Black Houseplants: 19 Plants for Drama and Intrigue!

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A group of black houseplants with pink striped variegation.

If you’re looking to absolutely transform your living space, look no further than black houseplants! But they can be hard to come by- I noticed a decided lack of dark houseplants at my usual local plant sources. So I decided to put together a list of where you can get these lovely specimens for your collection!

Some of the most popular black leaf houseplants include:

  • Burgundy Rubber Plant
  • Aeonium Black Rose
  • Geogenanthus Ciliatus
  • Echeveria Black Prince
  • Alocasia Black Velvet
  • ZZ Plant Raven
  • Purple heart plant

Black leaf houseplants have higher levels of dark pigmentation in their foliage or flowers, which is either naturally occurring or the work of plant breeders. In terms of care, plants with dark foliage are not much different from standard houseplants in their needs for sunlight, water, fertilizer and soil. 

So, are you ready to add some unique flair to your home with eye-catching black indoor plants? We’ve got 19 awesome options to cover, so let’s get started!

RELATED: Indoor plants aren’t just for your home- brighten up your work space space with cheerful office-friendly plants!

1. Burgundy Rubber Plant

A Burgundy rubber houseplant in a woven basket.

Rubber plant, botanical name Ficus elastica, is native to Southeast Asia and is a well-known ornamental houseplant that comes in several shades. The one we’re featuring here is Burgundy, a bold variety with glossy, nearly-black foliage.

Starting out compact, Burgundy rubber plant can grow quite tall, upwards of 6-10 feet. If you’d prefer to keep it on the smaller side, pruning can help reduce its size to your space and your liking. This black indoor plant is also excellent for detoxifying the air in your home.

Tips for Burgundy rubber plant care:

  • Thrives anywhere in low to bright indirect sunlight. Can tolerate some direct sunlight, but make it a gradual transition if yours has been in low light to prevent leaf scorch.
  • Water only when the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry, then soak well. Household humidity should suffice, but occasional misting on dry days is fine.
  • Keep room temperature between 65 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fertilize once per month in the spring and summer with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Rub the leaves with a moist cloth to remove dust or particles to keep them shiny and healthy.

2. Aeonium Black Rose

An aeonium Black Rose succulent in a planting with gray stone pebbles.

Aeonium Black Rose, or Aeonium Arboreum Zwartkop, is actually a succulent that looks like a rose.  Its well-defined petals go from black on the outer petals to deep maroon and bright green in the center.  They’re so uniquely shaped they really draw attention to themselves. 

Tips for Aeonium Black Rose care:

  • These succulents love sunlight, so keep them in your brightest window!
  • Like other succulents, water only when the soil is dry.
  • Provide succulent soil that drains well; I’ve always had good results when planting succulents in Espoma Cactus Mix. Consider adding some perlite from The Valley Garden Store (1 part perlite to 2 parts succulent soil) if you live in a humid region.

3. Geogenanthus Ciliatus

A Geogenanthus Ciliatus plant from Etsy shop Verdant Lyfe.
Verdant Lyfe via Etsy

In terms of black leaf house plants, Geogenanthus ciliatus takes the cake! These decorative black leaf house plants hail from the rainforests of South America. The round, big, dark purple-to-black leaves are truly unique and eye-catching, and the high-gloss finish just adds to the overall look.

But be aware- this is a trendy plant that is highly in demand right now. So while it’s not too hard to find, expect to pay a pretty penny to add a Geogenanthus ciliatus to your collection!

Tips for Geogenanthus ciliatus care:

  • Place your plant in partial shade or soft indirect sunlight.
  • Geogenanthus ciliatus likes to stay a little damp, so water when the top 1-2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch.
  • Prefers high humidity environment, so mist frequently or use a plant humidifier.
  • Grows well between 60 and 70 degrees F.
  • Use potting mix that drains well but retains moisture.
  • Use a balanced fertilizer during the active growing season from spring to end of summer.

