10 Houseplants That’ll Add Colorful Foliage To Your Home Decor

Sometimes simple green is dull, boring, monotonous, and flowering plants sometimes become challenging to grow indoors due to their high nutritional requirements and seasonal changes. It becomes wearisome to add a splash of color when needed. That is when colorful foliage houseplants step in.

We have chosen ten colorful foliage houseplants that will dazzle up your indoors. These plants survive with only minimal care and essential attention. These plants will add nonstop color throughout the year to your bland indoors, purifying the air and providing fresh oxygen.

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1. Fittonia

Fittonia is a genus in the Acanthaceae family, also known as nerve plants native to Peru. The most famous species is “Fittonia albivenis,” with a pink nerve network on broad small leaves.

Care And Maintenance

  • Fittonia is a perfect plant for terrariums.
  • If your fittonia is limp and wilted, this means that it’s thirsty.
  • Pinch the new shoots to make the plant bushy now and then.
  • Use diluted fertilizer during the growing season (spring to summer).
  • Use room temperature water for watering. Don’t let the soil get soggy.
  • Variegated varieties lose their color if placed in shady places. Provide some indirect or artificial bright light.
  • The trick to this plant is to provide it an environment with high humidity. Use a humidifier or spray your plant with room temperature water.

The Challenge Level Of Growing A Fittonia?

Fittonias can be difficult or easy to grow depending upon how much care you give them.

FITTONIA IS PET-FRIENDLY!

2. Polka Dot Plant

Hypoestes Phyllostachys, also called the polka dot plant, is a species in the Acanthaceae family. Polka dot is an evergreen plant with pink-purple dots staining the foliage, and it sometimes produces small purple flowers on nodes.

A little drawback of this plant is its short lifespan. This plant has also gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. Now, this is a plant that adds a color splash!

Care And Maintenance

  • Use 3-4 drops of liquid fertilizer every week.
  • Use fast-draining and moisture-retaining soil.
  • Increase the watering in summer and reduce it in winter.
  • Its growing season starts from spring and ends in summer. Its growth remains somewhat dormant during winter.
  • Polka dot plant likes indirect bright light. It can thrive in shady corners, but the plant’s leaves start to lose their pink variegation and turn greener.
  • Polka dot plant prefers humidity, so keep the soil of this plant moist all the time. Remember, don’t overwater, or it’ll cause root rot!

The Challenge Level Of Growing A Polka Dot Plant?

This colorful foliage houseplant requires easy to medium maintenance. They are not that challenging; only mist it now and then with a spray bottle.

POLKA DOT PLANT IS PET-FRIENDLY!

3. Croton

Croton - Tall Indoor Plant

The third colorful foliage houseplant on our list is Codiaeum variegatum, also known as croton, a species in the Euphorbiaceae family. It has incredible variegation in its foliage, including colors like yellow, orange, red, and even black.

This plant is a bold statement for your indoors. It is a toxic plant also so, place it where it’s safe to enjoy its beauty.

Care And Maintenance

  • Do not move this plant a lot from place to place.
  • This plant likes well-draining and nutrient-rich soil.
  • Keep the indoor temperature above 60°F (about 15.5°C)
  • Croton likes direct sunlight. It won’t do well in shady or little light areas.
  • Water the plant during the growing season often and reduce the watering in winter.
  • Croton doesn’t like cold AT ALL. This is one of the main reasons why it starts shedding its leaves.
  • Because it’s a tropical plant, it likes humidity. Create artificial moisture by spraying the plant’s foliage with water.

The Challenge Level Of Growing A Croton Plant?

Medium to difficult. It sometimes starts shedding leaves, which is difficult to stop.

Croton isn’t pet-friendly!

4. False Shamrock

Oxalis triangularis, commonly called false shamrock, is a plant from the Oxalidaceae family. Its trifoliate leaves have a vibrant purple color that gives a delightful contrast to your home in spring and summer.

It also grows small light pink flowers that sit well with its purple-marron foliage. It has edible leaves and rhizomes that can be eaten raw or cooked.

You can put it in places like bedrooms, kitchen, and living rooms, anywhere with ample light. False shamrock also goes into dormant in winters.

