Variegated Houseplants With Lovely Leaves

Small variegated rubber plant in a pot
(Image credit: Ashley-Belle Burns)

Does your living room seem a little blah? Think about adding a variegated rubber plant or other variegated indoor plant. The variegated houseplant is one of the hottest home décor trends with good reason. Variegated plants come in an array of colors and patterns sure to jazz up your interior. Read on to learn about the hottest common variegated houseplants.

Common Variegated Houseplants

The addition of houseplants serves a number of purposes. Even an all green houseplant brings the outdoors into the living space. Plants can add height, drama, depth, and all around interest to an otherwise uninspired living area. Variegated plants take it one step further.

Even the most common variegated houseplants such as Dieffenbachia, Pothos, prayer plant, and snake plant add a “wow” factor when incorporated into your home décor. Recently released cultivars have plant lovers in a tizzy with many varieties commanding high prices as well as demand.

Types of Variegated Indoor Plants

Mother Nature has created dazzling variegations but plant developers have gone even further. Take Monstera for instance. Variegated Monstera plants can range in price from hundreds of dollars to thousands! The reason for the astronomical price tag is due in part to demand but also because the chances of developing a variegated Monstera are around 1 in 100,000!

Variegated Monstera also called “Fruit Salad Plant” may have mottled white and green leaves or leaves that are symmetrically half white and half green or even entire leaves of white. If you can get your gardening gloves on one, they are truly a plant collectors dream.

Monstera isn’t the only show off in the houseplant milieu. Aglaonema, Aluminum plant, and Balfour Aralia all have variegated green foliage. ‘Birkin’ a philodendron cultivar has such beautiful leaves of yellow or white striations that look almost like a painter had his/her brush on the plant.

More commonly grown outdoors, creeping fig also makes a terrific indoor plant with deep green leaves edged in white. The Crinkle Leaf begonia is a short begonia variety grown for its variegation and ridged leaves.

Additional Variegated Plants for the Home

If you want to make more of a splash by introducing brighter hues, try growing Croton with its eye popping foliage of green marked by bright orange, red, and yellow. Cryptanthus is a pink variegated houseplant. A terrestrial bromeliad at home inside, its foliage is a jagged brown and white scalloped with hot pink.

The Dracaena “Florida Beauty” is a rare evergreen hybrid with lobed and paddle-shaped white and green mottled leaves. Kalanchoes are usually grown for their tiny but bright colored blooms but in the case of Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, the thick, paddle-shaped leaves edged in warm jewel tones are the star of the show.

The Inch plant is a trailing spiderwort with deep purple leaves marked by silver stripes. Another Dracaena popular with plant collectors is Dracaena fragrans, which at maturity can reach a height of up to 7 feet (2 m). Milk Confetti is a tiny vining plant with arrowhead shaped leaves of pale green and mottled light pink. The Pilea “Moon Valley” has foliage that is fissured with well defined veining. Nerve or Mosaic plant has leaves much like its name; mosaics of light and dark green with evident veining.

The Peace Lily is an easy care, low water plant excellent for beginners. The variety “Domino” is the version of the plant with variegation of green leaves marbled with white. Philodendrons are extremely popular houseplants, but “Florida Ghost” is the one collectors should look for.

For a bold pop of color you can’t beat Red Aglaonemas with its red to dark pink leaves accented by surrounding green foliage.

There are so many other options of variegated houseplants including Rattlesnake plant, Red Spot, Royal Variegated Banana, Silver Urn plant, Speckled Japanese Aralia, the common Spider plant, Sanna tradescantia, and the amazing Swallowtail plant with foliage that looks exactly like butterflies taking wing.

White Fusion, Weeping Fig, Watermelon Peperomia, variegated African violet, the variegated rubber plant “Tineke,” Swiss cheese plant, and the Stromanthe “Triostar” are also excellent variegated specimens to add to the plant lover’s collection.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.