December 15

Purple Waffle Plant Care Guide

Garden

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Also known as red ivy, the purple waffle plant is a common tropical perennial houseplant or grown as an annual outdoor plant. This tropical plant loves sunlight and moisture and really thrives under consistent climates. Non-toxic to humans or animals, the purple waffle is a plus for any pet-owner. Though the flowering is sparse and infrequent, this green and purple colored plant do bloom with small, white flowers.

Botanical Name

Common Name

Plant Type

Mature Size

Sun Exposure

Hardiness Zones

Toxicity

Hemigraphis alternata

Purple Waffle Plant, Red Ivy

Annual

6 in. tall, 8 in. wide

Full, Partial 

10-11 (USDA)

Non- Toxic To Human Or Pets

Botanical Name

Hemigraphis alternata

Common Name

Purple Waffle Plant, Red Ivy

Plant Type

Annual

Mature Size

6 in. tall, 8 in. wide

Sun Exposure

Full, Partial 

Hardiness Zones

10-11 (USDA)

Toxicity

Non- Toxic To Human Or Pets

Purple Waffle Plant Care Guide

Light 

This tropical plant love light and warmth, but not too much. The purple waffle to grow in a healthy environment will need bright but indirect light when indoors or partial shade when outside. Too much direct sunlight can cause sunburn and scorching of the leaves, but not enough can cause the leaves to lose color and become dull.

Water

Keeping the soil moist is a must, but don’t overwater. Make sure that pots have holes in the bottom for the leaking of any excess water, and always make sure to empty the drainage saucer. Never leave the roots sitting in water. 

If the plant seems wilted or limp, add some water, and it will perk up. The purple waffle will tell you what it needs.

Temperature and Humidity

Purple waffle plants thrive in moist, tropical climates, but with moisture also comes the possibility of frost and freeze. If the temperature is to drop below 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit, bring the plant inside. 

To add moisture, misting might come in handy. Misting the leaves daily will benefit the plant’s growth and can also help to decrease common pests. If your plant needs an added boost, try putting it in a moisture-rich room in the house, like the bathroom during a steamy shower. If your bathroom has a window with sunlight coming through, this might be a great place for a purple waffle plant to live.

Soil and Fertilizer

Because the purple waffle plant is native to Asia’s tropical jungles, this plant grows best in rich soil. Soil also should be slightly acidic/ neutral, which can and should be supplemented with fertilizer and compost. To grow this plant, you can use an all-purpose potting mix. If you choose to grow them outdoor and plant them directly in the ground, add fertilizer or compost to enrich the soil.

In its native habitat, purple waffle plant feeds off the natural fertilizer of other decayed plant life on the jungle floor. To replicate this condition, use a slow-release 6-12-6 houseplant fertilizer for a healthy growth medium. In the cooler months, growth rates of plants decelerate, and fertilizing is less critical. However, in Spring and Summer, try adding fertilizer to the soil once a month, or as necessary, to recreate this rich soil.

Common Pests and Diseases

Because the purple waffle is a household plant, it can find itself prone to the same pests as any other indoor plant, such as scale, whitefly, rotting roots, and even mildew. 

Plant’s Best Feature

The leaves of the purple waffle plant are grey/green on top, with purple underneath. They are dimpled, dented, crinkly, and puckered throughout, hence the “waffle” name. These dents cause the surface area of the leaves to be doubled, which helps this plant act as an air purifier, removing toxic compounds from the air around it like benzene, octane, etc.; This is another great reason to invite this plant into the home or office.

Potting and Repotting

When properly cared for, the purple waffle plant grows at a moderate rate, which means it will likely need to be repotted. Repot the roots when they reached the bottom of the pot and try to make their way out of the drainage holes, but be careful! This plant has delicate roots, and pulling from the top can cause them to break easily. Try turning the pot over and hitting bottom to shake it loose. Or, like you might a cake, use a long tool to scrape along the sides of the pot to help loosen its grip. 

This plant grows low to the ground, covering the soil with dense growth. This makes a purple waffle plant a perfect pair to a taller plant in a garden or on its own. 

Propagating

Because of the moderate growth and natural spread of the purple waffle, new roots form at each growth nodule as it grows. This makes propagation easy and turning from one plant into many. To propagate:

  1. Use sharp scissors and cut on a growing stem.
  2. Include at least one of the growth nodules.
  3. Place this cutting in moist soil and keep it damp until you notice new growth!

Summary

The purple waffle plant, or red ivy, is a low-maintenance addition to any indoor or outdoor space, so long as it has access to lots of bright, indirect light and plenty of moisture in both the soil and the air. Your purple waffle plant will tell you what it needs: If the leaves are wilting, it might be time to give the plant a good drink. If the colors are dulling, the plant might be receiving too much direct sunlight. When inside, mist the leaves to help keep household pests at bay. This air-purifying plant is non-toxic to humans and pets, so it’s safe in the home.  

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. This means I make a few dollars if you purchase/sign up after clicking my link. This costs you nothing, but it helps keep this blog running!

About The Author


maria

Hi There,

We are Maria and Chad, a crafty and artful duo who can't get enough outdoor home improvement projects. Come check out our DIY projects, inspiring outdoor ideas, and gardening tips.

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