10 Types of Dark Green Plants

Most plants on the earth’s surface have green color because they absorb yellow and green light from the sun. However, there are a few exceptions that include the dark green plants that absorb all the colors in the electromagnetic spectrum and appear dark greenish-to-black.

While some dark green plants grow naturally, there are some that you can grow as statement plants in your garden. They may be annual or perennial. 

What Plants Are Dark Green?

Most plants are dark green due to the presence of nitrogen. Nitrogen is essential for any growth that is above the ground. The dark green plants contain chlorophyll B, which can absorb light from all wavelengths. Other factors contributing to the dark green color in plant leaves include environmental factors like sunlight. Here are some exmaples of dark green plants.

  • California Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica)
  • Blue Mountain Lilac (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Skylark)
  • California Gray Rush (Juncus patens)
  • Dwarf Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’)
  • Dwarf Yedda Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis umbellata ‘Minor’)
  • Grandiflora Rose ‘Strike It Rich’ (Rosa hybrid ‘Strike It Rich’)
  • Grevillea Molonglo (Grevillea juniperina Molonglo)
  • Red Mirror Plant (Coprosma ‘Roy’s Red’)
  • Rose orange climber (Rosa hybrid)
  • Red climbing rose (Rosa ‘Santana’)

Which Trees Are Dark Green in Color?

The green color in nature evokes various emotions. The green, forest environment is naturally calming, tranquil, harmonious, and stimulates feelings of safety. Green is the most balanced color and has a stabilisating influence on humanity. Green trees range in shades of light to dark green.

These are some of the dark green trees and their favorable growing conditions. Having green plants in your surrounding is refreshing and relaxing regardless of the shade.

Portuguese Cherry LaurelPrunus lusitanicaThe Portuguese Cherry Laurel is a shrub or tree that grows 6 to 9 meters tall and spreads up to 3 to 4.5 meters. It grows in all soil types as long as it is moist and well-drained with neutral, acidic, or alkaline Ph. It prefers partial to full sun exposure. Its blooming season is spring al through summer, fall to winter. 
Bay treeLaurus nobilisA bay tree can grow up to 12 meters tall, and the bay shrub can spread up to 12 meters. It tolerates all soil types as long as it is well-drained and has acidic, alkaline, or neutral Ph. It requires partial to full sun to thrive. It is tolerant of salty conditions and blooms throughout summer, fall, and winter from early spring. It’s also called bay laurel, poet’s laurel, sweet bay, or royal bay.
Strawberry treearbutus unedoThe strawberry tree grows in moist, well-drained soil and can thrive in full sun exposure or partial shade. It starts to bloom in October, but it can prolong to January with favorable conditions. It is a coastal plant but can still grow in inland.  
The English boxwoodBuxus sempervirensThe English boxwood is a shrub that grows 8 feet tall in well-drained loamy soil with neutral to alkaline Ph. The English boxwood thrives in partial shade to full sun exposure. It produces green or yellow blossoms in spring. 
Elephant’s EarColocasia esculentaAn elephant’s ears is an aquatic perennial plant that grows 90 to 180 cm in height and spread. It thrives in moist, poorly-drained, or well-drained clay, sandy, or loamy soil with acidic or neutral Ph. It requires partial sun to bloom, and the bloom season is early spring throughout summer, fall, and winter. 

Infographic: Which trees are dark green in color?

10 Types of drak green plants
Infographic: Which trees are dark green in color?

Do Darker Plants Need Less Light?

Dark green plants need less light to thrive than light green ones. Every indoor gardener struggles with the low-light conditions and the plants to grow. Dark green plants benefit from chlorophyll B, which other plants lack. Light is essential for photosynthesis, in which plants manufacture their food. 

In shade or low-light areas, plants with only chlorophyll A cannot absorb sunlight to use in photosynthesis. Dark green plants with chlorophyll B in their chloroplast can absorb a larger wavelength of light from the electromagnetic spectrum.

The chlorophyll B then transfers the excess energy it absorbs to chlorophyll A for photosynthesis. That is why dark green plants are the best option for indoor gardening. 

10 Types of Dark Green Plants

Various types of plants flaunt rich chlorophyll B in their chloroplast and dark green color. Some of them adorn the environment naturally, while others are garden plants that you can grow indoors or in your garden spot that receives inadequate sunlight. Take a look at some of these fantastic plants. 

1.     Bush Anemone (Carpenteria californica)

Plants with dark green leaves
1. Bush Anemone

Bush anemone is a native plant of the United States, California that grows up to 120cm to 240 cm tall, spreads up to 120cm to 240 cm, and produces conspicuous white flowers. It grows well in tough conditions. It is tolerant to deer and drought and requires little water to thrive.

