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Types of Purple-Leaf House Plants

purple leaf image by bayu harsa from

Houseplants with purple leaves add a touch of color and texture to a room. Use them in your decorating plan to enhance your living space. The typical purple-leaf plant requires bright light to retain its color. A sunroom or room with bright window space is ideal for purple-leaf houseplants.

Purple Passion

Purple passion is a vining plant that grows upright for 6 to 8 inches, and then tilts horizontally to spread. It is covered with purple hairs that give it the look of velvet, hence its alternate name, velvet plant. Grow purple passion in a hanging pot or in a planter where it will have plenty of room to trail. Bright light will keep it purple; it fades to bronze or dark gray-green if it does not receive adequate light. The plant bears small yellow-orange flowers that have a somewhat unpleasant odor. Propagate purple passion by the rooted runners or by taking cuttings.

String of Hearts

String of hearts is an interesting plant that has slender purple stems with heart-shaped leaves. The leaves are green with marbled white on top and purple on the underside. String of hearts is a trailing plant usually grown in a hanging container. The fragile vine branches grow up to 3 feet long. Small, white bead-like structures (tubers) form along the stems, which give the plant its other name, rosary vine. Bright light encourages the best purple color. String of hearts produces elongated white flowers about an inch long. Propagate string of hearts from cuttings, tubers or seeds.

Purple-Leaf Shamrock

Purple-leaf shamrocks are in the oxalis family. They grow from small bulbs like other oxalis. The neat little mounds of purple foliage fill a small pot, growing to about 6 inches high. The natural cycle of oxalis plants is to wither after a few weeks and go dormant. When you notice the foliage beginning to die back, refrain from watering. Allow the foliage to die back naturally. When the leaves and stems are completely dry and brown, place the pot in a dark place for about a month. After this period of dormancy, bring the pot back into bright light and water it and it will produce another mound of purple foliage.

Purple Heart

Purple heart is a trailing plant native to Mexico. It has lance-shaped leaves that may be up to 7 inches long on mature stems. Stems and leaves are purple, creating a unified color effect. This purple plant grows well in the shade, and keeps its color in low light conditions. The stems snap off easily, so keep purple heart where it will not be brushed against. Root cuttings or plant runners to propagate purple heart.

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