Plants with Colorful Leaves

Alternanthera Partytime

This plant is a beauty and has an unusual name Alternanthera Partytime.  It has bright pink and green leaves.   It loves the shade which is a bonus in the front of my house because of the trees.  It can tolerate morning sun and afternoon shade and grows up to 18 inches tall (see below).  Since it is a tropical plant, it is an annual in my area (Zone 5).   If you live in a warm area, you will be growing it as a perennial.

Alternanthera Partytime

There are other versions of this plant which are also grown for their colorful leaves.  Other varieties have burgundy, red, yellow or bright green leaves.  I hear that you can take cuttings before the first frost and grow them in a sunny window until spring.  I may give that a try.



Kong Red Coleus


Another colorful shade loving plant is coleus which comes in many varieties.  This year I planted a Kong Red Coleus that has very large dark burgundy leaves with bright red veins and bright green edgings.    This type of coleus can grow up to 22 inches.  Coleus comes in different sizes from small to large and all kinds of bright colors.  You can grow them easily from seed or buy starter plants at a nursery.

Kong Red Coleus

I put these two plants as centerpieces in two of my planter boxes in the front of my house that are in the shade close to my trees.  Next to the Partytime plant, I put snapdragons which was a good choice.  Next to the coleus, I put small pink zinnias which was not a good choice.  The coleus took over and the zinnia did not like all of the shade.

I think next spring I will plant both in the ground under the trees to give the shaded area some color too.

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