Types of purple-leaf house plants

Written by billie abbott
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Types of purple-leaf house plants
Purple shamrock plants will add colour to any room in your home. (purple leaf image by bayu harsa from Fotolia.com)

Plants don't have to be green. Liven up your home with the colour purple. Purple leaf house plants will revive drab rooms and add colourful accents to your living space. Paired with green foliage plants, purple leaves will stand out as a focal point in the room. Easy to grow and maintain, this is a simple way to add a colour boost to dreary quarters.

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Purple shamrock

Purple shamrock plants (Oxalis regnellii atropurpurea) are native to South America and grow in a clump fashion with triangular shaped leaves. These plants bloom in the spring with light lilac coloured flowers. The best growing conditions are bright indirect light, cool air and moist soil. Purple shamrocks are grown from small bulbs so they will have a dormant period two to three times a year. During this period decrease watering and let the leaves die back naturally. Leaves should be removed only after they turn brown. Let bulbs stay dormant for three to four weeks, then water and fertilise. Your plant will come back to life and be beautiful again.

Purple heart

Purple heart plants (Setcreasea pallida) are native to Mexico and are characterised by their dark purple, spear-shaped leaves that are covered with pale hairs. In midsummer to early autumn these purple-coloured plants will bloom with pale purple flowers. After flowering, plants should be cut back so they don't get too scrawny. Purple heart plants thrive best in full sun to light shade, and the brighter sunlight will also help the plant to maintain its purple colouring. Water at least two times a week and fertilise once a month with a balanced fertiliser. During winter months water about once a week and do not fertilise until new growth starts in the spring.

Purple passion

Purple passion (Gynura aurantiaca) is a perennial vine that can grow up to 2.7 m (9 feet). This plant is also known as velvet plant or purple velvet because of its velvety soft, serrated leaves that are covered with fine purple fuzz. Blooms of small orange flowers, which look like puff balls and have an unpleasant odour, will arrive in the summer. Purple passion grows best in full sun to partial shade. The richness of the colour will intensify with the brightest sunlight. Soil should be well drained and kept moist at all times. Fertilise weekly during the growing season with a balanced fertiliser. Plants should be cut back during the winter months in order to help growth and to keep their rich, vibrant colour.

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