20 Best Red Houseplants (Types and Growing Tips)

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The Best Red Houseplants for Your Home or Office

There’s no better way (in our opinion) to bring color into your home than with brightly colored, red houseplants. There are an endless variety of red houseplants to choose from, ranging from beginner plants to some that are better left to expert growers. We’ve rounded up a list of some of the absolute best (prettiest, most interesting, easiest to grow) for you to see here!

Red House Plants Meanings & Symbolism

When the color red appears on plants, flowers, or in life, it usually represents love, romance, passion, or fiery feelings like anger. Since red runs through all of our veins, it can also symbolize blood and sacrifice. Some red plants have symbolic meanings of their own like cheerfulness, hospitality, and good luck.

20 Best Red Houseplants 

Here you’ll find 20 of our favorite red houseplants that will thrive in a range of living environments. We’ve included a brief care guide for each so you can find the perfect pick for your own unique living environment. 

1. Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

When you imagine a tropical flower, it’s likely that a hibiscus blossom comes to mind. Hibiscus flowers range in color from bright whites and creams to yellow, peach, oranges, pinks, and red. Several species of red-colored, flowering hibiscus shrubs exist, but the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is one of the most popularly grown, and it’s the best for growing indoors. Also called the Hawaiian hibiscus or Chinese hibiscus, this flowering plant has an exotic-looking flower with papery red petals, a fiery stamen, and a dusting of bright-yellow pollen.

GENERAL CARE: Some species are very difficult to cultivate indoors. Others can be grown successfully when treated as indoor plants that summer outside.
SOIL: Well-draining, slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.5 and 6.8
LIGHT: Bright, direct light
TEMP & HUMIDITY: 50°F to 60°F in winter, no higher than 90°F in summer, and high humidity
WATERING: High watering needs during the growing season. Water as soon as the top layer of soil is dry about every 4 to 14 days.
FEEDING: Spring and summer, feed weekly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength.
GROWTH: Blossoms stretch 4 inches in diameter, and the shrubs can reach 3 to 16 feet tall.
TOXICITY: Non-toxic to people. Toxic to pets.

2. Fittonia (Fittonia albivenis)

Fittonia (Fittonia albivenis)

The fittonia is widely loved as a houseplant for its strikingly marked leaves. As red or white vein lines run throughout its foliage. Thanks to the appearance of its leaves, the fittonia is also commonly called the nerve plant or mosaic plant. Fittonia is native to the rainforests of South America, where it has been traditionally used as a pain reliever and psychedelic.

GENERAL CARE: Moderately difficult to grow due to humidity needs
SOIL: Well-draining, slightly acidic soil with a pH of about 6.5
LIGHT: Indirect, filtered sunlight to partial shade
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Ideal temperature is around 70°F and requires high humidity
WATERING: Maintain evenly moist soil to avoid fainting due to underwatering and yellowing due to standing water. Mist frequently to prevent the plant from drying out.
FEEDING: Spring and summer only feed regularly with a balanced 5-5-5 fertilizer or tropical plant fertilizer diluted to 1/2 strength.
GROWTH: Grows to be 3 to 6-inches tall with a 12 to 18-inch trailing spread
TOXICITY: Non-toxic to pets. Non-toxic to humans but does have some hallucinogenic properties.

3. Flaming Sword (Vriesea splendens)

Flaming Sword (Vriesea splendens)

The Vriesea splendens is commonly called the flaming sword plant for its fiery red, spike or sword-shaped inflorescence that resembles a flaming sword. A member of the bromeliad plant family, the flaming sword features a rosette of sturdy, lance-shaped leaves that also feature quite attractive stripes of light and dark shades of green.

