A couple of months ago I was poking around a plant nursery right before they closed for the season, and I spotted a tiny plant with a few neon-purple, fuzzy leaves. I had never seen a plant with such bright purple foliage, but I was intrigued, so I bought it, and it has been on my kitchen windowsill ever since. It looks especially cool when the sunlight shines through its purple leaves.
The guy at the nursery didn’t know what kind of plant it was, other than that it was “related to eggplants,” so for a while I had no idea what it was, but when I was searching for the identity of another mystery plant, I identified this one. It’s a purple passion plant, which brings me to the subject of this post: purple plants! If regular old green leaves aren’t doing it for you, then here are a couple of houseplants that you should know about.
This purple shamrock (Oxalis triangularis) is one of my mom’s plants that I’m taking care of while she’s traveling, but I like it so much that she might not get it back (wouldn’t be the first time that happened with one of her plants, so she knows the risks of my plant babysitting). It’s super pretty, and has adorable little flowers in the spring, but it also has a cool trick that you can see if you scroll down to the next photo…
…at night it folds up its leaves! For something whose relative immobility we usually take for granted, it’s rather impressive how much it moves on a daily basis.
Apparently you can buy purple shamrock bulbs online, but they shouldn’t be too hard to find in plant shops.
Here’s another fuzzy one, but this one has leaves that are green on top, and purple on the underside. It’s a type of Tradescantia pallida (otherwise known as wandering Jew plant) that came with the name “baby bunny ears,” on the tag, because of how soft the leaves are.
Those are the three purple plants that I have right now, but other purple houseplants include oyster plants, coleus, rex begonia, waffle plants, and calathea. Some of those are so pretty that I might have to add to my collection soon.
Do you have any purple houseplants, or other unusual colors?
P.S. Looking for more plant info? Your plants will be happier if you give them a good spring-cleaning!