  • Moist, well-drained loamy, clay, sandy, or clay soil 
  • Acidic, neutral, or alkaline Ph.
  • Partial to full sun exposure

Bush anemone blooms in spring, summer, fall, and winter.

2.     California Lilac (Ceanothus)

Dark green plants
2. California Lilac

California lilac, mountain lilac, or wild lilac is a low-maintenance plant that grows in any moist, well-drained soil with alkaline or neutral Ph. It is tolerant to dry soil, deer, and salt. It thrives in partial to full sun. The blooming time of wild lilac depends on the variety. Most start blossoming in spring all through summer to fall, and some go up to the onset of winter.

3. Camellia (Camellia)

Dark green shrubs
3. Camellia

Camellia is an evergreen shrub well known for its attractive flowers in winter. It blooms from early spring to fall and winter with the right conditions. It performs best in moist but well-drained clay, loamy, or sandy soil with acidic or neutral Ph. It requires full shade to partial sun exposure to flourish. 

4. Elephant’s Ear (Colocasia esculenta)

10 Types of dark green plants
4. Elephant’s Ear

Elephant’s ears are a low-maintenance annual, perennial, or bulb plant blooms with attractive, showy flowers. It grows in moist, well-drained clay, sandy, or loamy soil with neutral or acidic Ph. It thrives best in partial to full sun. It is ideal for beds and borders, containers, and ponds. 

5. Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)

Dark green trees
5. Gardenia

Gardenia is a shrub with attractive and waxy creamy-white flowers that contrast the beautiful shiny dark green foliage. It grows well in moist, well-drained sandy, clay, or loamy soil with acidic or neutral Ph. Gardenia flourishes in partial sun exposure.

It is deer-tolerant and attracts birds. It blossoms from mid-spring all through summer to fall. It produces showy, fragrant, cut flowers. It is suitable for hedges and screens, beds and borders, containers, and patio. 

6. Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea)

10 Types of dark green plants
6. Hummingbird Sage

Hummingbird sage is a low-maintenance semi-evergreen perennial that grows 90cm tall and 90cm to 150cm wide. It grows best in well-drained, moderately fertile sandy, chalky, and loamy soil with alkaline, neutral, or acidic Ph and requires less water after establishment. It flourishes in partial to full sun exposure.

Hummingbird sage blooms from early spring all through summer to fall and may extend to winter. It is best for wall-side borders, beds and borders, and an ideal ground cover. It is drought and deer-tolerant and attracts, hummingbirds, butterflies, and birds. 

7. Japanese Holly Fern (Cyrtomium falcatum)

10 Types of dark green plants
7. Japanese Holly Fern

Japanese holly fern is a spreading evergreen plant with a moderate growth rate. It attains a maturity size of 18 to 24 inches tall and 24 to 36 inches wide. It tolerates all soil types and grows best in partial to full shade. The pride of the Japanese holly fern lies in its green foliage. It is a perfect ground cover.

8. Chinese hawthorn (Photinia)

10 Types of dark green plants
8. Chinese Hawthorn

Chinese hawthorn or Chinese photinia is a low-maintenance shrub of 8 to 12 inches in height and 6 to 9 inches width when mature. It grows best in moist, well-drained loamy, clay, or sandy soil with acidic or neutral Ph. It flourishes in partial to full sun. It requires average water after its establishment. 

The Chinese photinia plant blooms in mid-spring to fall and winter. It is showy, produces fruits and berries, and attracts birds and butterflies. It is ideal for hedges and screens, ponds, and streams.

9. Common ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)

10 Types of dark green plants
9. Common Ninebark

The common ninebark is a fast-growing deciduous shrub that grows 150cm to 240cm tall and 120cm to 180cm wide. It is a low-maintenance plant and requires low to average water. It grows well in moist, well-drained clay, loamy, or sandy soils with acidic or neutral Ph. It flourishes in partial to full sun exposure. 

Ninebark is showy and blossoms in late spring, early and late summer, and fall. It can tolerate clay and dry soil, drought, rocky, or wet soil. It attracts birds.

10. Wax Leaf Privet (Ligustrum japonicum)

Dark green shrubs
10. Wax Leaf Privet

Wax leaf privet, also called Japanese privet, is a thick, fast-growing evergreen shrub that can reach 3.6 meters in height and 180cm to 240cm in width. It thrives in partial to full sun. It grows well in moist, well-drained sandy, chalky, and loamy soils with alkaline, acidic, or neutral Ph. 

Japanese privet is showy, fragrant, and produces fruits and berries. Its bloom season is early spring through summer, fall, and winter and is drought-tolerant and attracts butterflies. 

Other resources related to dark green plants:

7 Plants With Dark Foliage to Add Contrast to Your Garden

List of plants with dark green leaves sorted by common name …

10 plants with dark foliage – Gardeners World

Plant Library | Costa Farms

Clarisse Walters
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