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Iresine Herbstii: Everything You Need to Know About Growing Blood Leaf Indoors

Sprucing up your interior space comes easily with the help of the Iresine Herbstii. It is an easy-to-care-for plant, making it an excellent option for many indoor gardeners.

In this post, we’ll provide all the tips and tricks to help you care for your Iresine Herbstii and keep it well-nourished.

We also have exciting options to explore if you’re looking to buy one. If you want to learn more about this Iresine’s background and growth behavior, keep reading.

What Is Iresine Herbstii?

The Iresine Herbstii is tropical and is popular nowadays because of its bright foliage. It has lanceolate-shaped and vibrant red-colored leaves with hot-pink midribs and veins.

It is commonly known as Beef Plant, Bloodleaf, Beefsteak Plant, and Chicken Gizzard, and it is a short-lived perennial from the Amaranthaceae family.

Bloodleaf plants are terrific as bedding and margin plants as they add drama to an indoor garden or landscape. There are about 30 evergreen perennials in the Iresine genus, and they come in different sizes and leaf shapes.

When Iresine Herbstii is placed outside, its ideal locations are USDA zones 10-12.

Origin And Family

Beef Plant originates from the Iresine genus, which is part of the Amaranthaceae family. The forests of Brazil are the native habitat of this plant. Beef Plant has become a popular indoor plant in recent years, thriving in most households that give it plenty of humidity.

Where To Buy

Iresine Herbstiis are affordable, costing between $15 and $30. You can get one by visiting your local plant stores, but cheaper deals and more comprehensive selections can be found on online sites such as Etsy.

Iresine Herbstii Plant Size

Indoors, the Iresine Herbstii reaches a height of 30-90 cm and a width of 30-90 cm. This Iresine grows quickly and beautifully thrives when placed near an east or west-facing window.

Iresine Herbstii Care Needs

Your Iresine Herbstii, with its bright foliage, will flourish if you take good care of it. This plant loves humidity and relatively moist soil throughout the year.

When watering your Iresine, give them a total drench, allowing water to run down the bottom of the pot. In terms of lighting, bright indirect light is best for this plant.

Look at the more in-depth growing tips we’ve written below to keep your Iresine Herbstii healthy and happy!

Care Difficulty

The Bloodleaf is commonly thought to be simple to care for. If you are serious about growing this plant effectively, make sure it has adequate drainage and light.

Toxic To Pets? Care Specifics
Botanical Name Iresine Herbstii
Common Name Beef Plant, Bloodleaf, Beefsteak Plant
Plant Family Amaranthaceae
Origin Brazil
Plant Type perennial
Leaf Shape lanceolate
Leaf Color bright red
Recommended Home Placement near an east or west-facing window
Growth Rate fast
Light bright indirect light
Soil standard commercial potting soil
When To Water Water ?MISSING?.
When To Fertilize every two weeks during growing season
Preferred pH 5.6 and 5.9
Humidity Range 50%-70%
Toxic To Pets? No
Common Pests & Diseases spider mites, brown tips, white flied, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves

Growth Rate

When grown indoors, the Beefsteak Plant plant grows to 30-90 cm. It develops the fastest during its growing season, spring and summer.

Most Iresine species, including the Herbstii, have a fast-growing speed.


This Herbstii plant wants good drainage, and a medium-sized plastic, terracotta, or clay pot works fine.

While regular moisture is essential to keep this plant thriving, they aren’t water plants, so it’s best to have suitable drainage holes to keep them from getting waterlogged.


As your Iresine Herbstii develops, you should consider moving it to a larger pot if you see roots shoving out of the drainage holes. Because it grows fast, you will have to repot your plant every spring on average.

When repotting, use a new batch of soil for your Iresine so its roots will have more nutrients to absorb.


The Bloodleaf is an easy-to-care-for plant that needs standard commercial potting soil to stay healthy. If you’re planning to prepare your soil mix, we recommend that you add in some clay, loam, sand, and chalk.

Your Iresine will appreciate the soil being kept relatively moist at all times. Nonetheless, aeration and well-drained soil are essential requirements for all soil types.

Here are some potting mixes we recommend:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $10.99 ($0.03 / Ounce)
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99 ($0.04 / Ounce)
Sun Gro Horticulture...image Sun Gro Horticulture 8-Quart Black Gold 1310102 Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $14.98 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix,...image Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, Potting Soil for Outdoor and Indoor Plants, Enriched with Plant Food, 2 cu. ft. $34.54
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quarts | The Hydroponic City Stake $23.99 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)


For this fast-growing plant, you’ll want your soil to have a neutral to acidic pH between 5.6 and 5.9. A standard commercial potting soil’s pH level is close to that range, so you won’t need to be concerned.

