Colorful House Plants

On Monday I talked about variegated house plants. What about some plants with just plain colorful leaves?

In the garden, these would be the equivalent of coleus for annuals, or perhaps coral bells (heuchera) for perennials. It’s not that they share the same shape; it’s that they have the same sort of colorful foliage that is so striking that you don’t even care if they flower.

The plant I am thinking of for this particular post that has come a long way is the Chinese Evergreen (aglaonema). For years, these plants were the showier cousins of the snake plant–basic green and white varieties that you saw in every public planting.

They are easy care, low light plants that are tough and stand up to almost all kinds of abuse. Think of any interior courtyard planting. What are you going to see? Maybe some sort of ficus. Dracenas. Chinese evergreens of a couple of different varieties. Perhaps a row of snake plants for screening. Peace lilies. You get the idea.

So these are great, adaptable work horses of the indoor garden (and they clean the air). But everyone usually walked right by without noticing.


Now look at this. This too is a Chinese Evergreen, usually sold as a red stemmed (although I have seen it sold as a “red-leafed” as well). I have posted about this plant before. I have even called it the “anti-poinsettia.” Because, let’s face it, in a month from now, what would you rather be looking at, this, or a fading poinsettia?


Then there’s this, the “pink-leafed” variety. I used this in a container planting this summer with begonias, inpatiens and ivy.  Next summer, who knows? In the meantime, I get to enjoy this as a house plant!


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