Are you in search of plants that can create dazzling outdoors? Have a look at these beautiful foliage plants that are often overlooked. 

These plants with gorgeous foliages will complement your flowering plants beautifully. They will blend with your flower blossoms, creating a dazzling color combination in your outdoors.  

The proper selection of plants has a significant impact on the looks of your garden or outdoors. 

Blossoms come and go, the foliage remains forever. The kind of extraordinary beauty they bring to the garden area is unmatchable. 

So, without compromising the visual interest, why not choose these durable foliage plants. 

Here are some foliage plants that will undoubtedly add bold shapes, refined textures, variegated patterns, beautiful character, and vibrant color combinations to your outdoors. 

Just have a look at these beauties. These stunning leaf plants will thrive in a wide range of garden settings, bringing color and interest to any landscape.

As soon as you finish, you will want them to be your outdoorLet’st’s begin,

1. Artemisia

Scientific NameArtemisia vulgaris
FamilyAsteraceae
ColorGreen on top and white beneath
Suitable LocalityEurope and Asia
Artemisia
Mugwort | Scientific Name: Artemisia Vulgaris | Picture Credit: Jefferey Robb

Artemisia is one of the most popular garden foliage plants. This plant from the daisy family has very insignificant flowers, but its leaves are quite charming. 

The silvery-gray leaves arranged in alternate patterns add dazzling patterns to the garden.

In the presence of little light, they lit up the surroundings. The attractive foliage of mugwort beautifully complements the outdoors and landscapes. 

2. Caladium

Scientific NameCaladium
FamilyAraceae
ColorMulticolor (Pink, Red, Green, etc.)
Suitable LocalitySouth America and Central America
Caladium
Caladium| Scientific Name: Caladium | Picture Credit: Bishnu Sarangi

Caladiums are delightful plants that increase the beauty and interest of any garden or landscape. They add a  unique charm to the garden and are also known as angel wings.

The leaves have striking color combinations of green, white and red patches in their heart-shaped leaves. The unparalleled beauty of caladium foliage makes the outdoors showy.

3. Canna

Scientific NameCanna indica
FamilyCannaceae
ColorPale-yellow, to orange, to blood-red, and all shades in between (salmon, apricot, and pink)
Suitable LocalitySouth America: Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Also in West Indies and Central America.
Canna
Canna | Scientific Name: Canna | Picture Credit: Fox Travell

Canna has stunning vibrant flowers blossoms. The large lavish banana-like foliage leaves add extra beauty to the plant. 

Thplants’nts’ broad, flat, alternating leaves grow in a long, narrow roll from the stem and then unroll. 

Although most cultivars have pure green leaves, others feature glaucous, brownish, maroon, or even variegated foliage.

The beautiful golden yellow flowers are adored for the dazzling color combination. Even without the flowers, the foliage of canna offers graceful greenery to the outdoors of a garden area. 

This foliage plant is the best choice for every gardener or beginner. It requires minimal attention but performs very well for your garden.

4. Coleus

Scientific NameColeus
FamilyLamiaceae
ColorGreen, brown, pink
Suitable LocalitySoutheast Asia and Australia
Coleus
Coleus | Scientific Name: Plectranthus scutellarioides | Picture Credit: Daniele Davis

Coleus is a bright, cheerful plant with a rainbow of colors. They have a stunning combination of green, pink, yellow, purple hues. 

The attractive colored foliage is pleasing to the eyes. This vibrant plant brightens up any of the outdoor corners. 

The leaves of wild species may be variegated, while cultivated varieties’ leaves can be one or more hues of green, white, cream, yellow, pink, crimson, maroon, and dark purple. 

The concentration of chlorophyll in the chloroplasts of the leaves gives them their green color. 

Anthocyanins are responsible for the red, purple, pink, and orange colors. Chlorophyll generation decreases as anthocyanin production rises.

These plants are known for their wide variety of vibrantly colored leaves and patterns. They add a magnificent view to any garden. 

Coleus is the plant of choice for any gardener who wishes to have beautiful color combinations and varieties. 

5. Coral Bells

Scientific NameHeuchera
FamilySaxifragaceae
ColorRed, bronze, orange, purple, green, silver, and bi-color 
Suitable LocalityNorth America from Mexico to the Arctic
Coral Bells
Coral Bells | Scientific Name: Heuchera sanguinea  | Picture Credit: Dragana Gordic

Coral bells are a great choice of foliage plants with wide varieties. The flowers are insignificant, but the foliage adds a lovely accent to the garden. 

