Add color with purple leafy plants
When people want color in their patio gardens, they should consider colorful foliage, not just flowers. I use a number of purple leaf plants on my Florida porch and they add a pop of color.
With foliage plants, you get color all season long, not just during a short flowering period. Too many flowers bloom and then remain an indescribable green spot. I will share with you the plants that brighten up my Florida plantings year round. If you live somewhere with snow, you can still enjoy these plants in the spring, summer and fall.
Add a cheerful color to your potted plantings with plants with purple foliage. Here are tips for those easy-to-grow plants that make great accents or showcase plants for the patio or yard.
Moses in the cradle
Cultivation tips for the Moses plant (also called Rhoeo)
Do you use purple plants?
Shamrocks can be purple too!
Growing tips for Shamrock plants
Although their 3-part leaves are the main attraction, shamrocks bloom too. Green clovers have a delicate white flower and purple clovers have a light lavender flower.
- Don’t let them dry too much.
- They grow well in full sun. In Florida, mine grow year round.
- Don’t worry if they die for a while. They are just resting and will come back strong.
- They are easy to divide. Dig up the small tubers that are their roots. A large bunch of clovers will have a lot of them. Each can be placed in the earth in a peat pot. Water regularly and in a very short time you will have new plants. I surprise my neighbors with one on their doorstep every St. Patrick’s Day.
Purple plants look great with pink
Tradescantia or wandering Jewish plant
There are a number of plants in the genus Tradescantia that people call a “wandering Jew”. The one I knew by that name was a creeper with a silvery green with a purple stripe on the surface but all purple below. The one in the image above is Tradescantia zebrina because of the stripes.
Since the name may be based on an anti-Semitic legend, I try to practice calling it by its official name.
I took home a free piece of it and cut one that was going wild outside a nursery. Make sure you have multiple joints where the sheets attach. Some will even have roots forming already. Remove the leaves from the part that will be in the dirt.
Put it in a potting soil in a peat pot and don’t let it dry out. You can also put it directly in the ground or in your container where it should grow.
Mix and match purple plants with other colors
I use them with plants with yellow flowers for a little pizzazz. They look great with white or pink flowers too. I also plant them around the base of larger green leafy plants like a Robelinni.
Purple Coleus grows well
Persian passion looks great in clumps
This content is accurate and faithful to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not intended to be a substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Virginie Allain
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