GENERAL CARE: Fairly easy to grow indoors with the right conditions
SOIL: Well-draining, bromeliad or orchid potting mix
LIGHT: Filtered sunlight or partial shade
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Temperatures between 70°F to 80°F and humidity above 50%
WATERING: Water the plant’s rosette regularly to maintain about 1 inch of filtered water at room temperature at all times. Water the soil lightly when it has begun to dry to keep roots barely moist.
FEEDING: Spring and summer only, feed monthly with a 1/2 strength, balanced liquid fertilizer.
GROWTH: Fully grown, the flaming sword plant can reach 2 to 3 feet in height.
TOXICITY: Non-toxic to pets and people

4. Red Congo Philodendron (Philodendron rojo congo PBR)

Red Congo Philodendron (Philodendron rojo congo PBR)

Commonly referred to as both the rojo Congo philodendron (sometimes Congo rojo philodendron) and red Congo philodendron, this plant boasts large, paddle-shaped leaves that are glossy and a deep-burgundy red in color. This plant grows naturally in South American, and unlike other philodendrons in its family, it does not climb or vine. Instead, its leaves self-head atop their stem, growing straight upward and outward.

GENERAL CARE: Low-maintenance and easy to grow
SOIL: Well-draining, acidic to neutral potting mix
LIGHT: Indirect, filtered sunlight to full shade.
TEMP & HUMIDITY: This plant is cold-sensitive and should be kept away from drafts. Ideal temperature ranges between 75F and 85F. Prefers moderate humidity.
WATERING: Water regularly when the top inch of soil is dry, but never allow the plant to sit in standing water.
FEEDING: Give this heavy feeder an application of slow-release fertilizer two to three times per year.
GROWTH: Mature plants reach about 2 feet in height and 2.5 feet in diameter.
TOXICITY: Toxic to people and pets

5. Anthurium

Anthurium

Native to Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and much of South America, anthuriums are epiphytes, which means that grow on other plants – rather than in the soil – and gather nutrients from the air, rain, and other debris as it gathers around them. Although you’ll find them commonly growing from the bark of trees in the wild, they can thrive indoors in a potted environment, too. Their brightly-colored blooms look like shiny, hearts and represent hospitality.

GENERAL CARE: Easy to grow
SOIL PREFERENCES: Well-draining potting mix of 1/2 potting soil and 1/2 perlite or orchid mix
LIGHT: Bright, filtered sunlight
TEMP & HUMIDITY: 65°F to 80°F and moderate to high humidity
WATERING: Water regularly when the soil is dry to the touch. Anthuriums are prone to root rot, so be sure your plant never sits in standing water.
FEEDING: Spring and summer only, feed monthly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/3 strength.
GROWTH: Mature plants reach about 1 to 1.5 feet in height.
TOXICITY: Toxic to pets and people

6. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Although well-known for its cherry-red coloring, the poinsettia’s crimson, leaf-like structures are actually bracts that surround its much-smaller true flowers upon blooming. In their native environments (Mexico and parts of Central America), poinsettias grow into large trees or shrubs. The classic winter season plant, poinsettias are a popular holiday purchase that many owners struggle to keep alive throughout the rest of the year. With the right care, however, it can be done!

GENERAL CARE: Moderately challenging
SOIL: Well-draining, loamy or peat-based, neutral to acidic soil
LIGHT: Bright, indirect sunlight to partial shade
TEMP & HUMIDITY: 65°F to 75°F (avoid cold drafts) and moderate to high humidity
WATERING: Water when the top of the soil feels dry. Saturate soil completely, but allow excess water to drain completely.
FEEDING: Do not fertilize while blooming. Spring and summer only, feed a balanced, 1/2 strength fertilizer monthly.
GROWTH: Up to 10-feet tall and 7-feet wide
TOXICITY: Mildly toxic to pets. Non-toxic to humans, but ingestion can cause stomach upset.

7. Red Moon Cactus (Gymnocalycium mihanovichii)

Red Moon Cactus (Gymnocalycium mihanovichii)

You’ve likely run into a moon cactus or ruby ball cactus at your local garden center or grocery store flower shop. These attractive cacti are the Frankensteins of the flower department because they’re actually comprised of two plants grafted together: the red-colored portion and the green portion of the cactus. The brightly colored part of the plant could not survive on its own because it has mutated to lack chlorophyll, which eliminates all green cells and reveals its bright color.