If you need to increase the pH of your soil, add a bit of calcitic lime or dolomitic lime, some wood ash, or baking soda.

On the other hand, if you’re concerned that the pH is too high, you can lower the pH with sulfur or aluminum sulfate.

Using common soil moisture meter devices, double as a pH tester to identify the soil’s pH value.


The watering frequency will vary depending on the temperature and humidity in your plant’s surroundings. Generally speaking, your Beef Plant prefers a relatively moist growing medium.

Avoid overwatering your Beef Plant. Water directly on the soil and make sure not to get the foliage wet so you can avoid fungal diseases.

Let the water flow through the bottom of the pot, and remember to clear the collection tray if you’re using one to prevent soggy soil.


This houseplant prefers indirect bright light for approximately 6-8 hours daily. Too much light and its beautiful foliage may get scorched. Too little light and its stems will get leggy, and its bright leaf color may fade.

It can also tolerate partial shade for a time, but if you’re worried that your Iresine Herbstii isn’t getting enough light, you may need to move it closer to a window or consider using artificial lights. Here are some basic options for you to consider:

Avoid putting your Iresine Herbstii in direct sunlight, as this could damage it severely or even kill it.


Plants need additional food when they are actively growing because they are using up a lot of their energy. For the Bloodleaf, this development spurt usually happens in spring and summer. During this period, you can apply a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks.

You don’t need to fertilize in the winter because plants’ roots usually go dormant in the cold, and they won’t need extra food for growth.

Propagating Iresine Herbstii

Like many indoor plants, if your Iresine Herbstii has grown too tall, you may prune the stems and set the cuttings aside for propagation! We’ve listed step-by-step guides for different propagation techniques.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

Cutting and planting is the easiest way to propagate a Blood Leaf Plant. Seeds are sometimes at hand but might be challenging to find and start. Early spring is the best time to reproduce your plant.

1. Cut. Cut a healthy stem section with new growth and at least one node using clean gardening shears.

2. Plant. Plant the cutting directly into sterile soil.

3. Maintain. Maintain moist soil and an air temperature of around 70°F.

4. Cover. Wrap your plant in a plastic bag to trap humidity and encourage faster rooting.

5. Rotate. To achieve the same level of growth on all sides, rotate the pot now and then.

Humidity And Aeration

Iresine Herbstii is a unique perennial that prefers high humidity – often between 50%-70%.

If you see the edges of your plant’s leaves turning brown, consider these options for increasing humidity:

• Huddle your houseplants together to create a humidity bubble.

• Purchase a humidifier.

• Set your pots on a pebble tray with water. This will generate a vapor around your plant.

• Mist your plant infrequently to avoid inviting fungal diseases.


Warm temperatures are preferable for Beefsteak Plant plants, but they can thrive in a temperature range of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

They do, however, like sustained temperatures, so keep them distant from windows and openings that may allow chilly air during cold seasons or vents and other heat sources to keep air from drying.


If you’re lucky, you could witness your Beef Plant blooming with little insignificant terminal spikes of whitish flowers most summers. However, this doesn’t typically happen in an indoor growing location. You can cut the tiny flowers to lessen the stress on the plant and conserve plant energies; these plants are priced for their ornamental foliage and not their flowers.


The Bloodleaf is not hazardous to children or pets. ASPCA states that it will not hurt dogs or cats if consumed as there are no components in the plant that are toxic to humans. However, the sap may cause slight skin irritation, so it’s best to handle it using gloves.

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

The Iresine Herbstii is a plant resistant to several bugs, issues, and diseases. In the sections below, I’ll lay out some of the disease problems for the Iresine Herbstii with some tips and tricks to treat them.

Spider Mites

Unfortunately, spider mites are widespread, and Beefsteak Plant is particularly vulnerable. Spider mite damage appears on the plant’s red leaves as tiny brown or yellow patches. You might also find fine silk webbing when the infestation is severe.

Begin by watering your Beefsteak Plant with a sink nozzle or a pressure sprayer. This removes spider mites from the plant. If the first approach does not work, an organic pyrethrin spray will come in handy.

If you want a more natural option, scatter ladybugs in your indoor growing space to help reduce spider mite numbers. There’s also the “Spider Mite Destroyer,” which may be difficult to obtain, but the name speaks for itself!

White Flies

Whiteflies are tiny airborne insects that immediately fly around when a plant is moved. They are particularly attracted to the Beef Plant. They feed on leaves but rarely cause the death of plants.

If you like the taste and smell of herbs, keeping them near your pest-ridden plant has an added benefit! The aroma of mint, parsley, and cilantro are known to repel whiteflies.

