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How to Grow a Bloodleaf Plant

By Charmayne Smith ; Updated September 21, 2017

The bloodleaf plant is a tender perennial that can be grown indoors or outdoors. Its medium-sized leaves grow in shades of burgundy with varying yellowish-green accents. This succulent plant has greenish-purple branches and is sensitive to cold temperatures.

Position the bloodleaf plant in a location that provides at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. For outdoor bloodleaf plants, choose a well drained location that is slightly elevated from the surrounding soil. Plant indoor blood leaf plants in well drained potting containers. Choose a plastic container over a clay one to promote a constantly moist soil environment.

Prepare the outdoor planting area. Incorporate equal amounts of organic matter into the native soil, such as peat compost or oak leaf compost. Plant indoor bloodleaf plants in a sandy loam. Create the loam by mixing nutrient-rich potting soil with equal amounts of peat compost and clean, fine sand.

Water the bloodleaf plant regularly to maintain a consistently moist environment. Saturate indoor plants when watering so that the excess water runs from the drainage system. Allow the plant to come close to dry before watering again. Never allow the plant to dry out completely.

Irrigate outdoor bloodleaf plants regularly to maintain even moisture. Provide the outdoor plant with at least one inch of water per week during the growing season. Avoid over-watering and shallow watering. Increase the watering schedule during the hot, dry summer months.

Feed the bloodleaf plant during the growing season, from early spring through late fall. Select a water soluble, slow release fertilizer. Apply the granular fertilizer to the outdoor plants, distributing evenly around the planting area. Water in according to the directions. Use a well balanced houseplant fertilizer for indoor plants. Apply according to directions. Ensure that the fertilizer contains nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and micronutrients.

Prune the bloodleaf to promote vigorous growth. Thin out the foliage and blooms to increase air circulation and improve active cell growth. Use sharp, sterile pruning shears or scissors. Cut using an angular snip to promote rapid healing of the pruned areas. Deadhead spent flowers as they occur to prevent seeding. Always remove any dead, dying or wilting foliage.

Inspect the bloodleaf plant regularly for signs of insect infestation. Look for spider mites and webs, aphids, and mealybugs. Also, check for signs of disease such as dieback, powdery mildew on foliage, yellowing or browning of foliage, and rot. Promptly trim away and prune any infested or diseased areas, when possible. Treat infestations and disease immediately. Speak with the local nursery for diagnosis and treatment assistance.


Things You Will Need

  • Compost
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Potting container (indoor)
  • Sand (indoor)
  • Pruning shears

About the Author


Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.