These plants are happy to mingle with many other foliage plants in the same container. They are beautiful, attractive plants with eye-catchy features.

Anybody who is a great admirer of bright backgrounds will love to have these plants in their garden. 

6. Croton

Scientific NameCodiaeum variegatum
FamilyEuphorbiaceae
ColorGreen variegated with white, pink, orange, red, yellow, or purple
Suitable LocalityMalaysia and the Pacific
Croton
Croton Plant | Scientific Name: Codiaeum variegatum | Picture Credit: Olayola

Crotons are the plants with some of the brightest and boldest foliage. These plants are marked with vivid green, red, yellow, orange colors and have variegated foliage and leaf forms.

The flowers are relatively insignificant. But, the vibrant foliage marks the absolute beauty of the plant. The unmatching beauty of Crotons favors any garden to look mesmerizing. 

7. Elephant Ears

Scientific NameColocasia
FamilyAraceae
ColorRich emerald green
Suitable LocalityAsia Pacific Islands, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, and parts of Australia
Elephant Ear Plant
Elephant Ear Plant | Scientific Name: Colocasia esculenta | Picture Credit: Conserve Energy Future

The size and shape of the leaves of this plant complement the name very well. The imposing size of the leaves adds instant sparkle to the garden.

Elephant ears foliage plants can be used for several reasons in the garden. They can be used as backgrounds, ground covers, edgings, etc. 

They add an extra look if kept near a pond or a plant body. They add a beautiful green look to the walkways, patios, and garden area space. 

8. Ferns

Scientific NameTracheophyta
FamilyPolypodiaceae
ColorGreen
Suitable LocalityNorth America and Mexico
Ferns
Fern | Scientific Name: Tracheophyta | Picture Credit: Source

Ferns are lovely in adding beauty and character to the decks, terraces, and outdoors. The bold and gorgeous evergreen foliage of these plants is mesmerizing. 

They create an excellent background for the flowering plants in the garden and outdoors. 

They thrive even in low light conditions and are not much attention seekers. They look beautiful for the woody outdoors, flowerbeds, or borders. 

9. Hostas

Scientific NameHosta
FamilyAsparagaceae
ColorGreen
Suitable LocalityNortheast Asia-China, Japan, Korea, and the Russian Far East
Hostas
Hosta | Scientific Name: Hosta | Picture Credit: Great Garden Plants

These herbaceous perennial plants are grown for their striking foliage. Hostas are attractive, long-lived, and easy-care plants popular for the look of their foliage. 

They are versatile, durable, and offer a variety of forms. The color ranges from apple green to spruce, sunny yellow, bluish-green and grayish-blue. 

The curled-twisted foliage of these plants gives a different look. They retain the best color in moderate shade settings, making a lovely addition to the garden.

10. Lily Turf

Scientific NameLiriope muscari
FamilyAsparagaceae
ColorPurple and Green
Suitable LocalityThe United States of America and coastal areas
Lily Turf
Lily Turf | Scientific Name: Liliope Muscari | Picture Credit: Gardenia Net

This little herbaceous perennial has grass-like evergreen leaves and deep purple blooms that bloom in the fall and yield single-seeded berries on a spike.

It is an invasive species in North America. Lilyturf creates a beautiful contrast of colors with its flowers and foliage. 

The greyish foliage complements the beauty of violet flowers. The flower cluster creates a majestic view in the garden area. 

There are multiple foliages out from a single stem. The plant can be used as a beautiful ground cover. 

11. Pink Muhly grass

Scientific NameMuhlenbergia capillaris
FamilyPoaceae
ColorPink
Suitable LocalityNorth America, Canada
Pink Muhly grass
Ornamental Grass | Scientific Name: Muhlenbergia capillaris| Picture Credit: Evgeniya Vlasova

Pink Muhly grass can add unbeatable beauty and texture to the outdoors and landscapes

The plant with flowers and foliage looks graceful in any landscape. These plants provide shade and beauty to the outdoors of houses, schools, walkways, etc.