GENERAL CARE: Low-maintenance and easy to grow
SOIL: Bright, direct sunlight
LIGHT: Nutrient-rich, fast-draining cactus potting mix with a low pH
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Winter temperatures shouldn’t drop below 50°F or 60°F. Tolerates high heat in spring and summer. Prefers low humidity.
WATERING: Spring and summer, water frequently (daily outdoors or every few days indoors). Always allow excess water to drain completely. Watering in winter is not necessary. Mist occasionally, instead.
FEEDING: Feed monthly spring to fall with a fertilizer formulated for cacti.
GROWTH: Usually remains under a foot tall. Size depends on root growth.
TOXICITY: Non-toxic to people and pets

8. Crown of Thorns Plant (Euphorbia milii)

Crown of Thorns Plant (Euphorbia milii)

Euphorbia milii is commonly called the Christ plant or crown of thorns plant because its older growth stems are covered in sharp, spiky thorns that resemble depictions of the crown of thorns Christ has been artistically depicted wearing. This succulent plant is native to Madagascar and is admired for its attractively colorful bracts which surround its much-smaller blossoms. These bracts are typically bright-red or pink in color and are less often colored white.

GENERAL CARE: Low-maintenance
SOIL: Well-draining, gritty or rocky soil mix
LIGHT: Full sun
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Prefers low humidity and warm temperatures but can tolerate temperatures down to 55°F
WATERING: Drought tolerant. Keep root ball regularly moistened in summer by watering when the top inch or two of soil has dried. Water less-frequently in fall and winter. Always allow excess moisture to drain.
FEEDING: Spring and summer only, feed weekly with a water-soluble fertilizer.
GROWTH: 3 to 6-feet tall and 1.5 to 3-feet wide
TOXICITY: Toxic to people and pets

9. Bromeliads

Bromeliads

We’ve already mentioned one species of bromeliad (the flaming sword), but Bromeliaceae is actually a family of plants that contains thousands of species of bromeliads. One of the most popular is the pineapple! Many bromeliads also produce a central inflorescence in bright-red, red-orange, and other shades of the fiery hue. Some bromeliads even have reddish or maroon-colored foliage, and that’s why the plant family is on this list.

GENERAL CARE: Easy to grow
SOIL: Fast-draining, acidic potting soil with a pH ranging from 5 to 6
LIGHT: Bright, indirect sunlight
TEMP & HUMIDITY: 55°F to 80°F and humidity between 40% and 60%
WATERING: Water weekly in spring and summer and keep the central rosette watered in especially dry conditions. Reduce watering in winter.
FEEDING: During the growing season only, apply a liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength monthly.
GROWTH: The largest species of bromeliad reaches about 13 feet in height. Most species grown as houseplants will reach about 1.5 feet at the tallest.
TOXICITY: Non-toxic to pets and people

10. Red Asian Coral Phalaenopsis Orchid (Phalaenopsis red coral)

Red Asian Coral Phalaenopsis Orchid (Phalaenopsis red coral)

Red Asian coral phalaenopsis (also called red coral or red Asian phalaenopsis) is one among many species of phalaenopsis or moth orchids. This particular orchid’s blossoms feature a dusty hue of coral-red tinged by a cool reddish-purple. The red Asian coral phalaenopsis is actually a hybrid of two species of orchids, the Phalaenopsis buyssoniana and the Phalaenopsis doris.

