How to Grow and Care for Purple Passion Plant (Gynura spp) Indoors


Velvet Plant, Purple Passion Plant, Gynura Plant

Gynura sarmentosa

Botanical name: Gynura spp
Family: Asteraceae
Common names: Purple Passion Plant, Velvet Plant

Description

Purple Passion Plant (Gynura spp) also called Velvet Plant is a popular plant whose foliage is covered with shiny purple hairs and is perfect for adding a splash of color in any space.

Gynura Plants are fast growing and are easy to grow indoors. The shiny purple hairs on the foliage impart a velvety feel to the plants.

Velvet Plants produce small dandelion-like flowers which have a rather offensive smell and need to be removed at the bud stage.

Origin

The Gynura genus (Purple Passion plants) are native to Asia.

Varieties

Only a few species of the Gynura genus are grown indoors. One of them is Gynura sarmentosa, which is a trailer, whose foliage is gleaming purple in bright light and is ideal for a hanging basket.

Gynura aurantiaca, has larger leaves and is more upright. Gynura procumbens (Longevity Spinach), which is a trailer, whose leaves are deep burgundy colored at the bottom and is ideal for a hanging basket.

Where to Buy

If you are looking to add these spectacular plants to your collection, various Purple Passion Plants are available online at Etsy. Buy beautiful and healthy Purple Passion Plants (Gynura spp) on Etsy.

Velvet Plant, Purple Passion Plant, Gynura Plant

Photo Credit: Plantsguru

Purple Passion Plant Care Indoors

Purple Passion Plant (Gynura spp) thrives in bright light with some direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with fortnightly feeding during the growing season.

Velvet Plant requires annual repotting and regular pruning to keep it neat as well as encourage a bushy growth. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Purple Passion Plant grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight to enhance leaf color but avoid hot midday sunshine as it can scorch the leaves.

It can also grow under a grow light if the natural light is not sufficient. Regularly turn the pot to ensure the Velvet Plant gets adequate light on all sides to prevent lopsided growth.

Watering

Water Purple Passion Plant thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry a little between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.

Reduce watering during the cold period to maintain the soil slightly moist but do allow the soil to dry out completely. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.


Temperature

Purple Passion Plant prefers average warmth with a minimum of 150C. Protect it from cold and hot draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperature.

Humidity

Purple Passion Plant has no need for high humidity. However, for lush growth and to reduce pest infestation, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Regularly clean the leaves by gently brushing off the dust with a soft brush but do not wash with water as it can be trapped between the hairs and thereby cause disease infestation.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Purple Passion Plant every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Repotting

Repot Purple Passion Plant every year during the growing period. Use a pot which is 1 size larger than the current one and free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole inorder to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.

Soil

The best soil for Purple Passion Plant should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients. Multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for this plant.

Pruning

Pruning Purple Passion Plant involves removal of yellow and dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. To encourage a bushy and compact growth, pinch off the growing tips. The tips can be used to propagate new plants.

Remove the flower buds as soon as they appear to avoid having the offensive smell from the Velvet Plant. Cut back leggy stems at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth.

Propagation

Purple Passion Plant (Gynura spp) is propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings. The stem cuttings can be rooted in soil or in water.

How to root Purple Passion Plant stem cuttings in soil

Take stem cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy Purple Passion Plant and insert them in moist free-draining soil.

Place the set up in warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and substantial growth has been observed.

Transfer the rooted Velvet Plant cuttings to individual pots and begin routine care. For a fuller plant, transfer several cuttings in one pot.

How to root Purple Passion Plant stem cuttings in water

Take cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy Purple Passion Plant and place them in a jar of plain water. Place the set up in a well-lit spot and change the water every 5-7 days.

When a good amount of roots have formed, transfer the cuttings in moist free-draining soil.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until new growth has emerged and substantial growth has been observed.

Transfer the rooted cuttings to individual pots and begin routine care. For a fuller Gynura Plant, transfer several cuttings into one pot.

Velvet Plant, Purple Passion Plant, Gynura Plant

Gynura aurantiaca

Purple Passion Plant Problems Indoors

Purple Passion Plant (Gynura spp) problems indoors include leggy growth, brown leaf tips, loss of leaf color, drooping leaves, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Undersized leaves and leggy growth

Purple Passion Plant bearing undersized leaves and showing leggy growth is receiving too little light as it prefers bright light with some direct sunlight.

Move the Velvet Plant to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light with some direct sunlight or instal a grow light if the natural light is not sufficient. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Brown, dry leaf tips and edges

Purple Passion Plant brown leaves, dry leaf tips and edges and shows stunted growth are signs of Spider Mites infestation due to the air being too dry.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity in order to discourage Spider Mites infestation. Remove dead growth also to reduce their breeding ground.

Loss of leaf color

Purple Passion Plant losing leaf color is caused by too little light. Move it to a brighter spot and ensure it receives bright light with some direct sunshine inorder to enhance leaf color.

Drooping leaves

Purple Passion Plant drooping leaves are due to underwatering. Water the plant immediately and it should perk up. Ensure the soil is moderately moist and never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Pests

Purple Passion Plant pests are Spider Mites, Scale Insects and Aphids. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Diseases

Purple Passion Plant diseases include root-rot diseases which is prevalent in too wet conditions.

Is Purple Passion Plant toxic?

Purple Passion Plant (Gynura spp) is non-toxic to both humans and pets as indicated by ASPCA. However, it may cause allergic skin reactions to people with sensitive skin. Always wear gloves when handling Velvet Plant.

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