Managing a heavy infestation necessitates the use of a pesticide. Here are several popular Amazon products we recommend against whiteflies:

Scale Insects

Scales are plant’s sap-feeding insects. What defines them from other bugs is that the adult scale will cling onto one portion of the plant and remain there. Armoured scales are brownish lumps that can grow on a plant’s stems or petioles.

To prevent scales from latching onto your bedding plant’s leaves, take a teaspoon of neem oil, then add 500 mL of water and spray it over the leaves.

You may also disperse ladybugs or lacewings near your affected plant to take care of the problem for you!


Aphids are normally found as a cluster of bugs on your Bloodleaf. They could be colored green, brown, black, red, yellow, orange, or white. They multiply very fast and can weaken your plant within days!

Aphids are attracted to new shoots, flower buds, and growth areas. They will leave behind unsightly black and white splotches as they feed on the sap.

If you spot these icky crawlers, immediately isolate your infected plant from the others. Give your plant a strong spray of water to dislodge the aphids, but remember to cover the soil with plastic to catch any falling bugs and their eggs. Dispose of the plastic somewhere far away from your garden.

Regular application of an insecticidal soap spray, neem oil, or horticultural oil can solve the problem. Still, this process needs to be repeated several times until you’re sure the aphid population has been completely eradicated.


Your tropical plants can become a victim of a Mealybug infestation. They use their sucking tubes to feed on the plant’s sap and will weaken your Beefsteak Plant.

To prevent diseases, I recommend a monthly application of neem oil on your houseplants. Remember to dilute the neem and spray only when the weather is cool.

If an infestation happens, a mixture of one cup of rubbing alcohol and a teaspoon of fragrance-free dish soap mixed with water using a spray bottle will help. Spray that on Beefsteak Plant twice a week until the mealybugs are gone.

Brown Leaf Tips

The edges of your Herbst’s Bloodleaf plant’s leaves may turn brown if it’s not getting the sufficient moisture that it requires both from the air and through its roots. You’ll want to constantly check if the humidity level in its location is consistent with its needs and to water your plant on time.

You may also need to assess the amount and frequency you apply fertilizers. Overfeeding can burn the houseplants’ foliage, typically manifesting as browning edges on their leaves.

Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves on the Iresine Herbstii can be caused by inconsistent watering, incorrect lighting, and insufficient humidity. It might also help to remove the layer of dust that can interfere with photosynthesis by cleaning your plant’s leaves with water and a microfiber cloth.

Yellow Leaves

If you notice that your bloodleaf leaves are turning yellow, you will need to map out any recent adjustments in your normal care practices or in the weather.

Overwatering, under-watering, over-fertilizing, under-fertilizing, too much light, lack of light, root damage, temperature swings, and pests can cause yellowing leaves.

Root Rot

Root rot is a serious hazard to the Chicken Gizzard Plant. Indoor gardeners frequently overwater their plants or fail to provide enough drainage. Rotting roots become dark and mushy, causing a plant to degrade and eventually die. As the old adage goes, prevention is always better than cure.

Regulating water input is the simplest technique to prevent root rot. Extend the time between waterings, especially if your plant doesn’t get enough sunlight or breeze to dry the soil. Also, remember to drill holes at the bottom of your pot for the water to drain!

Aeration of the soil is also important in preventing root rot. If your soil becomes compacted and waterlogged, add chunky and airy elements like perlite, pumice, orchid bark, coco chunks, horticultural coal, river sand, and others.

Similar Plants

Love Beef Plant? We’ve listed some other similar plant options you should try:

Boston Fern – This one’s a classic plant for creating a dramatic indoor garden and tropical landscapes. It’s a great addition as an accent plant on a pedestal or hanging in a basket.

Philodendron Martianum – Another stylish plant that makes a unique addition to an indoor garden. With rich green, leathery leaves, this plant grows in a rosette form, so it often takes up a huge space, making it an excellent filler plant.

Alocasia Polly – A compact yet showy plant that makes you conjure up images of an Amazon jungle because of its oddly-shaped glossy leaves. It’s genuinely eye-catching, and you’ll never go wrong when you add this to your collection.

Maranta Plants – Dramatic plant, anyone? You’ll never go wrong with a plant that “prays.” Maranta plants are called Prayer plants because of their leaves’ unique habit of staying flat during the day and folding up like praying hands at night.


The Iresine Herbstii is an excellent choice for plant enthusiasts, primarily due to its bright foliage.

If you want a new plant to add to your collection or are just getting started as an indoor gardener, use the tips you’ve learned from us to begin growing Iresine Herbstii today!

Help us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended. All opinions, however, are our own, and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

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