Iresine, the Plant Species With Red Leaves

Updated on May 1, 2019
IzzyM profile image

Izzy has been an online writer for over nine years. Her articles often focus on planting and gardening exotic plant species.

Iresine herbstii
Iresine herbstii

Iresine, also known as blood leaf, is a beautiful houseplant with deep red stems and leaves. It is native to tropical America and is a member of the family Amaranthaceae.

Facts About Growing Iresine

  • While there are 20-25 species of Iresine, only a handful are grown for ornamental purposes.
  • They require a minimum temperature of 50-60F, and in countries where the temperature drops below this, they should be either grown as houseplants or placed outside for the summer and taken indoors in winter.
  • For those who live in USDA zone 10 or above, it can be planted in the garden where it will grow quite happily as a perennial provided it is given sufficient water. Iresine are very thirsty plants during their growing season. They prefer neutral to acidic soil.
  • In cooler climates, it can be grown as an annual and prefer being positioned in full sun. They will be killed off by frost.
  • When grown as a houseplant, it is better to grow Iresine next to an east or west facing window. They like the light but direct sunshine will make them stretch and grow straggly.

Iresine cuttings (rooted)
Iresine cuttings (rooted)

Iresine Propagation and Care

Cuttings can be taken at any time of the year. Simply nip off a growing shoot and place in water or directly into a compost-filled pot where it will root quite easily so long as the soil is kept moist. This can be ensured by sealing the pot inside a plastic bag to keep the moisture in. Remove from plastic bag when plant shows signs of new growth.

Iresine should have their growing tips regularly pinched out to ensure a more bushy and compact growth. They appreciate being fed with a high nitrogen liquid fertilizer roughly every two to three weeks during their growing season They are very thirsty plants and need to be watered frequently.

flowering Iresine herbstii
flowering Iresine herbstii

Common Types of Iresine

Common types of Iresine grown for ornamental purposes are:

  • Iresine herbstiispear-shaped bronze/red foliage with a red stripe. Alternate names are Beefsteak plant or Chicken Gizzard.
  • Iresine aureoreticulatared stems with yellow striped green oval waxy leaves.
  • Iresine lindeniiscarlet-striped deep red narrow strap-like leaves.
  • Iresine wallisiismaller oval leaves that are bronze on top and dark red underneath.

While they look great in containers on their own, they can be mixed with other ornamental flowers to make a stunning display. Iresine rarely produce flowers, which are small and insignificant as could be expected from a plant with such attractive leaves and stems.

Iresine | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      6 weeks ago

      I love this plant, I have it on my patio and so many people comment on it's rich beautiful red foliage. I am having a problem with something nibbling the leaves, sometimes eating the entire leaves on some of the stems. What can I use on them to prevent this? Love all your info you post. Take Care!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      what pests and?or critters EAT this plant???

    • profile image


      9 years ago



      ya, ok :)

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from UK

      Hi Kimberly :) Still rambling I really need to get a grip girl! Anyway, you take care. Chat when you're feeling better :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago



      so pretty

      but I swear even best efforts my orange thumb can kill a cactus

      I wrote the name down on my smoke pack followed with laughter that I will forget and throw it out with the empty pack when I could have just [and about to] saved the damn hub

      I must have

      I will do everything to not murder it

      If it dies I will keep buying new ones and call mommy, I swear she makes weeds [not pot] flourish

      and just a side note

      um, when the hell did you become miss knowledgeable? snooping about your other hubs embarrassed how long since I visited and assumed you photoshopped that 100 on your avatar

      sorry, I will be exiled, forever

      miss you girl, really do

      off to green thumbs up [I crack myself up]

      and share you throughout the atmosphere!


    • prasetio30 profile image


      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I never know about this plant before. But I thought this is one of the beautiful plants in the world. I learn much from you. Thank you very much. ~prasetio

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from UK

      They have weird shaped leaves as if something has been nibbling on them and making their shape odd. I hope the top piccie especially shows their colors when the sunlight hits them as they are really beautiful.

    • liljen23 profile image

      Jennifer Crowder 

      9 years ago from Shreveport,LA

      Very beautiful flower. Never seen anything like it, great job Izzy for capturing such great pictures.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from UK

      I picked mine up at a sale of work a few years ago and had to spend ages online tracking it down for its name. Glad I'm not alone :)

    • CASE1WORKER profile image


      9 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      gorgeous - now i know what the plant is called

    • Gypsy48 profile image


      9 years ago

      Gorgeous plant.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)