ARTICLES

The Beauty and Benefits of Plants With Red and Green Leaves for a Festive Ambiance

With speckled, striped, variegated, or mottled leaves, these plants add a flush color to your house without relying on bright blooms. 

By: THURSD. | 06-12-2023 | 13 min read
Indoor Plants Garden Plants Christmas Designs
The Beauty of Plants With Red and Green Leaves for a Festive Ambiance

The holiday season is here with us again, and there's, perhaps, no better time to celebrate the beauty and benefits of plants with red and green leaves than now. These eye-catching plants not only add a sense of festivity and cheer to homes and gardens but also offer a plethora of benefits. 

As it is widely acknowledged, plants that bear red and green leaves are known to bring a touch of Christmas and merriment. From the vibrant Coleus Wizard Scarlet to the elegant Anthurium Micra, every single one of the numerous varieties of these plants offers unique beauty and benefits. They not only enhance the visual appeal of the surroundings but also contribute to other rewards including improved air quality and a healthier environment. 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves That Unleash the Beauty of Christmas Festivities

If you love the color red, there are many different houseplants that bear red and green leaves that you can add to your indoor garden or give a boost to your outdoor patio because these plants are undeniably so pretty. With speckled, striped, variegated, or mottled leaves, they deliver an unexpected color to your house without relying on bright blooms.

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
Watermelon Premium Sun Coleus
Photo by @panamseed

 

In the same way, the spirit of the holiday season can be enhanced through varied ways. But including these stunning plants in your festive decorations definitely stands out as among the most satisfying ways to do this. While there is a myriad of such plants, there without a doubt, are some that gracefully, and stylishly bring out this feel. Do you want to know which plants these are? Here we go. 

Coleus Wizard Scarlet

Coleus Wizard Scarlet, with its stunning deep red and green foliage, is a true showstopper. Its vibrant leaves resemble a painter's palette, creating a festive ambiance wherever it is placed. This versatile plant thrives both indoors and outdoors, making it a perfect choice to adorn your living space and even the outdoors, during the holiday season. Apart from its aesthetic appeal, Coleus Wizard Scarlet improves indoor air quality by purifying the surrounding air.

A plant with an old window sill' image, the plant’s nettle-like leaves come in many shapes and color variations. It is easy to grow if you plant it outside, and also easy to care for as an indoor plant. It's one of those houseplants that's back from the past. 

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
Coleus Wizard Scarlet
Photo by @whatsgrowing_home_and_garden 

 

Begonia Barkos Baladin

Begonia Barkos Baladin is a definite Christmas delight with its vibrant green leaves adorned with red veins. This charming plant adds a touch of elegance to any space, making it an excellent choice for festive decorations. Begonias are known for their ability to thrive in low-light conditions, which makes them ideal for indoor settings. Additionally, they are relatively low maintenance, hence perfect for busy holiday seasons.

The red begonias from the Barkos series found at Koppe Begonia are widely cultivated by growers during the winter season because they are so hardy and last a long time in customers' homes. This plant with red and green leaves might grow a little slower, but it is much stronger. In addition, the flowers have many petals, creating a beautiful, and fluffy effect that heightens the aesthetics of the season. The largest variety in the Barkos series is the Begonia Baladin, a beautiful red begonia that can easily liven up your home. 

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
Red begonias from the Barkos series by @koppebegonia

 

Mangave Red Wing

If you’ve never heard about a mangave before, that's okay! So, go ahead and check out this beautiful variety with red leaves. The mangave is actually an intergeneric hybrid that takes the best of both parents: agave's durability and large, architectural forms, and the manfreda's unique colors and drawing. Its spikes are a lot softer than those of the agave, so it's also a lot easier to handle.

The Mangave Red Wing comes in a beautiful, deep red color that prefers full sun - this is where the colors and distinctive leaf markings show best. It's a fast grower that is an ideal outdoor plant with red and green leaves for your patio, balcony, or as an indoor houseplant. Want to discover more Mangaves? You can read all about them: Mangave, the Next Must-Have Plant? Oh, Yes!

All the same, the Mangave Red Wing is, definitely, a unique succulent that combines the beauty of red and green leaves, making you feel good with nature. The rosette-shaped foliage features striking red margins, resembling the wings of a festive holiday bird. It is also a drought-tolerant plant that thrives in various climates, making it an excellent addition to both indoor and outdoor gardens. Plus, its architectural beauty and low maintenance needs make it a popular choice among plant enthusiasts.

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
Mangave Red Wing is a unique succulent that combines the beauty of red and green leaves.
Photo by Walter Gardens

 

Codiaeum Variegatum (Mammy Red / Croton)

Codiaeum Variegatum, commonly known as Mammy Red or Croton, is a tropical plant with variegated leaves that showcase a mix of vibrant reds, greens, and yellows. Its colorful foliage adds a cheerful touch to any environment and makes it a perfect complement to Christmas decorations.

