surprisingly easy to grow, even for beginners. Other names include Waffle Plant and Red Flame Ivy.
Silver Squill (Ledebouria socialis)
Silver Squill (Ledebouria socialis) is an evergreen perennial herb that is native to South Africa. It has glossy deep green leaves with a silvery-white leopard pattern and purple underside.
Silver Squill is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for and an excellent choice for rock gardens, borders, or as an accent plant.
Ornamental Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)
Ornamental Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) is a leafy vegetable that is often used as a decorative element in gardens or patios. The plant has thick green leaves and inner leaf coloration in shades of pink, violet, blue or white, arranged in a rosette pattern.
Ornamental Cabbage is actually a member of the mustard family and is related to broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale. It is easy to grow and requires little maintenance.
Prayer Plant (Marantha leuconeura)
The Prayer Plant (Marantha leuconeura) is a beautiful plant native to Brazil but it is widely cultivated as a houseplant. It is known for its distinctive herringbone pattern.
The leaves are a deep green color with a purple underside, and they are arranged in opposite pairs along the stem. The leaf margins are serrated and the leaves are slightly paler in color near the center, giving them a herringbone appearance.
Rex Begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum)
This is a semi-tropical plant that has large leaves of various shades and colors, from silver to dark purple. It is grown in full or partial shade, and the soil must be loose due to its tendency to suffer from fungal diseases of the roots and pests.
Boat Lily (Tradescantia spathacea)
Boat Lily gets its unique name from its flowers and seeds, as they look like they are sitting in a tiny boat. It is also known as Moses’ Cradle, Cradle Lily, and Spiderwort. Despite its preference for tropical and subtropical climates, it is also adaptable to indoor environments.
It prefers full sun exposure and a high humidity level. The leaves are matte purple on the underside and the face of the leaves is greenish.
Calathea Jungle Velvet (Calathea warscewiczii)
It belongs to the Marantaceae family, just like the Prayer Plant, so their growing conditions are similar. The leaves of Calathea Jungle Velvet are large and glossy with a deep green color that is accented by purple or burgundy stripes.
Calathea Jungle Velvet prefers indirect sunlight and thrives in humid environments and is definitely not recommended for beginners.
African Mask Plant (Alocasia amazonica polly)
Also known as Alocasia Amazonica, it is said to originate from the Amazon but this is not the case. This species is of hybrid origin, created by crossing Alocasia Watsoniana and Alocasia Sanderiana. Its green and purple leaves are glossy and large, and the species is easily recognizable by their leathery appearance, with an arrow-shaped tip.
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) is a popular houseplant that is easy to care for and is tolerant of lower light conditions. The Rubber Plant can grow up to 10 feet (3 m) tall and 6 feet (1.8 m) wide. Rubber Plants are native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia.
The Rubber Plant gets its name from the milky white sap that is released when the leaves are cut or damaged. This sap can be used to make rubber. Rubber Plants are evergreen trees with large glossy dark green and purple leaves.
Ruby’s Necklace (Othonna capensis)
Ruby’s Necklace is a succulent plant that is native to South Africa. It gets its name from the Ruby-red flowers that grow in clusters along its stems. The plant is relatively easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of light levels and soil types. Ruby’s Necklace is an excellent choice for succulent gardens or as a houseplant.
Tiger Stripes Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe humilis)
Tiger Stripes Calanchoe (Kalanchoe humilis) is a beautiful succulent plant that is native to Madagascar. It is characterized by its tiger-striped leaves, which are a greenish-yellow color with purple spots.
The Tiger Stripes Calanchoe is a low-maintenance plant that does not require much water or care. It is an excellent choice for those who are new to succulent plants.
Iron Cross Houseplant (Oxalis tetraphylla)
Iron Cross Houseplant (Oxalis tetraphylla) is a perennial herbaceous plant in the family Oxalidaceae. The leaves of the Iron Cross Houseplant are variable in shape but most often, they are divided into four with each leaflet mimicking the shape of a cross. They are a deep green color with purple markings on the tips of the leaflets.
Red Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Red Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) is a species of flowering plant in the arum family, Araceae. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, including China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and India.
The Red Chinese Evergreen is a popular houseplant due to its easy care requirements and striking appearance. The leaves are dark green with red veins and edges, and the plant can reach up to 3 feet (0.9 m) in height.
Plants With Green and Purple Leaves FAQs
Why Do Some Plants Have Purple Leaves?
Many plants with purple leaves contain a higher than average concentration of anthocyanin, a water-soluble pigment that is responsible for the color of fruits and flowers. Anthocyanin is produced in response to a lack of sunlight and it helps plants to defend against damage from UV radiation.
In addition, plants with purple leaves often have a higher than average concentration of sugars. This helps them attract pollinators and provides them with an extra boost of energy. So, while the color of a plant’s leaves may seem like simply a matter of aesthetics, it can actually provide important benefits for the plant itself.
What Plant Has Purple Leaves With Green Edges?
The Atlas Coleus has maroon leaves with a bright green center that contrasts with its purplish leaves. Each leaf has a narrow band of bright green color edging around it.
What Plant Is Green And Purple Underneath?
Some of the most popular plants that are green on top and purple underneath are: Alocasia Amazonica Polly, Oyster Plant, Calathea Rattlesnake, Calathea Veitchiana, Gynura Sarmentosa, and many more.
What Plants Have Purple Leaves?
Many plants are known for their dark purple leaves. Purple Shamrocks, Tradescantias, and Persian Shields, for example, are popular plants with dark purple leaves.
What Plant Has Green And Purple Stripes?
One of the most popular inch plants is Tradescantia Zebrina (Striped Inch Plant), known for its purple-green striped leaves and ease of cultivation in the garden.
While there are many plants that have green and purple leaves, the ones we’ve highlighted here are particularly stunning. The purple color is caused by a higher than average concentration of anthocyanin, a water-soluble pigment.
Anthocyanins are protective compounds that shade and protect plants from excessive light and UV radiation, making them not only an aesthetically pleasing addition to any plant, but also highly beneficial.
A few of the plants we have mentioned with green and purple leaves are: Wandering Jew, Purple Sword, Red Ivy, African Mask Plant, and Tiger Stripes Calanchoe.
If you’re looking for a beautiful addition to your garden or home décor, one of these plants is sure to fit the bill.