Care And Maintenance

  • Use clay-loamy soil.
  • Keep the soil moist in summer.
  • Use a balanced fertilizer to fertilize the soil every month or add compost.
  • In outdoor settings, it goes dormant during winter. It thrives indoors very well during colder months.
  • Oxalis likes bright indirect sunlight, but the indoor temperature must remain cool. Why? You may ask. Well, because it’s difficult for oxalis to adapt to higher temperatures.
  • When it goes into a dormant phase during summer and winter, don’t think that it’s dead. It will sprout in a few weeks.

The Challenge Level Of Growing False Shamrock?

Simply put, it’s a low-maintenance, easy-to-grow plant.

False shamrock isn’t pet-friendly!

5. Coleus

Coleus blumei, also called just coleus, is a species in the Lamiaceae family. The cultivars and new hybrids have some of the most spectacular colored foliage imaginable with color combinations of green, pink, maroon, yellow, red, etc.

The hybrids have decorative leaves that are more prominent than the dull flowers; that’s why they are pinched or pruned off. Group different types of coleus varieties together for a colorful burst.

Care And Maintenance

  • Coleus likes partial shade. Proper sunlight means better foliage color.
  • Give your coleus a little trimming every once in a while to make it bushy.
  • Coleus plants cannot survive frost, so keep them away from windows and doors during winters.
  • Coleus is a thirsty plant but avoid dampening the soil too much, or else it will start dropping its leaves.
  • In the beginning, when the flowers are developing, pinch or prune off them off. Flowers are ordinary and unalluring in comparison to the foliage.

The Challenge Level Of Growing A Coleus Plant?

Coleus is a good-natured plant that is pretty hard to kill and quite easy to propagate.

Coleus isn’t pet-friendly!

6. Pink Princess Philodendron

Philodendron pink princess is an Australian hybrid of Philodendron erubescens, a species in the Araceae family. It is a climbing aroid with dark green leaves and bubblegum pink variegation blotches. You cannot have a plant with only pink leaves because the leaves’ variegated portions have no chlorophyll at all for the plant to sustain itself.

Care And Maintenance

  • Stop fertilizing during shorter days.
  • Use well-draining, nutrient-rich soil.
  • Provide some support or trellis to this plant due to its lean growing nature.
  • Prune back your plant if it starts to grow entirely green or only pink leaves.
  • Keep the soil moist all the time but not dripping wet. Let all the excess water drain away.
  • If you want your plant to be “bushier,” keep cutting it occasionally and propagate the cut part.
  • Provide 50% humidity by spraying the plant with water at room temperature, especially in winter.
  • This colorful foliage houseplant likes bright indirect sunlight. The morning sun is best for it. Placing it in low light conditions or bright light would damage the pink variegation.

The Challenge Level Of Growing A Pink Princess Philodendron?

Easy to moderately difficult. It depends on how much care and attention you want to give it.

Pink princess philodendron isn’t pet-friendly!

7. Caladium

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Caladium is a whole genus of plants in the Araceae family, and there are many colorful cultivars and hybrids of caladium species. The leaves have prominent midribs and contrasting margins of pink, red, white, pale purple, green colors. Caladiums are tubers, and unfortunately, all parts of the plant are poisonous.

Care And Maintenance

  • Place the cultivars in partial shade.
  • Use a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer!
  • Use well-draining soil and try to keep it moist all the time.
  • Keep the plant in a warm place or provide a temperature of 65°F (about 18 °C) for robust growth.
  • Their growth period starts in spring and ends during the fall. The growth stops for almost 4 to five months.
  • Caladiums have zero frost tolerance. They might drop their leaves even if they are indoors due to winter, but new growth will still emerge in spring.
  • If you want your caladium to be leafy, cut out the central bud with a sharp, sterile knife. This will promote the surrounding small buds to grow.
  • Keep the humidity high by misting the plant or placing a tray (preferably made of clay) filled with water and pebbles.

If you’re wondering what that “10-10-10” NPK ratio means, it’s 10 percent of nitrogen (N), 10% of phosphorus (P), and 10% of potassium (K)!

The Challenge Level Of Growing A Caladium Plant?

This houseplant has colorful foliage, which is exactly what we are after. But it is a little challenging to grow indoors, although it becomes easy if you follow the tips above.

Caladium isn’t pet-friendly!

8. Prayer Plant

Maranta leuconeura, also known as the prayer plant, is a flowering plant in the Marantaceae family, native to the Brazilian rain forests. It is a variable rhizomatous perennial, up to 12 inches (about 30 cm) high and wide, with tufts of persistent and marked oval leaves, each up to 5 inches (about 12 cm) long.