Ornamental grass can stand out as the only focal point of any garden. These plants provide subtle greys and green in the background of a colorful garden. 

These are easy maintenance plants that can create a different tone of shades at other times of the day. They have better foliage quality that helps to add beauty to the garden area.

12. Ornamental Kale

Scientific NameBrassica oleracea
FamilyBrassicaceae
ColorGreen, White, Purple, Pink
Suitable LocalityOriginated in East Mediterranean and Asia minor, predominantly grown in California and Georgia
Ornamental Kale
Ornamental Kale | Scientific Name: Brassica olereca | Picture Credit: Flower Garden Photos

Ornamental Kale forms a beautiful pattern of white, pink, purple, and green colors to enhance the beauty of the garden area. 

They perform very well besides minimal care and attention. This multicolor beautiful foliage plant can be grown to add vibrant colors to the outdoors. 

These plants are the best choice to brighten up the place and flower beds. The variety of color this species offer is impressive.

13. Persian Shield

Scientific NameStrobilanthes dyerianus
FamilyAcanthaceae
ColorGreen, Purple
Suitable LocalityMyanmar
Persian Shield
Persian Shield | Scientific Name: Strobilanthes dyerianus | Picture Credit: Gardener’s path

It is an evergreen shrub native to Burma. Persian shield is popularly known for its attractive purple foliage. 

It is also known as the royal purple plant. It is an ornamental plant grown outdoors for the beauty its foliage offer. Its color seems stunning in a garden area and adds a lot of brightness. 

Its foliage exhibits a lot more vibrance than the flowering plants. It is a must-grow plant if your garden area needs attraction. 

14. Rex Begonia

Scientific NameBegonia rex
FamilyBegoniaceae
ColorA mix of green, pink, or burgundy
Suitable LocalitySouth and Central America, Africa, and southern Asia.
Rex Begonia
Rex Begonia | Scientific Name: Begonia rex | Picture Credit: Gardener’s World

Begonia rex, sometimes known as the king begonia, are flowering plants in the Begoniaceae family. 

The large bright-colored leaves of begonias fill the garden area in various shades. Begonias are specially grown for their leaves rather than the flowers. This plant is showy and attractive. 

They brighten up the shady spaces with their vibrant foliage. They are considered best for flower beds, hanging baskets, and garden covers.

The beauty of Begonias is unmatchable as they can add a lot of texture to any outdoors.

15. Sweet Potato Vine

Scientific NameIpomea batata
FamilyConvolvulaceae
ColorGreen, purple, bronze, copper, or black foliage.
Suitable LocalitySouth and Central America, Africa, and southern Asia.
Sweet Potato Vine
Sweet Potato Vine | Scientific Name: Ipomea batata | Picture Credit: Gardening Know-how

Sweet potato vine is loved for adding an accent to the garden. The beauty comes from its foliage. 

Along with the beauty, one can also grow sweet potatoes. It is a gorgeous plant that can be used as a ground cover. 

The heart-shaped green leaves showcase a beautiful display of the outdoors. Be it in the hanging baskets or as the garden cover, this plant never fails to surprise the viewer with its beauty. 

The popularity of sweet potato vine as a garden decor is increasing with time. 

Conclusion

Foliage plants are attractive and colorful because of their intriguing leaves. Such plants can add beauty to a garden and provide shade, color, and cover for various purposes.

We can use foliage for decoration and cover, and it has the advantage of being a long-lasting effect that can outlive shorter-lived flowers and annuals. 

This setting can provide long-term ornamental appeal, longer-term shading or cover, and even food supplies depending on the situation.

When you choose foliage plants, look for color, varied patterns, leaf form, and texture in the leaves. 

Some types change color throughout the year, while others put on a show in the fall. Consider how different plants will look together and how leaves complement other elements like flowers, berries, fruit, and bark.

These 15 foliage plants on our list can create a dazzling outdoor view for your house, schools, market, walkways, possibly anywhere. 

We hope these beautiful foliage plants pleased your eyes. So,  when are you bringing them home? Let us know in the comment section. Happy Gardening!

(Last Updated on February 24, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Suraksha Pal is an Industrial Engineer currently pursuing my master’s degree in Renewable Energy Engineering at the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus. She has a keen interest in Renewable Energy and is passionate about sustainable development. She loves to express her views on these subjects through articles and blogs.