GENERAL CARE: Delicate, but low-maintenance
SOIL: Well-draining, moist potting medium containing mostly bark
LIGHT: Bright shade or filtered sunlight. No direct light.
TEMP & HUMIDITY: 65°F to 70°F and moderate to high humidity that rises with the temperature
WATERING: Spring and summer, water weekly, keeping the potting medium moist. During the flowering season (winter), reduce watering. Never let the plant sit in standing water.
FEEDING: Spring and summer, fertilize weekly with diluted or weak orchid fertilizer.
GROWTH: Grows to about 2-feet tall
TOXICITY: Non-toxic to people and pets

11. Red Elephant Ear (Caladium)

Red Elephant Ear (Caladium)

Elephant ear is the common name given to plants belonging to the Caladium genus because they produce large, broad, heart-shaped leaves that resemble an elephant’s ears. There are thousands of varieties of elephant ear plants, and many of them produce striking red-colored stalks, pure-red foliage, and even bi-colored leaves of red and green.

GENERAL CARE: Moderately difficult to cultivate indoors (but worth the effort!)
SOIL: Rich, well-draining potting mix.
LIGHT: Medium-bright light with protection from the midday sun
TEMP & HUMIDITY: At least 65°F and high humidity
WATERING: Spring and summer (when foliage is growing), water regularly to keep soil evenly moist. Mist regularly and add a humidity tray to the base of the plant. During the winter, trim back foliage and stop watering until the growing season resumes.
FEEDING: Spring and summer only, feed a balanced fertilizer monthly.
GROWTH: Mature plants reach about 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide
TOXICITY: Toxic to pets and people

12. Coleus (Coleus scutellarioides)

Coleus (Coleus scutellarioides)

If you enjoy pops of color, then you’ll love coleus plants. While there are several species, the ones with the showiest colors and patterns are cultivars of Coleus scutellarioides. The colors and markings on these leafy beauties truly stand out with the most vibrant coleus leaves featuring a center of saturated, bright-red or magenta surrounded by deep maroon and rimmed in neon-green. Plus, the colors last throughout the year!

GENERAL CARE: Moderate maintenance requirements but easy to grow
SOIL: Choose a neutral to slightly acidic (pH 6 to 7), rich and loose potting soil that will stay moist.
LIGHT: Partial to full shade. No direct sunlight.
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Prefers high humidity and temperatures of at least 70°F. Keep away from cool drafts and dry heat vents.
WATERING: Prefers evenly moist – never soggy – soil. Indoors, water once or twice a week and more frequently in warm or dry environments.
FEEDING: Provide a well-balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks.
GROWTH: Can reach up to 3-feet tall and wide
TOXICITY: Toxic to people and pets

13. Bloodleaf Plants (Iresine)

Bloodleaf Plants (Iresine)

Iresine is a genus of flowering plants that contains about 30 species. Also called bloodleaf plants, beefsteak plants, and chicken gizzard plants likely due to their bright colors and unusual leaf markings. Every part of an iresine plant is so vibrantly colored that it almost looks spray-painted. Different species’ colors range from vibrant violets and pinks that look like they would glow under a black light to deep ruby and blood-red.

GENERAL CARE: Moderate care needed
SOIL: Slightly acidic (5.6 to 5.9) loamy soil
LIGHT: Partial sun to partial shade
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Prefer warm, humid indoor environment. Place near a bathroom or in a window away from cold drafts. Expose to temperatures no lower than 50°F.
WATERING: Keep the soil constantly moist without allowing the plant to sit in standing water. Water weekly in spring and summer and less frequently during winter.
FEEDING: Spring and summer feed weekly with a liquid fertilizer that is high in nitrogen.
GROWTH: 12 to 18-inches tall at indoor maturity
TOXICITY: Non-toxic to pets and people

14. Kalanchoe (Kalanchoideae)

Kalanchoe (Kalanchoideae)

About 125 species of these flowering tropical succulent plants grow natively in Madagascar and tropical parts of Africa. They feature broad, waxy, paddle-shaped leaves and bloom year-round with clusters of miniature flower blossoms in shades of red (of course), pink, orange, yellow, and white. Fun fact: kalanchoe was one of the first plants ever sent to space.