For its unique qualities, it has some of the boldest and brightest foliage you will find on a tropical plant. The dark green oval-shaped leaves are covered in bright red and often orange, green, and yellow patterns. Its upright growth also makes it popular. 

Mammy Red is relatively easy to care for and can be grown as a potted plant or as part of a vibrant garden. This makes it a popular choice for adding color to gardens and indoor spaces.

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
Codiaeum Variegatum, commonly known as Mammy Red.
Photo by @m.a.i.c.h.a.m 

 

Bromeliad Guzmania

Bromeliad Guzmania is a stunning plant with long-lasting red and green bracts that resemble flames flickering on a cozy Christmas hearth. Its vibrant colors and unique shape make it a popular choice for holiday centerpieces and festive displays. 

Native to the northwest of South America and in the Caribbean; mostly in tropical rainforests, the Guzmania from Bromelia Specialist is an excellent indoor plant that can add a vibrant and tropical feel to any indoor space.

It's a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal care and can thrive in a variety of indoor environments and prefers bright, indirect light and should be placed near a window that receives filtered sunlight. It also tolerates lower light conditions, but may not produce as many blooms. Direct sunlight can scorch the plant's leaves and cause damage. 

Guzmania requires consistent moisture to thrive, but it's important not to overwater the plant. It's best to water the plant when the soil feels dry to the touch, and make sure to water the soil directly rather than the cup in the center of the rosette. Overwatering can cause root rot and other issues. In terms of temperature, the plant prefers warm and humid environments.

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
Bromeliad Guzmania plants with their fiery-red foliage.
Photo by @southerfoliage

 

Apart from its aesthetic appeal, Guzmania improves indoor air quality by releasing oxygen and filtering out toxins, ensuring a healthier environment during the holiday season.

Philodendron Imperial Red

Philodendron is native to South America, where it grows as an evergreen perennial in tropical rainforests. As an indoor houseplant with red and green leaves, it is in high demand for its glossy appearance, easy care, and air-purifying qualities.

The Philodendron Imperial Red supplied by Evanthia is a gorgeous, tropical foliage plant that has large, oval-rounded glossy leaves. The leaf color starts off as bright reddish/green and turns darker red to dark green over time. Perfect for when you want temporary pops of color, seeing as only new leaf growth shows this bright shade of red. 

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
Philodendron Imperial Red has a glossy appearance and air-purifying qualities.
Photo by @basia_plantslover

 

This classic houseplant adds a warm and inviting atmosphere to any space; a reminder of the joy and coziness of the holiday season. What’s more, Philodendrons are generally known for their air-purifying qualities, making them an excellent choice for improving indoor air quality during the winter months.

Begonia Maculata

Begonia Maculata, also known as Polka Dot Begonia, is a stunning plant with dark green leaves adorned with silver spots and bright red undersides. Its unique leaf pattern, without a doubt, adds an element of intricacy and elegance to any holiday decor. It thrives in indirect light and moderate humidity, making it an ideal choice for indoor spaces during the festive season.

Often also known as the Spotted Begonia, this unique plant is, in addition to its unique qualities, one of the most popular and photogenic houseplants at the moment. In fact, it is the most famous variant of the Begonia series. 

In the right conditions, the Polka Dot Begonia will produce small flowers similar in shape to other begonia plants. They are usually white, rounded, and fan-shaped, with a small yellow center. Noteworthy, however, is that Begonia Maculata is not pet-safe (and can be harmful to humans if ingested, as well). But the good news is that they are air-purifying houseplants.

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
Begonia maculata, also called Polka Dot Begonia
Photo by @plantsbymelissa

 

And of course, if you want to know more about this plant, here’s where you can read about it: The Polka Dot Begonia (Begonia Maculata) is One of the Most Photogenic Houseplants.

Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora

Commonly known as the Pink Jellybean plant or Christmas Cheer, Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora is a succulent that features plump, jelly bean-shaped leaves in shades of green and red. Its colorful foliage and compact growth habit make it a popular choice for holiday-themed succulent arrangements and fairy gardens. A drought-tolerant plant that requires minimal care, this houseplant is a perfect addition to your festive plant collection, and even beyond the festivities.

During its growth, the plant starts out mostly green or bi-colored red and green but will get redder and redder over time when it gets a lot of sunlight exposure. A plus for it is that it is relatively easy to care for.

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
Jellybean-shaped leaves of the Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora.
Photo by @beckigreenthumbs

 

Phalaenopsis Scarlett Jubilee

The orchid group includes several hundred different genera and thousands of species, but most people are introduced to these plants through the phalaenopsis genus, which is a particularly good orchid for beginners. These are thick-leaved plants with elegant, arching sprays of bloom - the orchids featured in so many design magazines sitting on coffee tables across the world. 

Phalaenopsis orchids are rewarding plants. They are not demanding, and in the right conditions, they will display showy blooms for months. That's what makes the Phalaenopsis Scarlett Jubilee such a must-have because this variety from Floricultura lasts at least 90 days!

