How to grow and care for Purple Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis alternata) Indoors

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Purple Waffle Care, Hemigraphis Care, Red Ivy Care

Botanical name: Hemigraphis alternata
Synonym: Hemigraphis colorata
Family: Acanthaceae
Common names: Purple Waffle Plant, Red Ivy, Red Flame Ivy, Metal Leaf Plant

Purple Waffle Plant Description

Purple Waffle Plant also called Red Ivy is a climbing houseplant popular for hanging baskets whose leaves are silvery in the shade and metallic purple when grown under some sunshine.

Though called an Ivy, Purple Waffle Plant is not a True Ivy, it is quite different from a True Ivy in that the growth is limited to 1-2 ft and the 3 in. leaves are oval.

Purple Waffle Plant Origin

Hemigraphis is a genus of perennial plants consisting of about 30 species native to tropical Asia.

Purple Waffle Plant Varieties

Apart from Hemigraphis alternata, there are other species that can grow indoors like Hemigraphis exotica which has puckered leaves. These plants are easy to grow even for a beginner.

Purple Waffle Care, Hemigraphis Care, Red Ivy Care

Purple Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis alternata) Care Indoors

Purple Waffle Plant Light Requirements

Purple Waffle Plant grows best in bright light or semi-shade with some sun to enhance leaf color.

However, protect your Purple Waffle Plant from direct hot sunlight to prevent leaf burn. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Purple Waffle Plant

Water Purple Waffle Plant liberally during the growing season and keep the soil moist at all times.

Reduce watering for your Purple Waffle Plant during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure the pot for your Purple Waffle Plant has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead in root-rot.


Temperature for Purple Waffle Plant

Average warmth with a minimum of 150C is ideal for your Purple Waffle Plant. Protect the plant from cold draughts as they can cause leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Purple Waffle Plant

Purple Waffle Plant prefers a humid environment inorder to thrive. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Purple Waffle Plant. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Purple Waffle Plant

Feed Purple Waffle Plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing period.

Withhold feeding for your Purple Waffle Plant during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Purple Waffle Plant

Repot Purple Waffle Plant during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound. Use a rich, free-draining soil and a pot one size larger.

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

How to Prune Purple Waffle Plant

Pruning Purple Waffle Plant involves frequent removal of any dead foliage.

Pinch off the growing tips to encourage bushyness and prevent your Purple Waffle Plant from becoming leggy.

Cut back the stems of your Purple Waffle Plant at the beginning of the growing season when they become straggly to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Purple Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis alternata) Propagation

Purple Waffle Plant can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings.

How to propagate Purple Waffle Plant from stem cuttings

Take stem cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy Purple Waffle Plant. Ensure each cutting has at least one set of leaves.

Insert the Purple Waffle Plant cuttings in moist rooting soil and place in warm shaded place.

Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and substantial growth has been observed.

Transfer the rooted Purple Waffle Plant cuttings to individual pots and begin routine care.

For a fuller Purple Waffle Plant, plant several cuttings in one pot.

Purple Waffle Care, Hemigraphis Care, Red Ivy Care

Purple Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis alternata) Problems Indoors

Purple Waffle Plant brown leaf tips and edges

Brown leaf tips and edges in your Purple Waffle Plant are due to dry air. To raise humidity for your Purple Waffle Plant, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Purple Waffle Plant brown and wilting leaves

Purple Waffle Plant brown and wilting leaves are due to underwatering. Maintain the soil for your Purple Waffle Plant moist at all times and never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Purple Waffle Plant curling leaves followed by browning and leaf drop

Purple Waffle Plant curling leaves followed by browning and leaf drop is due to a sudden drop in temperature due to cold draughts. Protect your Purple Waffle Plant from cold draughts to maintain a constantly warm room temperature.

Purple Waffle Plant brown-grey dust on the leaves

Purple Waffle Plant brown-grey dust on the leaves is an indication of powdery mildew Disease which is prevalent in a warm humid environment.

Stop misting your Purple Waffle Plant and ensure that there is good air circulation for your plant.

Purple Waffle Plant Pests

Purple Waffle pests are Scale Insects and Whiteflies.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Purple Waffle (Hemigraphis alternata) toxic?

Purple Waffle (Hemigraphis alternata) is non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors.

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