GENERAL CARE: Low-maintenance and easy to care for
SOIL: Well-draining, acidic soil (50% cactus potting mix and 50% potting soil)
LIGHT: Full sunlight to partial shade
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Not too picky! Comfortable between 50°F to 80°F and thrives in just about any level of humidity
WATERING: This plant is drought-tolerant. Saturate soil completely every couple of weeks and allow excess water to drain.
FEEDING: Spring and summer, feed once a month with a well-balanced fertilizer. To encourage blooms, choose a fertilizer that contains potassium.
GROWTH: 1 to 1.5 feet tall and wide at maturity
TOXICITY: Non-toxic to people. Toxic to pets.

15. Red Begonia (Begonia)

Red Begonia (Begonia)

The Begonia genus contains about 1,800 species of perennial flowering plants that produce some pretty-impressive showy blossoms that outshine their attractive, deep-green foliage. Begonia flowers grow in many shades of yellow, orange, pink, white, and red. If you’re looking to grow the prettiest varieties of red begonias look for hybrids and cultivars of the Begonia semperflorens.

GENERAL CARE: Easy to grow
SOIL: Well-draining, fertile potting mix (try a soilless potting mix)
LIGHT: Filtered sunlight to partial shade (no full sun)
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Average household temperatures and moderate to high humidity
WATERING: Prone to overwatering. Only water when the soil has dried completely.
FEEDING: Monthly, apply a balanced, liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength
GROWTH: 1 to 1.5 feet tall at maturity
TOXICITY: Toxic to people and pets

16. Triostar Stromanthe (Stromanthe sanguinea)

Triostar Stromanthe (Stromanthe sanguinea)

The triostar is no ordinary green houseplant. While it’s not recommended for beginner green thumbs, its beauty is truly worth the effort of giving this plant everything it needs to look its best. Like the tristar’s similar-looking cousins, calathea plants, triostars belong to the prayer plant family (Marantaceae), and its leaves fold upward at night and outward at sunrise. However, this plant is most loved for its beautiful leaf patterns that feature bright-green variegated with creamy splashes that glow pink with red-colored leaf undersides.

GENERAL CARE: Fairly high-maintenance
SOIL: Well-draining, light soil with a pH ranging from 6 to 8
LIGHT: Partial or filtered sunlight
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Temperatures between 65°F and 80°F and high humidity. (The bathroom window is an ideal location.)
WATERING: Soil should be kept moderately moist at all times without becoming soggy or water-logged. In spring and summer, water when the top inch of soil dries and a little less frequently in the winter. The triostar is sensitive to the minerals in well water and the chemicals in city water, use distilled or filtered water at room temperature only.
FEEDING: In spring and summer, feed with a 1/2 strength, water-soluble fertilizer every two to three weeks.
GROWTH: Mature plants reach 2 to 3 feet in height
TOXICITY: Non-toxic to pets and people

17. African Violets (Streptocarpus sect. Saintpaulia)

African Violets (Streptocarpus sect. Saintpaulia)

African violets are a favorite of plant enthusiasts and houseplant collectors everywhere. They’re relatively easy to grow once you get the hang of it, and there are countless cultivars and hybrids available, offering endless variety and beauty. While purple, pink, and white varieties are popular, red African violets, like the Visavi and Vega African violets, are absolutely stunning.

GENERAL CARE: Low-maintenance (especially in self-watering or bottom-watering containers)
SOIL: Light, well-draining soil is best. Look for an African violet potting mix.
LIGHT: Bright, filtered or indirect sunlight
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Ideal temperature is around 70°F with moderate to high humidity
WATERING: Prefers moist but never soggy soil, as they are highly prone to root rot. Water from the bottom or stick watering can spout into the soil to water directly into the soil. Avoid splashing water on the leaves or allowing the plant to sit in standing water.
FEEDING: Use a fertilizer formulated for African violets twice a month.
GROWTH: Mature plants usually grow no larger than 16 inches across
TOXICITY: Non-toxic to people and pets

18. Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)

Hippeastrum is a genus containing about 90 species and more than 600 hybrids/cultivars of flowering bulbous plants. This genus is classified under the Amaryllidoideae plant family and its members are often sold and referred to as Amaryllis flowers. However, Amaryllis is a separate genus of flowers. In addition to Amaryllis, hippeastrums are also commonly called Christmas roses, fire lilies, and Barbados lilies. Despite the confusion around naming conventions, hippeastrum flowers are lovely to grow and can commonly be found around the holidays in lovely forced bulb vases.