The leaves are used to lying down during the day and folding vertically at night as if praying for the evening eve, hence the common name “prayer plant.” This behavior is an example of a daytime rhythm.

Care And Maintenance

  • The soil of the prayer plant should be moist but not soggy.
  • During winter dormancy, don’t water as much as you do in summer.
  • The prayer plant prefers well-drained soil and needs high humidity to thrive.
  • The ideal temperatures for the prayer plant are between 60°F and 80°F (about 16°C to 27°C).
  • Use warm water and feed the plant with a universal fertilizer every two weeks, from spring to fall.
  • Dry air can also pose a problem in the winter; placing the prayer plant between several houseplants can help create more humid conditions by spraying hot water every day.
  • Placing a container of water near the plant or placing the plant pot in a shallow plate of pebbles filled with water is also helpful. But don’t let the prayer plant sit in the water.
  • Although the prayer plant is somewhat tolerant to low light conditions, it grows best in bright, indirect sunlight.

The Challenge Level Of Growing A Prayer Plant?

Easy to moderately difficult. It depends upon how much care and attention you want to give it.

PRAYER PLANT IS PET-FRIENDLY!

9. Rex Begonia

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Rex begonia (Begonia rex) is a tropical plant valued for its colorful leaves and intriguing patterns. Many people collect and exhibit various varieties. Most rex begonias sold today are called hybrids, although they are not always labeled as such.

The leaves vary in shades of green, red, pink, purple, silver, and brown. The flowers are usually pink but small. In general, a recommendation is to remove the flowers and allow the plant’s energy to concentrate on growing the leaves because with leaves like these, who cares about flowers?

Care And Maintenance

  • Rex begonia is an excellent colorful foliage indoor plant that you can easily keep indoors during winter.
  • To provide plants with adequate humidity, place the containers on a gravel tray, where runoff can accumulate, evaporate, and increase the air’s humidity level. Avoid placing the plant near drafts!
  • Watering “on-demand” (or when the top of the soil is dry) is a great way to satisfy the needs of rex begonia. Avoid soggy conditions, but don’t let the plant wilt.
  • Even though it can take up to six months for your plant to produce new ones, cutting the leaves is the most common form of propagation.
  • Rex begonia does well in bright indirect sunlight. Sometimes the plant can be supplemented with direct sunlight.
  • Please give it a diluted dose of organic and soluble fertilizer every four to six weeks during the growing season. Begonia doesn’t grow and uses fertilizers effectively when growing in an environment below 58°F (about 14°C).

The Challenge Level Of Growing Rex Begonia?

Simply put, an easy to grow plant!

Rex begonia isn’t pet-friendly!

10. Wandering Jew

Tradescantia zebrina, also known as the wandering jew, is a spiderwort species in the Commelinaceae family. This plant has attractive zebra-patterned leaves. The upper surface shows new purple growth and older green growth parallel to the central axis and two broad silver bands on the outer edges, the underside of the leaves showing a magenta deep and uniform.

Care And Maintenance

  • Feed your plant monthly with diluted liquid fertilizer.
  • Take care, especially in winter, so that the plant doesn’t dry out.
  • Frequently mist the wandering jew plant using an automizer or only a spray bottle.
  • An essential part of growing jew plants is pinching long vine tendrils. Pinch about a quarter of the plant to encourage branching and increase the fullness.
  • Keep the soil slightly damp, but don’t water the “crown” part, as this will cause unpleasant rot if water gets accumulated in the leaf sheaths.
  • Wandering jew plant requires bright, indirect light. If the light is too dim, the variegation on the leaves will fade.

The Challenge Level Of Growing A Wandering Jew Plant?

It’s an easy-to-grow plant!

Wandering jew isn’t pet-friendly!

Final Words

I hope that this simple guide helps you find the right colorful foliage houseplants that can bring a bit of color to your beautiful home. If these plants didn’t “ignite” the grower inside you, you’d be pleased to know that there are many other plants to choose from.

So check out our other articles if you want to grow air-purifying houseplants, low-maintenance indoor plants, indoor flowering plants (or even grow them in hanging baskets), or if you have pets; please ensure that the houseplants are safe for your cats and dogs.

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