4. Echeveria Black Prince

An echeveria Black Prince succulent in a small planter.

Echeveria Black Prince is a magical little plant that changes color based on how much sunlight it receives. From purple to dark green- the more sun exposure, the darker it gets. 

This black succulent only gets up to about 6 inches tall and 8 inches wide, so it’s great for small individual pots or even collections of similar care succulents. 

Tips for Echeveria Black Prince care:

  • Does best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. When it doesn’t receive enough light (at least 5 hours daily), the leaves will lose their nearly-black color.
  • Allow soil to dry out completely before watering again. 
  • Use well-draining succulent or cactus soil; adding perlite is recommended to prevent root rot.

5. Alocasia Black Velvet

An alocasia Black Velvet plant from Etsy shop The Odd Frond.
The Odd Frond via Etsy

For a smaller tropical black indoor plant, there’s the Alocasia Black Velvet, also known as Alocasia reginula. This sweet little gem will max out its growth at about 10 to 15 inches in height, so it’s perfect as a shelf plant and even for terrariums. Its velvety dark leaves are beautiful in contrast with the white veins, a truly striking look in any setting.

This little plant is a bit fussy in terms of its care, so it may not be the best choice if you’re a beginning houseplant lover. But if you’re up for it, the care involved is definitely worth it for these dark houseplants!

Tips for Alocasia Black Velvet care:

  • Prefers bright, indirect light in an east-facing window, but can tolerate low light as well.
  • Requires only infrequent watering, preferably when the soil feels dry. 
  • Thrives in temperatures between 55 and 86 degrees F and higher humidity between 40% to 70%.
  • Definitely not cold hardy- so keep away from windows when it’s cold.
  • Use soil that drains well, like a granular mix with bark and sand, and don’t let it sit in water in a drainage saucer.
  • Fertilizer is not required for this slow growing plant that is happier when slightly root bound.

RELATED: Not all houseplants like lots of light- find out which plants to put by a north window!

6. ZZ Plant Raven

You’ve probably seen the original ZZ plants in doctor’s offices, malls and shopping centers as they’re easy to grow and low-maintenance. The ZZ plant Raven is very similar to the favorite classic, only with the deepest purple to black leaves you’ve ever seen! 

These-slow growing black indoor plants are perfect for beginners or anyone who loves a dramatic, low-needs houseplant. 

Tips for ZZ Plant Raven care:

  • Tolerates most levels of light, but avoid direct sunlight.
  • Water when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry, and only about once every two weeks. Tolerates typical indoor humidity levels well.
  • Thrives in daytime temperatures 75-80 degrees F and nighttime temperatures 60-65 degrees F.  Protect from anything lower than 55oF and sudden temperature drops.
  • Soil mix should be a succulent mix or good quality houseplant soil mixed with perlite and sand to improve drainage. 
  • During spring and summer, fertilize using a water-soluble balanced fertilizer about every two weeks.

7. Purple Heart Plant

A tradescantia padilla with a delicate purple blossom.

This lovely plant’s botanical name is Tradescantia pallida, and it’s closely related to the more well-known cousin the Wandering Dude (traditionally called Wandering Jew).

Leaves and stems with a deep purple color appear almost black in the right light. This plant also produces delicate purple flowers with three petals, in the rough shape of a heart, which earned the plant its common name purple heart plant.

Purple heart plant is often used as an outdoor ground cover, but it makes a lovely addition to your dark houseplants collection as well. The leaves can reach a maximum length of over 6 inches, but they’re unlikely to get that large when grown indoors.

Tips for purple heart plant care:

  • Prefers bright light but can tolerate partial shade.
  • Water when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry and don’t allow to sit in a dish of water run-off.
  • Plant in rich, well-draining soil.
  • Fertilize every month with houseplant fertilizer.

