Plants With Colorful Leaves

A Colorful Garden Year Round

Petra Croton

The world of garden plants are amazing, there are so many to choose from with their various shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. There are flowering plants and then there are plants with colorful leaves. Though many flowering plants have beautiful and exotic flowers the drawback is that once these flowers lose their bloom there is that waiting period for new flower bloom to appear leaving a garden with nothing but green whereas with plants that have colorful leaves you can have a colorful garden year-round.

I have worked on many garden projects both out and indoors and have seen the effects and the benefits of installing plants with colorful leaves. Here is a list of 10 plants that is sure to rock your world with their beauty and charm as they brighten not only your landscapes and gardens but your day as well.


There are many species of crotons from the cock-skrew to the gold dust, Petras, and so on. I have worked with crotons on many garden projects and what I love about these plants are their colorful leaves that will give that WOW. Crotons love the full sun when planted outdoors and indirect bright light when planted indoors.

When handling crotons handle with care because the leaves are fragile and will break easily. Crotons love soil that is moist, not waterlogged so ensure they get the required water because the leaves of crotons will wilt if it doesn’t get sufficient water but once watered the leaves will become erect again.

Snake Plant

Mother in laws tongue

The snake plant or the mother in law tongue is an amazing plant with its solid green foliage or its mixture of green foliage with a yellow margin, the mother law tongue is a hardy plant and can go for several weeks without water and still look great. These garden beauties are low maintenance and can survive on very little water.

Install in your garden area as well as on the interior will work wonders, the snake plant can survive in the full sun as well as in partial sunlight, and on the interior prefer medium to bright light. Snake plants grow erect and can fit perfectly into narrow areas, Don’t overwater these plants which can lead to rot.



Caladiums have beautiful arrow-shaped leaves that are colorful, I have worked with caladium on the interior although these plants do just as well outdoors. Caladiums love soil that is somewhat moist and grows well in partial to full shade. To brighten up the winter months bring them indoors. The soil of this plant should be moist, the leaves of caladiums, however, tend to flop downwards because once the leaves are mature they become too heavy to be supported by the stem.



Coleus is amazing plants that come in an array of colors the leaves are really stunning with various designs, the design rainbow color does give that color pop that will light up your world. I have work with coleus so many times and to be honest with you I just love them, if you are thinking of creating a wildlife garden then look no further.

This plant will attract beautifies, coleus doesn’t love wet feet so allow the soil to dry somewhat before watering again. Coleus can either be grown in the shade or in the full sun. These garden beauties are a real show stopper.

Chinese Evergreen


The Chinese  Evergreen is a common indoor plant that is not fussy at all, these evergreens are low maintenance and will make the perfect plant for that person who is always on the go. The Chinese Evergreen dose will in bright indirect light, I have worked with these plants over the years and it was such a delight to take care of them, can survive on very little water but overwatering will cause rot. The Chinese Evergreen loves soil that is well-drained.

There are many species of evergreens from aglaonema rotundum, aglaonema ovatum, aglaonema crispum, etc… there are so many to choose from so you will find what you are looking for. Give these garden beauties a try, I know you will love them.


Ti Plant

The ti-plant or the three sisters are a part of the cordyline family, there are so many in this family to choose from this garden beauty can do wonders for your garden areas. I have worked three sisters both out and indoors, what I love about these plants is the rich color it displays.

Ti-plants can be planted in full to partial sun but if installing indoors ensure they get bright indirect light because the leaves can get burnt which was my experience on several occasions. Low lights will cause them to lose their color causing them to fade and look sickly. The three sisters do not like wet feet so ensure the soil drys out somewhat before giving another drink of water.

Coral Bells

Coral Bells-plants-with-color-in-the-leaves
Coral Bells

Coral bells are beautiful plants that give that deep rich color sprucing up your garden and landscape area,  installed coral bells in an area that gets full to partial sunlight. There are many species from which to choose from, coral bells need moderate water to be aware however because though coral bells thrive in the full sun can scorch the leaves.

The tiny bell-shaped flowers will attract hummingbirds which make these plants perfect for a wildlife garden, these flowers can also be used as cut flowers. Loamy soil is ideal, allow the soil to dry out somewhat before giving your coral bell another drink, too much water will cause root rot.

Golden Duranta

Golden Dewdrop

The golden duranta or golden dewdrop is a tropical beauty that produces leaves that are light yellow with small purple flowers. What I love about this plant is that it gives you the best of both worlds, the colorful leaves, and flowers which means when the bloom season overs the leaves will continue to give that color until the season for bloom starts again.

