Purple Passion Plant Care

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Purple passion plant with purple hair zoomed in.

Purple passion, Velvet plant or Gynura aurantiaca is an attractive ornamental houseplant from the daisy family. It has velvety green leaves with thick purple hair on the leaves. With age, the hair spreads apart and the look is not like the young deep purple.

 

Purple passion plant care is easy. A well draining soil, bright and indirect sunlight (east facing window or under a shade if outdoors), moist soil that is never soggy, maintain a temperature between 60°F to 104°F (16°C to 40°C) and a handful of organic compost twice a month is all purple passion plants need to thrive.

 

Most gardeners snip off the buds to avoid the bad odor of purple passion flowers. The lifespan of purple passion is about 3 to 5 years. You can grow it as a vine or a shrub, as a houseplant or an outdoor plant shaded from direct sunlight.


 

Purple Passion General Information

Origin

Southeast Asia

Common Names

Gynura aurantiaca, Purple Passion, Velvet Plant

Family

Asteraceae (daisy family)

🌵Type

Vine or ground cover 

🌵Climate

Tropical 

🌡️Temperature

60°F to 104°F (16°C to 40°C)

💧Watering

Keep the soil slightly moist, but not soggy.

☀️Light

Indirect sunlight or moderate grow lights

Soil

Well draining soil

Fertilizer

every 2 weeks during the growing season (spring to fall) and monthly during winter

Pot Size

10 inch

Propagation🌱

From cuttings

Height📏

12 inch (30 cm)

How to Propagate🌱

You can propagate Purple Passion by stem cuttings in water or in soil. Since purple passion is rot-prone, the success rate is better when propagating cuttings in soil. Best time to propagate purple passion is during the growing season which is summer and spring so it roots quickly. 

Grow from Cuttings

Propagating purple passion plant from cutting.

  1. Cut a 3 inch long stem of the Purple Passion plant, just below a node. Pick a cutting with few leaves, as it cannot handle too many leaves. That node is where the roots will come out from.
  2. Remove any leaves at the bottom of the cutting
  3. Place the cutting in Soil (Coco Peat + Sand + Compost).
  4. To create a humid environment for the cutting and to maintain the soil moisture, cover the entire plant by tenting a clear plastic bag in a way that the plastic bag does not touch the plant. 
  5. When you see new growth, the cutting has finally developed roots. You can now remove the plastic bag cover and  transfer the plant into a new pot with soil.

Water💧

Keep the soil slightly moist, but not soggy. Water your Purple Passion plant when the top 1-2 inches of the soil is dry.  Just insert your finger 2 inches into the soil, if it is dry and doesn’t stick your fingers, water your Purple Passion plant.

 

When you are watering a purple passion plant, do not let the leaves get wet as the leaves can trap the moisture and begin to rot. Of course, do not mist the purple passion plant as it can rot the leaves. Purple Passion is slightly drought tolerant and if you let the soil completely dry out between watering, the plant will still survive.

Sunlight☀️

Bright light intensifies the purple color of the purple passion plant, but it only needs indirect sunlight or bright to moderate indoor light. You can place them indoors in an east-facing window, or grow them outdoors but under a shade.

 

Lack of light can make purple passion plants grow leggy and lose their intense purple color.

Ideal Growing Temperature🌡️

Purple passion is quite hardy when it comes to temperature. Ideal growing temperature for Purple Passion is between 60°F to 104°F (16°C to 40°C). However, it is very hardy when it comes to extremely high temperatures so it can be grown outdoors in warm climates. Purple Passion can easily survive and thrive in hot climates where temperatures reach 104 degrees F (40°C) or more, provided you keep the plant in a shade and protect it from the harsh afternoon sun.

Soil

Purple Passion needs rich and well draining soil as it is susceptible to root rot. So opt for a soil that does not hold water and drains well. One recommended soil mix is Sand/Perlite with 30% organic compost.

Fertilizer

Fertilize Purple passion plant every 2 weeks during the growing season (spring to fall) and monthly during the winter if it's too cold and the plant seems to grow slowly.

Pruning

If you want a compact look, you can snip off new growth to make purple passion grow horizontally like a shrub instead of growing a vine. Light pruning and trimming of dead, damaged, diseased or crossing branches can be done anytime. The buds are snipped off when they are formed, to avoid the unpleasant smell of purple passion flowers.

Pests and Diseases🐛🦠

Spider Mites, mealy bugs and aphids. You can easily get rid of these pests and diseases.

Toxicity

According to ASPCA, Purple Passion plant is categorized as non-toxic to humans and pets, namely dogs and cats. The smell of the flowers can make one gag, and you can remove the buds as soon as you see them to avoid the unpleasant smell, but the smell as well is harmless apart from being unpleasant.

Flowering

If you see buds forming in a purple passion plant, it is a sign that the plant has reached its maturity. Most gardeners snip off these buds to prevent the flowers from forming, mainly because the flower has a very bad odor. It is also an indication to start getting cuttings (if you haven't already got them) to propagate the plant and start growing another batch of your beautiful purple passion plants. Generally, a purple passion plant looks appealing with a deep purple look for 2 to 3 years

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