8. Philodendron Black Cardinal

If you’re a fan of large leaves and dark house plants, the Philodendron Black Cardinal is right for you.  The younger leaves are deep burgundy and turn near black as they mature. This dark house plant can reach up to 3 ft high and 1.5 ft wide- big yet manageable. 

Tips for Philodendron Black Cardinal care:

  • This philodendron prefers partial shade to maintain the dark leaf colors, and morning or late afternoon sunlight will enhance the burgundy color.
  • Thrives in average household temperature and humidity.
  • Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering. 
  • Plant in well-draining organically rich soil, like an African violet mix or soil mixed with perlite, vermiculite, or sphagnum peat moss to ensure aeration and drainage.
  • Use a diluted philodendron fertilizer monthly.

9. Calathea Roseopicta Dottie

A closeup of a calathea Roseopicta Dottie plant.

Calathea Roseopicta Dottie has black, highly variegated leaves in purple or magenta with dark purple undersides. These are some of the boldest colored leaves you’ve ever seen! It grows in a clumping manner, which gives it even more of a dramatic look.

This tropical plant is a little more on the fussy side, but it’s worth it for this little beauty. Caring for Calathea Dottie is very similar to other Calathea types, so if you already have one in your collection they can be kept together.

Tips for Calathea Roseopicta Dottie care:

  • Medium to bright indirect sunlight is best, a few feet from a west or south-facing window for morning or afternoon sunlight.
  • Keep the soil moist, preferably with filtered water  Ensure proper drainage and water once the top inch of soil feels dry, usually about once per week. 
  • Calathea likes increased humidity, so mist regularly or run a humidifier.
  • Use indoor or houseplant soil with coco coir to aid with moisture retention while providing proper aeration.
  • Room temperatures (65-75 degrees F) should be fine for Calathea Dottie, but 70-80 degrees F is preferable.
  • Fertilize once per month in the spring and summer with a general purpose balanced fertilizer.

10. Scindapsus Treubii Dark Form

If you’re looking for black or dark green plants with some true dramatic color, this is the plant for you! 

Also known as Scindapsus Treubii Black, this glossy-leafed indoor plant boasts leaves that are the darkest green to almost black with a unique lance shape. This is a vining plant with a climbing habit, and while it is a slow grower, Scindapsus Treubii Dark Form will eventually reach up to 8 feet long and 3 feet wide.

Tips for Scindapsus Treubii Dark Form care:

  • Does well in bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Allow soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Grows well in household temperature (60 to 80 degrees F) and humidity.
  • Use well-draining, aerated soil for proper drainage. Indoor potting mix with perlite works well for this dark house plant.
  • Fertilize using a balanced fertilizer for indoor plants once or twice per month during the active growing season.

11. Fredclarkeara After Dark Black Pearl

A closeup of a Fredandclarkeara After Dark Black Pearl orchid.

Intrigue plus beauty gives us the Fredclarkeara After Dark Black Pearl orchid. This black indoor plant boasts a bright yellow and maroon center and fragrance to boot! Each stem can grow up to 15 blooms lasting 6 weeks for pure drama.

Created in 2002 as a hybrid of Catasetum Donna Wise and Mormodia Painted Desert, this deciduous orchid turns its leaves yellow and drops them at the end of their growing season.

Tips for Fredclarkeata After Dark Black Pearl care:

  • Prefers bright indirect light but will grow in part shade.
  • Likes regular watering about once per week, but allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. During the dormant season (October to March) watering should be reduced.
  • Loves warm temperatures (between 65 and 72 degrees F)
  • Soil should be a mix of bark with cork, full sphagnum moss, and perlite for optimal moisture and drainage.
  • Fertilize only during the active growing and blooming season with an orchid fertilizer.

12. Black Begonias

There are a few varieties of begonia that have black leaves, including these:

  • Black Truffle (pictured above)
  • Black Mamba
  • Begonia Festive Starry Night
  • Begonia Midnight

This dramatic compact evergreen plant has beautiful black, crinkly round leaves with dramatic spikes and scalloped edges. Begonias typically have a mounded growth habit and reach up to 10 inches tall by 12 inches wide.