This garden beauty loves full to partial sunlight with a rich loamy soil but can thrive in rocky soils. Water your duranta moderately, these plants will light up your garden area giving that tropical look.

Variegated Bougainvillea

Variegated Bougainvillea

One of my favorites is the variegated bougainvillea, this garden beauty is a show stopper with its colorful and beautiful flower bloom. Bougainvilleas are climbers and will grow on a trellis, chain link fence, lattice can be groomed and grown as a standard plant or shrub and can also be grown as and hedge but be careful though don’t let their beauty fool you because the thorns that are produced by these plants can cause pain.

Bougainvilleas are tropical plants and love the full sun, is considered to be drought-tolerant but will produce full healthy bloom if given the right amount of water which means that it is important to keep them well water during the bloom period but be careful not to overwater which will lead to root rot. The soil should be soil that drains well but will hold the right amount of water.


A Bromeliad

The bromeliad family is a large family comprising some 2, 700 species which gives you so many to choose from, bromeliads can be installed indoor as well as in the home garden. What I love about these plants is their bloom color along with their beautiful leaves. Many years ago I worked as an interior plantscape designer and one of the plants that we mostly use was yes you are right it was bromeliads.

The soil should be a soil that holds the right amount of water but drains well, allow the soil to dry out a bit before watering which can lead to rot. What makes bromeliads a favorite is when it comes to garden insect pests it’s like zero. Bromeliads love full indirect light because bright light can cause the plant to burn.

Mixing it together

A great way to have a garden that is colorful year-round is to mix it up a bit, what that simply means is installing both flowering plants and plants with colorful leaves together this way you get the best of both worlds so when the bloom period ends there still will be color and when the season for bloom starts again your garden and landscapes will look just dazzling with these mixtures of plants giving that color pop.

The final word

The use of plants with colors in the leaves will bring that WOW to a well-plan garden design, I have seen what can happen when a garden is designed in this way there is nothing but beauty and charm which is so inviting giving that restful and relaxed feeling so I urge you to go for it and see for yourself you will be so glad that you did with the color pop which is truly amazing as both you your family and friends enjoy your garden oasis.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

8 thoughts on “Plants With Colorful Leaves”

  1. Hi Norman

    It is a shame that most gardeners do not release that green is not the only leaf colours, as a lot of plants have varieties that are variegated, red, silver, and blue hues. One of my favourite plants is senecio which had varieties that come in beautiful silver coloured leaves. Coleus have some of the beautful colour leaves that you can find but my favourite has to be some of the Begonias, especially ‘Escargot’.  I got to admit it is hard to know what colourful plants to grow inside and outside, your article is useful in this regards.

    I got to admit I am surprised that you have not included any silver varieties, why is this?



    • Thanks so much for sharing, these plants are truly amazing and please forgive me there are so many to choose from there is just so much to choose from and write about.

  2. You really helped me. I am completely redecorating my garden next spring and I will definitely use some of the plants you suggested. First Bromeliads and then Variegated Bougainvillea. I never had a second one in my garden but one of my friends does and it gives such a special touch to the overall look of the garden it is amazing.

    Thank you.

    • Your garden will look so amazing by using these plants. When you finish God’s willing can you send me a photo please if that is alright with you? I can’t wait to see your new garden design.

  3. Hello Norman. Really nice to see you share this post of plants with colorful leaves; I love this flowers, they’re truly colourful and beautiful too.

    I have seen Snake Plant before but never actually knew it is called that name; funny enough, it is also called Mother in law tongue. Really nice, beautiful, tough and enduring…

    I have seen most of these beautiful plants before.

    Best regards!

    • Hello, their, plant with colors in the leaves does have its advantages as I explained this way you will always have a colorful garden which I think is so cool. So happy to help and all the best of success. Have a good day.

  4. I must say that you have done a great job on this one and,mu favourite plant is the Caladium it is a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae. They are often known by the common name elephant ear, heart of Jesus, and angel wings. There are over 1000 named cultivars of Caladium bicolor from the original South American plant.thanks alot for this awesome article I really like some other plants like the snake plant.

    • Caladiums are so beautiful and can fit into just about any garden design. What I love about these plants is the colors and the style as far as the patterns on the foliage are concerned. Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your knowledge of these plants also. All the best to you.


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