And during most of those 90 days, this plant showcases stunning red and green flowers that are reminiscent of the joyful holiday season, adding to the cheer and aesthetics of the festivities. With its delicate blooms and elegant foliage, this orchid is quite a must-have; especially due to its long-lasting flowers and relatively easy care requirements. It could, in fact, make a perfect gift or centerpiece for Christmas celebrations!

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
The Phalaenopsis Scarlett Jubilee

 

Hypoestes Phyllostachya Confetti Compact Red

Hypoestes Phyllostachya Confetti Compact Red is a tropical foliage plant with a neat and compact habit and a playful look. This is another plant that can also be used to add a festive touch to any setting with its lively and colorful foliage. These qualities make it a great choice for bringing color to indoor arrangements or as a charming addition to a holiday-themed plant collection. Furthermore, it makes a great windowsill plant.

From Evanthia, the Hypoestes Phyllostachya possesses heart-shaped leaves, with colorful dark green and bright scarlet/red speckles and blotches. It is native to tropical Madagascar, where it grows as an herbaceous perennial in shaded areas where it can form dense carpets of vegetation in the lower layers of woodlands and rainforests. 

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
Hypoestes Phyllostachya Confetti Compact Red
Photos by @taksir_giyah and @ihugplants

 

Anthurium Micra

The red Anthurium Micra plant is a stunning tropical plant that is renowned for its vibrant red flowers and glossy green leaves. The anthurium is a, particularly, popular choice for indoor gardening due to its easy-to-care-for nature and impressive visual appeal.

The plant features green, heart-shaped leaves that provide the perfect backdrop for its signature flowers - which are actually modified leaves known as spathes - that come in a range of colors, including red, pink, white, and even green. The plant's true flowers are small and located on the spadix, which protrudes from the center of the spathe.

Anthurium Micra’s vibrant red flowers often resemble Christmas ornaments and its exotic and elegant appearance makes it a perfect choice for festive decorations. What’s more, anthuriums are known for their long-lasting blooms and air-purifying qualities, adding beauty while improving the air quality in your home during the holiday season. The plant also removes toxins such as formaldehyde and ammonia from the air, making it an excellent choice as an indoor houseplant.

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
The anthurium is a, particularly, popular choice for indoor gardening.
Photo by @waterdrinker_aalsmeer

 

Caring for an anthurium plant is relatively easy. It prefers bright, indirect light and should be watered when the soil feels dry to the touch. Overwatering can cause root rot, so it's important to avoid letting the plant sit in standing water. Anthurium plants also appreciate high humidity levels, which can be achieved by misting the leaves regularly or placing a humidifier nearby.

Here's more about anthuriums in a story about Evanty.

Poinsettias

Poinsettias, scientifically known as Euphorbia pulcherrima, are native to Mexico and were first introduced to the United States by Joel Poinsett, the American ambassador to Mexico, in the early 19th century. Since then, these stunning plants have become synonymous with Christmas celebrations. The vibrant red leaves, often mistaken for flowers, symbolize the joy and warmth of the holiday season. The deep green foliage represents renewal and life, even during the winter months.

Poinsettias are widely used as decorative elements during Christmas. Their striking colors and unique shape make them a popular choice for adorning homes, offices, and public spaces. From tabletop centerpieces to wreaths and garlands, poinsettias add a touch of elegance and festive spirit to any setting. Their versatility allows them to be used in various ways, whether as standalone plants or incorporated into larger floral arrangements.

 

Plants With Red and Green Leaves
Deep red and green leaves of poinsettia
Photo by Freepik

 

In addition to their visual appeal, poinsettias hold cultural significance in many countries. In Mexico, where the plant originated, poinsettias are known as "Flor de Nochebuena," meaning "Christmas Eve Flower." They are an integral part of the traditional Mexican Christmas celebrations and are often displayed in homes and churches during the holiday season. In the United States, December 12th is observed as National Poinsettia Day, commemorating the death anniversary of Joel Poinsett and recognizing the plant's contribution to Christmas traditions.

This Festive Season, a Plant With Red and Green Leaves Is a Perfect Choice

A houseplant with red leaves can add dramatic shades ranging from crimson to burgundy, maroon, and deep pink to any home interior. These plants brighten up rooms and add a touch of warmth to the décor, a quality really needed during the wintry festive seasons. 

Some red-leaf house plants such as coleus, caladium, and anthurium have bright red foliage, while other types of red-leaved plants such as begonia and dracaena have darker reds or subtle shades of red, but they all, practically, have the same impression.

 

 

Princettia Indian Red
Princettia Indian Red by MNP / Suntory

 

What’s more, these houseplants come in an array of varieties for you to choose from. So, this festive season, which of these plants would you consider to have in your home?

 

Feature image by @waterdrinker_aalsmeer and header image by sandid.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

ALL ESSENTIALS ALL FLORISTS ALL PRODUCTS ALL GROWERS ALL BREEDERS ALL TRADERS

Can't get enough?

Subscribe to the
newsletter, and get
bedazzled with awesome
flower & plant updates