If given the right care, some black begonias will even produce delicate blossoms. And it’s also easy to propagate more begonia plants from rhizome or stem cuttings as well as leaf and seed.

Tips for black begonia care:

  • Likes dappled sun to full or dark shade.
  • Prefers moist soil- water when the top inch of soil feels dry.
  • Use sand or clay loam in potting soil with peat-based compost for best results.
  • Fertilize every two weeks during the active growing season with a balanced fertilizer.

13. Anthurium Black Love

A closeup of an anthurium Black Love plant.

Black Love is a hybrid that originates from the well-known red Anthurium- you’ve probably seen them numerous times at big-box stores and greenhouses. This plant’s most striking feature is the black to dark-green, heart-shaped blossoms, and it’s perfect for giving your home a tropical feel.

Originating from Holland, this is a compact plant that can reach up to 16 inches tall. It blooms intermittently, and its black spathes with green and pale yellow stamens resemble the blooms of a peace lily. 

Tips for Anthurium Black Love care:

  • Loves indirect bright light, will grow well in an east or west facing window.
  • Light watering is required, and is very drought tolerant. Prefers high humidity and regular misting.
  • Maintain temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees F- it is not frost-hardy.
  • Mix 1 part potting soil with 1 part orchid soil or perlite for well-draining soil.
  • Use a diluted fertilizer one time each in spring and summer to encourage flowering.

14. Black Magic Elephant Ear (Taro)

A closeup of Black Magic elephant ear (taro) plants.

If you’re looking for large, dramatic dark house plants, look no further than Black Magic Elephant Ear.  Also known as Colocasia esculenta, these heart-shaped, dark purple to almost black leaves are true show-stoppers. 

At maturity, each dark leaf can reach 2 feet in length! Reaching up to 6 feet in height, this dark house plant does great in containers indoors or outdoors in warm weather, and it grows moderately fast.

Tips for Black Magic Elephant Ear care:

  • Give this large plant plenty of space to grow!
  • Partial to full shade is best to maintain leaf color.
  • Likes moist to wet soil but does have some tolerance to drought. 
  • Use a balanced fertilizer once in spring and once in late summer for healthy growth.

15. Peperomia Caperata Burgundy Ripple

A closeup of a peperomia caperata Burgundy Ripple plant.

Also known as Peperomia Caperata, this perennial is native to Brazil and is a great low-maintenance dark house plant. 

The Burgundy Ripple’s leaves are dramatically purple to dark red, heart-shaped, and rippled. They look beautiful with their mounding growth and would make quite a statement in any small spots like shelves or desks. They can grow up to 18 inches tall and 36 inches wide and are easy to care for.

Tips for Peperomia Burgundy Ripple care:

  • Tolerates low to bright indirect light, I suggest a north or east-facing window; avoid direct sunlight.
  • Prefers higher humidity levels, which can be achieved using a gravel tray half filled with water.
  • Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again and ensure proper drainage. Avoid watering leaves.
  • Use peat-based soil or succulent soil.
  • Use a diluted, balanced fertilizer only during the active growing season (March-September).

16. Sinocrassula Yunnanensis

A Sinocrassula Yunnanensis from Etsy shop Walawala Studio.
Walawala Plants via Etsy

Sinocrassula Yunnanensis is a slow-growing, rare succulent that adds incredible visual interest to any living space. Its leaves are about as close to jet-black as you’ll find on a plant, and the clumping, spiky growth pattern looks almost otherworldly.

Only reaching a max size of about 2-3 inches tall, this little plant fits in literally any space. If you get your hands on one of these, you’ll have a real black leaf houseplant treasure!

Tips for Sinocrassula Yunnanensis care:

  • Requires full sun for the most vibrant color.
  • Water when the soil is dry throughout, only about 2-3 times monthly. Do not allow your plant to sit in a dish of water run-off.
  • Thrives in average room temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F and a little cooler at night.
  • Plant in well-draining, gritty soil.