GENERAL CARE: Easy to grow. Requires some know-how to force the bulbs.
SOIL: Well-draining soil
LIGHT: Partial shade
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Never below 50°F and average humidity
WATERING: Water when the top half of the soil is dry, keeping the soil constantly moist but never soggy. After bloom is spent, stop reduce watering during dormancy and resume after a couple of months to encourage regrowth.
FEEDING: Apply slow-release fertilizer at planting and bulb fertilizer once or twice a month during the growing season.
GROWTH: Mature plants reach between 1 to 3 feet tall.
TOXICITY: Toxic to pets and people

19. Persian Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)

Persian Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)

Persian cyclamen is a species of flowering perennial native to Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Southern Turkey in addition to particular regions of Northern Africa and a few Greek islands. This lovely plant starts blooming in autumn and doesn’t stop until late spring. It has shooting-star-shaped flowers and a rosette of pretty, heart-shaped leaves.

GENERAL CARE: Easy to grow in the right conditions (dormant plants look dead)
SOIL: Well-draining, loamy, and acidic soil
LIGHT: Bright, filtered, or indirect sunlight
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Temperatures between 60°F and 70°F and high humidity
WATERING: Keep soil evenly moist during the growing period (fall to spring) by watering when the top inch or two of the soil is dry. Water the soil directly, being careful not to wet leaves. Water infrequently during dormancy to prevent the soil from drying completely.
FEEDING: During winter, fertilize with a diluted, low-nitrogen fertilizer twice a month.
GROWTH: Mature plants reach 6 to 9 inches in height
TOXICITY: Toxic to people and pets

20. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

Thought to bring good luck, Aglaonema (commonly called Chinese evergreens) a group of perennial flowering plants widely recognized for their attractive foliage. The foliage and stalks of different varietals feature silver, white, or red washes and markings. Mature plants flower and produce red berries.

GENERAL CARE: Low maintenance
SOIL: Well-draining, acidic soil mix
LIGHT: Variegated varieties prefer bright, indirect or filtered sunlight. Do not expose to direct sunlight.
TEMP & HUMIDITY: Temperatures above 65°F (avoid cold drafts) and high humidity (mist often or add a humidifier)
WATERING: Water the plant thoroughly and then allow the soil to dry out completely. A water probe can be useful in determining when soil is dry through the seasons.
FEEDING: Once at the beginning and once at the end of the growing season, feed with slow-release fertilizer pellets.
GROWTH: Up to 2 feet tall and wide
TOXICITY: Toxic to pets and people

Select the Best Red Houseplant for Your Home

Before choosing a red plant, consider the plant’s toxicity, if you have pets or small children in your home. Next, evaluate your home’s environmental conditions – average temperature, humidity, and sunlight – to ensure your plant has what it needs to look its best.


Red Houseplants FAQ: 

Red leaves most commonly occur due to a pigment known as anthocyanin. This pigment absorbs light into the cell structure of the foliage causing various shades of the color red to occur.

There are numerous plants that showcase an array of vibrant red colors in their foliage. Some of our favorite red houseplants include Persian Cyclamen, Amaryllis, Red Begonia, Kalanchoe, Red Moon Cactus, Aglaonema, Hibiscus, Anthurium, and Red Congo Philodendron.

Many red houseplants, especially those with red flowers represent love, romance, passion, or fiery feelings like anger

As a general rule, the majority of red house plants prefer bright, indirect light conditions though certain types of plants need greater exposure to direct light sources to truly thrive indoors.


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