7 Houseplants with Colorful Patterned Foliage
- it's not always the flowers that steal the show -

Posted on August 28, 2019

7 Houseplants with Colorful Patterned Foliage
Many creatures are attracted to flowers. Nature designed colorful blooms to lure in pollinators like birds, bugs, and even people! But if you concentrate on flowers alone, you might overlook some splendid – and easy-care – plants that have foliage every bit as showy as a flower. Here are seven plants with beautifully patterned leaves that not only make great indoor plants, their foliage is sure to add a colorful touch to your décor:

1. Prayer plant

(Calathea species)
Calathea species

Members of the Calathea family (prayer plant) come in a variety of patterns and colors from maroons to silver to every shade of green imaginable. Their leaves shut at night like a pair of hands folded in prayer, which is how they got their name.

2. Alocasia

(Alocasia species)

Alocasia species

This houseplant is also known as "elephant ears"--one look at it, and you'll know why. In tropical zones, these striped beauties grow outside up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) tall with leaves eight feet (2.4 meters) across, but the houseplant versions usually range between one to two feet (0.3 to 0.6 meters) tall.

3. Chinese evergreen

(Aglaonema species)

Aglaonema Chinese Evergreen

Generations of houseplant lovers have enjoyed the beauty and easy-care Chinese evergreen. The original plant had medium green foliage with silvery tones. However, these days as a result of hybridization, there are many varieties blushed in reds, white and pinks. This is a terrific plant for beginners; tolerating low light and infrequent watering.

4. Croton

(Codiaeum variegatum)

Codiaeum variegatum, Croton

Crotons are one of the showiest plants around. They come in a multitude of vibrant colors and leaf shapes. This is one plant that might enjoy a summer vacation outdoors. It’s a great way to brighten a porch or partly shaded spot.

5. Dracaena

(Dracaena species)


Dracaena are a favorite houseplant for the home or office. They're easy to care for, lend a tropical feel to any room, and come with dramatically striped foliage in greens and, in some varieties, reds and pinks.

6.Snake plant

(Sansevieria species)

Sansevieria species, Snake plant

Snake plants have an almost sculptural look with their rigid, sharply vertical, sword-like leaves. They work especially well to mark entry ways and transitions from room to room. This is another great plant for beginners. It tolerates low light levels and infrequent watering.

7. Peperomia

(Peperomia species)

Peperomia species

The Peperomia genus produces some of the cheeriest houseplants out there, and some with fun names to match like, “radiator plant”, “happy bean” and “watermelon plant”. Available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and leaf shapes, these easy-going beauties will brighten any houseplant grouping.

Stop and smell the flowers, but be sure to check out the leaves while you're at it. Foliage plants are low-maintenance and provide continuous color long after the blooms have faded on other plants.
Can't get enough of houseplants? There are lots more plants to learn about in the Plant Library!

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Colorful, patterned tropical plants make a bold statement in shady landscape settings where flowering plants don’t perform well. They can be planted in the ground and grown as annual bedding plants, or plant them in pots to add spot color to a patio table, stairwell, balcony, or border garden. Bonus - potted plants can be brought back indoors to enjoy through the winter!

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