Houseplants are usually used in interior design to add a touch of greenery to homes and offices, but there are also many colorful varieties that can bring a vibrant pop of color to brighten up your living spaces. In addition to their decorative function, these bright and joyful plants also offer various health advantages, such as enhancing air quality and reducing stress levels.
Colorful foliage houseplants come in various shapes, sizes, textures, and hues, making it easy to find the perfect plant for any style and preference. From bright and bold to subtle and sophisticated, there is a colorful foliage plant out there for everyone. And unlike traditional flowering plants, these houseplants are grown for their stunning leaves, which means they will bring beauty and joy into your home year-round.
Whether you're a seasoned plant parent or just starting out, there is a colorful houseplant that will suit your needs. Some are rare and expensive, but most are easy to find and affordable for any plant lover. Colorful foliage plants do not require very special care, but they do need a bit more lighting than their green-foliage friends. Let’s check out this list featuring our favorite colorful foliage houseplants!
The Calathea species boasts the most remarkable, vibrant, and sizable leaves. This genus comprises a broad range of exotic plants, including the purple-pink and dark green Calathea Dottie and the tropical Calathea Burle Marx, which showcases intricate fishbone shapes in deep green on light green leaves. Among the most sought-after Calathea plants is the Calathea Makoyana Peacock, which displays striking feather-like patterns that resemble a peacock's tail. These plants require some effort to maintain as they thrive in environments with high humidity levels of at least 40-50% and bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, and even a slight reduction in light exposure or humidity can cause the foliage to lose its vibrant color.
If you prefer a plant with petite, petal-shaped leaves, the Hypoestes Phyllostachya Pink Splash or Hypoestes Phyllostachya White Splash would be an ideal option. These plants possess a timeless grace and serve as an excellent gift for any occasion. Hypoestes Phyllostachya were plant stars of the 1980s, and they have recently resurged in popularity. For optimal growth, place your Hypoestes Phyllostachya in a warm, well-lit location near a window, avoiding direct sunlight. Both low light and direct sunlight can cause the foliage to lose its color, so ensure the plant receives plenty of indirect or filtered light. To maintain the plant's health, keep the soil slightly moist and frequently mist it to increase humidity levels.
Syngonium (Arrowhead Vine)
Arrowhead Vines are forgiving houseplants that everyone loves! Syngonium can tolerate low light conditions, and they grow well in most indoor environments with a temperature between 60°F-75°F and a humidity level of around 40-50%. These plants have dainty, attractive leaves that come in many colors. Most Syngonium varieties grow neatly, but Syngonium White Butterfly has the wildest growing habit, it spreads its wings in all directions! If you prefer a more compact, colorful Syngonium, you can choose Syngonium Neon Robusta, Syngonium Gold Allusion, or the lusty pink Syngonium Pink Allusion. Syngonium in Chinese Feng Shui is also considered a lucky plant that brings fortune, health, wealth, abundance, and prosperity.
Ficus Triangularis Variegata
Native to South Africa, Ficus Triangularis Variegata is one of the most colorful plants in the Ficus family. It has distinctive triangular leaves (hence the name!) with creamy yellow and green variegated patterns. Each leaf has a unique color marking, making Ficus Triangularis Variegata a very showy, decorative houseplant. This variegated friend is a slow grower and will eventually reach about 6 feet indoors, making it a perfect plant for floor-standing planters. Although this plant is not very demanding, it requires abundant bright, indirect light and a humidity level of at least 50% to maintain its variegation. As a Ficus, Triangularis is very effective in removing common airborne toxins.
Codiaeum variegatum 'Petra', commonly known as Croton, is an exotic tropical plant that boasts one of the most vibrant and artistic leaf palettes of any plant. This plant is native to southern Asia and the western Pacific islands, and its green leaves feature a bright burst of red, yellow, and orange colors that are sure to catch the eye. Its bold, bushy foliage adds a daring pop of color to any room and stands out like a piece of art. In addition to its aesthetic value, Croton Petra is also an excellent air-purifying plant. It needs at least 4-6 hours of light daily and prefers rich soils that can retain moisture but still drain well. Harsh direct sunlight can burn its foliage and low light will reduce the variegation in its leaves.
Tradescantia Zebrina (Wandering Jew)
This plant boasts the best shades of purple a plant can have! This fast-growing trailing vine has succulent stems with oval light green leaves and purple variegation. The underside of the leaves has a vibrant purple color, adding to its striking appearance. Tradescantia Zebrina is incredibly easy to grow, and it adapts well to most indoor environments. While bright light brings out the intensity of its colors, direct sunlight can cause the variegation to fade. This plant is perfect for tall planters and hanging baskets. Zebrina is a wonderful ornamental plant that embraces a bold touch of nature within our modern living space.
Pothos N’ Joy is an effortlessly stunning plant that requires minimal upkeep. Its heart-shaped leaves are a rich shade of green, with creamy yellow variegation that creates a beautiful contrast.  When it comes to beautiful foliage, variegated plants like Pothos N’ Joy or Hoya Lisa Australis are always on the top sought-after list. Their variegation is caused by mutations that affect chlorophyll production, causing discolorations in the leaves and stems. The discolorations create unique patterns in the foliage, making each leaf stands out from the others. To maintain its variegation, Pothos N’ Joy requires slightly more light than its non-variegated counterparts, but direct sunlight should be avoided as it may damage the leaves. This fast-growing vining plant can easily be propagated through stem cuttings, making it a great option for plant enthusiasts who love to propagate their plants.