17. Paphiopedilum De Nachtwacht

A Paphiopedilum de Nachtwacht orchid in a terra cotta pot.

These black indoor plants bring the drama in spades with their burgundy to near black flowers and dark, speckled leaves.

As with many orchids, the Paphiopedilum De Nachtwacht has some pretty specific care needs, and it’s not a beginner-friendly plant. For details, The American Orchid Society has provided a lot of great information on Paphiopedilum care.

Tips for Paphiopedilum De Nachtwacht care:

  • Prefers low to medium light, in east or west facing windows.
  • Temperature should be maintained at 68o F
  • Water once or twice per week to keep soil moist but not soggy.
  • Humidity should be maintained between 40-50% by placing the pot on a gravel tray half-filled with water in dry environments.
  • Use orchid-specific soil with fir bark and perlite, sand, or sphagnum moss to provide drainage as well as moisture retention.
  • Fertilize with a high nitrogen fertilizer (30-10-10 is recommended) about every two weeks.

18. Black Hens and Chicks

A terra cotta pot of black hens and chicks plants.

This perennial succulent can be grown indoors or out and can really make a statement in groupings.  While it’s not actually black, its bright green foliage with purple tips is still a spectacular sight in containers or gardens. 

This dark house plant is a slow grower and will reach up to 6 inches tall, spreading with offsets up to 8 inches wide. Bonus-it grows small, spiky white flowers in the summer for a gorgeous pop of color.

Tips for black hens and chicks care:

  • Thrives in full sun and needs 6+ hours daily direct sunlight.
  • Water when soil feels dry throughout the pot.
  • Requires well-draining soil with sand or gravel.
  • Use a balanced all-purpose fertilizer a couple of times per year.

19. Black Coleus

A closeup of deep purple coleus leaves.

Coleus is a vibrant, cheerful dark plant that looks just as stunning in a pot by itself as it does as part of a mixed planting.

There are several varieties of Coleus that are dark or black plants, including:

  • Black Prince
  • Black Dragon
  • Black Coral
  • Black Star

While coleus does the best when grown outdoors, cuttings root easily and you can keep them as a houseplant for several months at a time. It’s also a great strategy to overwinter cuttings so you have healthy coleus plants ready to go outdoors in the spring!

Tips for coleus care:

  • Thrives in shade as well as part sun.
  • Prefers moist soil, so water regularly and ensure good drainage.
  • Fertilize once per month during the active growth season and when transplanting.

Frequently Asked Questions about Black Houseplants

Black plants require sun, water, fertilizer and soil just like any other houseplants. Some black leaf houseplants, like purple heart flower, require bright light to maintain their lovely dark color, but most are tolerant of lower light conditions.

Check the care requirements for the individual plant you’re interested in, and as long as you meet them, you’ll have happy black indoor plants!

Yes! There are several plants that produce dramatic black blossoms, including these:

  • Petunia Black Velvet
  • Hollyhock Nigra
  • Viola Blackout
  • Pansy Black Beauty
  • Tulip Queen of Night
  • Iris Before the Storm
  • Columbine Black Barlow

Flowering plants typically need lots of sunshine to bloom, and they usually don’t produce their best showing when grown indoors. But most of these black-bloomed flowers are perfect for growing in containers, so you can have them on a deck or patio and enjoy them from your window.

Final Thoughts

Plants belong in your home for several reasons- they boost your mood, reduce stress and add color and detoxifying properties to living and work spaces. Besides all that, black houseplants really add a dramatic flair wherever they are placed. 

Even though they look a little different from their green relatives, their care is very similar. With so many to choose from, you might just have to start a collection!  We hope you find just the right dark house plants for your home or office. 

We’d love to hear from you! Are there any black houseplants that you’d add to the list, or do you have any more questions? We learn best as a community, so please share your thoughts in the comments!

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